Photo essay from the New York Times: New York’s Legendary Literary Hangouts.
Publisher Springer has temporarily made hundreds of textbooks available to download for free during the coronavirus pandemic. For archaeologists, there’s Diane Gifford-Gonzalez’s ~600 page zooarchaeology book. A sample of other free books is below, and you can find all the rest at Springer. Thanks to @jriveraprince for pointing this out on Twitter.
Stephanie Gorton Murphy writes about the girl detectives who predated Nancy Drew. Both Daring and the more conservatively named Mary Louise were created by L. Frank Baum. Violet Strange starred in a collection of short stories by Anna Katherine Green, who had earlier created the spinster detective Amelia Butterworth.
See the Curbed article on Virginia Savage McAlester, the author of A Field Guide to American Houses. A revised version of the encyclopedic classic came out a few years ago, and McAlester is now planning a field guide to commercial buildings.
Several archaeology books from the backlist at the Cotsen Institute at UCLA are available for free download:
About 20 more titles on Greek, Mesoamerican, and California archaeology are available from the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.
New book review of Charleston: An Archaeology of Life in a Coastal Community by Martha Z. Zierden and Elizabeth J. Reitz published in the Anthropology Book Forum of the American Anthropological Association.
Book review of Donald K. Grayson’s Giant Sloths and Sabertooth Cats: Extinct Mammals and the Archaeology of the Ice Age Great Basin is now available here.
The New York State Museum has just released Iron in New York, edited by Martin Pickands, a collection of eight articles on the history, geology, and archaeology of the iron industry in New York, primarily in the Adirondacks and the Hudson Valley. The book is free to download at the NYSM.
I enter my Iowa City hotel room and open the curtains to check out the view and there’s a flash of green in front of my eyes. It’s an actual, I-kid-you-not hummingbird flying outside my window.
This is not your typical chain hotel just off the highway. This is the Coralville Marriott Hotel, not far from downtown Iowa City, and even closer to the Interstate 80 exit ramp.
With the help of brownfields remediation grants (thank you, Environmental Protection Agency), the town of Coralville has cleaned up and redeveloped several acres of former wasteland. The Marriott Hotel is part of that redevelopment, and outside my window, I can see another component: the Iowa River Landing Wetlands Park. This charming park covers about 12 acres and includes ponds, an elevated walking trail, and wetlands plants.
From the lobby, you walk right out the back door to a large plaza, past a raised bed garden where vegetables are grown for the hotel restaurant, and onto the nature trail. Follow the path through the park (or just walk out the front door of the hotel) and it brings you back to the rest of the redevelopment project: several restaurants, an antique car museum, and a historical society.
There’s one more little gem inside the Marriott. Iowa City is the home of the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. Off the hotel lobby is the Iowa Writers Library, a bright room lined with bookshelves full of books by faculty and graduates of the Writers’ Workshop. There’s a fireplace, some comfortable chairs, and even a rolling ladder you can use to reach the books on the top shelves.
Wondering why it’s called Coralville? About 380 million years ago, during the Devonian Period, Iowa City and the surrounding area were under the sea. Extensive coral reefs formed in the water, and then became fossilized. Remnants of these reefs can be found throughout the area.