Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Book News, In Brief

2009 marks Edgar Allan Poe's bicentennial, and cities up and down the east coast are hosting celebrations in honor of the notoriously anti-social artist. To see what sorts of unintentionally ironic events are taking place in your area, click here.

The holidays are the busiest time of year for newspaper obituary writers, but ego-stroking technologies are beginning to lighten their workload. Inspired by Art Buchwald's "I'm Art Buchwald and I just died" video and Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture, homemade, online obits are quickly becoming The Next Big Thing. Sandra Martin, obituarist for The Boston Globe, has written an article about these D.I.Y. R.I.P.s.

Barack Obama will use Abraham Lincoln's Bible for his swearing in. According to BlackVoices.com, this is big news, as "the Lincoln Inaugural Bible has not been used in any other inauguration. It is a powerful symbol of Lincoln's strength and wisdom during a time when the survival of the United States of America was at stake." But over at the U.S. News & World Report, Clark Evans of the Library of Congress takes a more Antiques Roadshow approach: "This Bible is not distinguished unto itself. It's not a rare-edition Bible. An 1853 Oxford Bible with no historical associations would get $30 or $40 today. But by association, it becomes priceless. There is no way to put a dollar sign on it." (Thanks to RareBookNews.com for the links!)