Writings about Macs, music and more by Kirk McElhearn




Book Review: Orfeo, by Richard Powers; Classical Music and Terror


Ever since I first discovered Richard Powers’ novel Gold Bug Variations (Amazon.com, Amazon UK), I have been following this author’s work closely. I await each new novel with impatience, as he has one of the most fascinating voices in modern fiction. Powers often writes novels where science is an important character (and some which is […]

Take Control Books: 50% Off Through January 25


Take Control Books is running a 50% off sale on all books through January 25. All our ebooks are DRM-free and available in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats, so you can find the real-world advice you need wherever, whenever, and on whatever device you like. You can buy my books – Take Control of […]

Book Notes: S, by Doug Dorst and J. J. Abrams


This fascinating book (Amazon.com, Amazon UK, iTunes Store) is one of the oddest printed objects I’ve ever seen. It’s a novel; it’s an enigma; it’s a treasure hunt; it’s a non-linear story. Written by Doug Dorst, apparently from an idea by J. J. Abrams (the creator of Lost and Alias, the director of Star Trek […]

Book Review: Portrait of a Novel, by Michael Gorra, Is a Fascinating Look at Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady


Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon UK, iTunes Store. I’ve long been obsessed by Henry James. I’ve read all of his fiction, and much of his non-fiction as well, in the Library of America editions (Amazon.com, Amazon UK). I’ve read a half-dozen biographies of James, and the James family, and many of books about James’ work. So […]

Kindle MatchBook Not So Useful


Amazon has finally unveiled Kindle Matchbook, a service where your previous dead-tree book purchases will entitle you to buy Kindle versions of the books for a pittance, or even get them for free. According to my order history on Amazon.com, I’ve been buying from the company since 1997. (I have a feeling it goes back […]

Ten Years of Take Control Books: A New Publishing Paradigm


With all of the hullabaloo last week surrounding new Apple products and OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Adam and Tonya Engst were too busy to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Take Control Books. Adam set things right in an article today on TidBITS, recounting the history of Take Control Books, which began in 2003. I’m proud […]

Interview with Shakespeare Scholar and Editor Stanley Wells


At the end of my Shakespeare week in Stratford-upon-Avon, I sat down with Shakespeare scholar Stanley Wells. Professor Wells is the Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Professor Emeritus at the University of Birmingham, the author of numerous books and articles about Shakespeare, and is general editor of the Oxford and Penguin Shakespeares. You […]

Oyster: The Ebook Smorgasboard


If we can have all the movies and TV shows we want for a monthly fee, on Netflix, why not do the same for ebooks? Oyster is doing just that. Currently rolling out by invitation only, Oyster plans to offer unlimited ebooks for $10 a month. The company claims to have more than 100,000 titles, […]

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