Teamwork and speed. Courtesy Jonathan Blanc/The New York Public Library
Formerly the NYPD captain in charge of Brooklyn’s major crimes investigations, Magaddino glides around the machine, with one hand gesturing to its component parts and the other clutching a styrofoam cup of coffee. Wearing a checked suit, he gloats in consummate Brooklynese about the remarkable operation this beast enables. Sorting items that move every day from the tip of the Bronx to the lip of Staten Island, his team tallied nearly 7.5 million successful deliveries last year.
A community — comprised of proud readers, book stores, libraries, publishing houses, and more — has become an online safe haven for bibliophiles. The content has been considered beautiful and engaging, but the photos and captions work to inspire others to pick up a book in an increasingly digital era.
New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt has a Mueller-oriented project in the works. Schmidt has blown the lid off some of the most consequential stories about the Russia investigation, and he now has a deal with Random House—brokered by Gail Ross of the Ross Yoon Agency. James Stewart is writing a book about the relationship between the White House, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department. Stewart, whose longtime agent is Amanda Urban at I.C.M., is working with Ann Godoff at Penguin on the as-yet-untitled work, which he said is tentatively slated for a fall 2019 release. It appears that the big political books of the Trump era have been minting big bucks. Jeremy Peters’sInsurgency: The Inside Story of the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party, sold at auction in the high six figures. Earlier this year, Michael Wolff saw nearly 2 million copies of Fire and Fury fly off shelves in a matter of three weeks.
Books bound in human skin are rare. But the John Hay Library holds three of them. One is De humani corporis fabrica (On the Structure of the Human Body) by Andreas Vesalius, one of the most famous textbooks on anatomy. The book was one of the inspirations for Desecration and also features in American Demon Hunters: Sacrifice.
The John Hay Library also has two copies of Hans Holbein the Younger’s Dance of Death, rebound in human skin in 1898.
Szabo Ervin Library, Hungary
It was originally a palace built in the 19th century, and the library hides within the modern library surrounding it.
The Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle, UK
Academics discovered a mistranslation of an Egyptian mummy’s name thanks to forgotten documents hidden on the Lit and Phil’s shelves. You can see Bakt-en-Hor in all her glory at the nearby Great Museum North.
Vatican Secret Archives, Vatican City, Italy
the archives opened to selected groups in 2010. Previously, only approved academics could gain access.
You can find the archives in a wing of the Vatican behind St Peter’s Basilica. There are more than 52 miles of shelving below ground, and the oldest document dates to the 8th century.
The archives also hold letters about King Henry VIII’s annulment from Catherine of Aragon, trial records for the Knights Templar in the early 14th century, and correspondence between the Vatican and figures like Michelangelo and even Hitler. The archives also feature in my ARKANE thriller, Destroyer of Worlds.
The Vatican like to claim the archives are private, rather than secret. But there is still a section inaccessible to academics. What hidden treasures might lie within?