New dictionary reviews!

The Civil Law Dictionary I wrote with Stephan Kinsella has been getting some renewed attention lately. The reviews are in and they’re very good!

Last month, Philip Gragg reviewed the Dictionary in the latest issue of LSU’s Journal of Civil Law Studies. From the article:

This work is a great access point to Louisiana law, particularly for those unfamiliar with the state. It is also a quick reference that could be used by practitioners.

Those are two of the main audiences we were shooting for with the Dictionary: out-of-state attorneys just wading into our legal system and practicing Louisiana attorneys needing a quick reminder about words they promptly forgot after taking the bar exam. Success!

Just today, Jeff Richardson reviewed the electronic version of the Dictionary on his blog, iPhone J.D. His review even included some really nice screenshots of the e-book version in action on his iOS devices. Shiny.

His bottom line:

If you practice law in Louisiana, or if you just want to impress your friends with legal terms that almost sound naughty such “naked owner” and “usufruct,” then consider getting this ebook for your iPad and iPhone.

I appreciate that someone else finds those legal terms vaguely dirty. (As for dirty common law terms, have I got a springing executory interest for you.)

Many thanks to both Messrs. Gragg and Richardson for taking the time to write these very nice reviews!

Alton Brown in New Orleans

Alton Brown is coming to Octavia Books on October 19, 2011, to sign copies of the newest volume in the Good Eats series, Good Eats 3: The Later Years.

The cost of a ticket is the price of a copy of the book at Octavia. You trade the ticket for the book at the signing. Unfortunately, the store’s website indicates that Alton will only be signing books purchased from the store. I bought my ticket yesterday, and it came to just over $40 with in-store pickup. Also, for those who want pictures with AB, keep in mind his no-camera-phone policy (third paragraph from the bottom) and bring a real camera.

See you there!

Book Review: Ready Player One


I’m on vacation and hadn’t planned on blogging again until I got home, but I need to share Ready Player One. I first read about it on boing boing around the time it was released. After a short wait on my reading list, I downloaded it.

I started reading it yesterday evening after we got back from vacation activities and kept going until 3 A.M. It broke my heart to put it down, but I needed some sleep. So when we got back to the hotel this evening, I picked it up and didn’t put it down again until I finished it.

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Book Review: Typography for Lawyers

Full disclosure: I’m a design nerd. I love good design. Good design — whether it’s in the shape of my Macbook Pro or in the syntax of the Ruby programming language — makes me happy. I notice it, and I’m willing to pay for.

In the opening pages of his exceptional book, Typography for Lawyers, Matthew Butterick reminds us that every producer — especially lawyers — should pay attention to his product’s design. But what do lawyers produce? Documents. Lots and lots of documents. But many lawyers don’t even know they should be thinking about document layout and design. Typography for Lawyers is where those lawyers should start. Continue reading