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Bibliothèque de la Pléiade: Fine French Books for the Common Reader

In 1931, Jacques Schiffrin, who ran a French publishing company called les Éditions de la Pléiade/J. Schiffrin & Cie, created La Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, a series of pocket-sized books – long before the birth of the paperback – which gathered complete works of classical authors. These books were not meant as budget volumes; they […]

Kirkville 2014 Gift Guide

It’s holiday season, and I thought it would be interesting to go back over this year’s articles and see which items I’ve written about in the past year that I’d recommend to my readers. (I actually go back to the end of 2013, because there were some great releases in the last months of the […]

Book Notes: Bob Dylan, The Lyrics: Since 1962

Update: This book shows as available on, on December 11, 2014. It’s more expensive than the first edition – listing for $299 – and my guess is that it’s a second printing. It’s surprising that the publisher would have raised the list price, but perhaps they figure that it’s a cash cow. In any […]

The iTunes Store Sells Philip Glass Sheet Music

I spotted an interesting item on the iTunes Store today. Together with a new recording of Philip Glass’s Complete Piano Études, Apple is selling the sheet music for these works, in the iBooks Store. This is not new; there is plenty of sheet music on the iBooks Store, but I had not noticed it before. […]

Matthew McConaughey to take The Stand for Stephen King adaptation

Matthew McConaughey is tipped to take the role of villainous Randall Flagg in The Stand, a Hollywood franchise based on the 1978 Stephen King novel. Backed by Warner Bros, The Stand will be released as four standalone pictures directed by Josh Boone.

Very cool; a perfect choice. However, this most likely means that he won’t be able to play Roland Deschain, in the projected film/TV adaptation of The Dark Tower, may favorite Stephen King work. The Dark Tower is a seven-volume (plus a later-written intermediate novel, and a novella) that combines fantasy, horror, and is set in a Western context. The original character, the Gunslinger, was patterned after Clint Eastwood in the westerns he made back in the day. McConaughey would be the perfect personification of that character.

Coincidentally, I started re-reading The Stand again just last night… Still the best Stephen King novel. If you haven’t read it, you should. (, Amazon UK)

via Matthew McConaughey to take The Stand for Stephen King adaptation | Film |

Kindle Books More Expensive on Kindle Device than Amazon Web Site?

Browsing some books on my Kindle today, then later on my iPhone, I noticed a discrepancy between the prices on the two devices. I first wondered if it was because I was logged in to Amazon UK with a different account (I have two accounts; long story). But I was logged in with the same […]

Book Review: The Boxer and the Goalkeeper, Sartre vs. Camus

Back in the day, before I left New York for France 30 years ago, I was taking French lessons at the French Institute in Manhattan. At the time, I reached a level where I could start reading some books, so the first book I read in its entirety was Albert Camus’ L’étranger (in English: The […]

Book Review: The Book of Strange New Things, by Michel Faber

I first read Faber back when his Crimson Petal and the White was published. It was a Victorian page-turner, nothing at all that suggested that he would turn toward science fiction. I read half of Under the Skin, and was bored by it (I also felt that the movie, which was quite different from the […]

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