The Inaugural Address, 2009: Inauguration Day planning has been gearing up all week for Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States. Between quotes from the new president about the combined IQ of his cabinet members to his assigning official posts to his greatest supporters, (including a diplomatic position for the owner of the New York Jets), the pre-inauguration buzz has been off the charts.


Past inaugurations also come to mind these days, with 2009’s perhaps especially first in thought for many not only at home, but around the world as well. The words of outgoing President Barack Obama are gathered, along with the speeches of President Lincoln and proto-American author Emerson, in The Inaugural Address, 2009.

Known and Strange Things: Pen America announced its finalistsfor its cadre of annual awards this week. Among the nominated: the essay collection Known and Strange Things by Open City author Teju Cole; Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad; debut fiction from authors such as Clare Beams and Yaa Gyasi; and, for literary science, Luke Dittrich’s personal tale of neuroscience, Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets, among the more than 40 finalist titles.

Captive Paradise: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is suing a group of Hawaiian families who own part of the 700 acres of beachfront land he recently bought for almost $100 million. At issue is the Kuleana Act, Hawaiian law that protects land ownership through generations by giving Hawaiian natives the right to own the land where they live, and that sets up automatic inheritance for their descendants. 

For more on the 50th state’s complicated history, there’s James L. Haley’s Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii, charting the islands’ royal dynasties, including King Kamehameha I, The Conqueror;  the European presence since Captain Cook’s 18th-century arrival to the islands, and U.S. President McKinley’s annexation in the late 19th century. 

From the Web:

To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation: a sweeping look at what happened to the tens of thousands of letters U.S. citizens wrote to President Obama.

Hillary Clinton vs. Herself: Writer Rebecca Traister takes a long, in depth-look at Hillary Clinton and her last campaign.

The Father and Son Who Ate Every Animal Possible: In the early 1800s, a father and son were determined to taste every animal on earth; here’s the story of scientist William Buckland and his son, Francis Trevelyan, zoophagists, both.