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du Garbandier

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Everything posted by du Garbandier

  1. Groupon has a deal this week on a 1-year Film Movement subscription for $85 (normally $192).
  2. Today only starting at noon ET, Criterion is having a 50% off sale with the coupon code SWAK.
  3. Today only, Amazon has a sale on the only Twilight-titled entity I have ever cared about: the complete Twilight Zone on blu-ray and dvd.
  4. Peter Hitchens, In Memoriam of Christopher
  5. I know we have the Barnes & Noble coupon thread, but I thought we could use a dedicated all-purpose deal thread. Right now, Amazon has a limited-time sale on Criterion's Essential Art House box sets (Vols. 1, 3, and 4) for $25 a piece.
  6. Huge sale on Kindle titles today only, including books by some of my favorites such as Walker Percy, Rebecca West, and Stanley Elkin. A large number of mysteries. Also, if you have Amazon Prime, you can now "borrow" various titles for free.
  7. Amazon has a schedule of various blu-rays and DVDs it will be putting on sale this week for very short times. I just bought The Lord of the Rings Extended blu-ray set for $49.99 as well as North by Northwest.
  8. Beware of some of the audiobooks. I was halfway through listening to Audible's edition of The Dog of the South (still my favorite Portis, incidentally) when, checking it against my paperback copy, I realized it was abridged, despite being advertised on Audible as unabridged. It's the version narrated by Edward Lewis lasting a little under 7 hours. I don't know about the other Portis audiobooks but they might be abridged too.
  9. A new wave of Kindles is coming in November. These newer mutations have little appeal for me personally, particularly the Kindle Fire with its emphasis on games, videos, music, etcetera. I suppose these sorts of things are what people want, but to me the very lack of such multi-functionality is precisely what draws me to the current Kindle. Up until now, Kindles have been so unwieldy for web-browsing and playing audio and so forth that I never find myself doing anything with the device except reading. Books are all I really want from an e-reader; everything else seems like a distraction, and because I am weak and easily tempted, having such distractions a touch away would be my reading downfall. The Kindle Touch, however, might be useful. I would have see how well the highlighting and annotation interfaces work.
  10. This month, the University of Chicago Press is giving away for free Richard Stark's (i.e. Westlake's) Parker novel, The Score, in various e-book formats including Kindle and Nook. Links available from Levi Stahl.
  11. du Garbandier

    Listify

    I've been enjoying Spotify a lot, such that I've purchased a Premium subscription. (And incidentally I have several invites should anyone want one.) I've published a catch-all music playlist and also a literary one. Through Andy Crouch I found Bach's complete works. Has anyone found or made any interesting playlists? Or dull ones. I like dull things too.
  12. I purchased The Night of the Hunter on blu-ray, The Ruling Class, and The Lady Vanishes. My recent foray into the realm of blu-ray adds another stratum of difficulty to these decisions. I find myself endlessly pondering about the benefits of upgrading a given title, or whether such and such a title will go out of print (ala Kind Hearts and Coronets, alas), or will it come out on blu-ray. Etcetera, etcetera. At such times I often think of Dr. Johnson:
  13. B&N members can get an extra 20% off on top of the ongoing half-off sale with this in-store coupon. Online code: L3C9C3K. Non-members can use this coupon for 15% off. Online code: K4D8U4X. These coupons expire tomorrow (7/25).
  14. The great Patrick Leigh Fermor has died at 96, author of sundry wonderful narratives, including A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. Other splendid British travel writers I associate him with are the also wonderful Rebecca West, Wilfred Thesiger, Robert Byron, and Bruce Chatwin. I recommend any and all of Leigh Fermor's books. Perhaps A&F readers will take special note of A Time to Keep Silence, PLF's short account of his sojourns among European monasteries. Read Anthony Lane's terrific New Yorker profile of Leigh Fermor from a few years ago.
  15. Used as a verb, effect means "to cause," "to make happen," "to bring about," "to bring into existence," etc. The sense is one of primary causative agency. Used as a verb, affect means "to influence." Think of SAD--Seasonal Affective Disorder, which involves the influence the seasons can have on moods. If something effects a life it brings that life into being; to affect a life is to influence it. Of course, one could say that bringing life into being is influencing it, but that would be a pretty loose way of talking.
  16. I have affection for effect as a verb. It is concisely effectual and not at all an affected lexical confection. With judicious selection, it effects affection.
  17. Would that be the laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy eye I spy? Probably. Lazy eye is only the mildest of approximately sixty-five eye disorders caused by my viewing device.
  18. Here is a rare picture of me watching An American Tail: Fievel Goes West:
  19. Generally speaking, I trust neither corporations nor the government in matters of culture, not because I am conspiracy-minded or think these entities agents of evil; rather it is their very benevolence that chills me most. Recall Tocqueville's famous description of the kind of tyranny to which democratic societies are most susceptible: The typical massive, kindly corporation of today is but the twinned entity of massive, kindly government. They are the two faces of Leviathan, the immense and tutelary power. When democratic society's communal structures lose their vitality, we turn to Leviathan for meaning and provision. Leviathan revivifies our dying institutions by remaking them in its own image. Churches, schools, and universities become increasingly large and bureaucratized. Doctors and patients alike become cogs in a massive health care machine. Sports and games morph into "industries." All of culture is affected. Paternal corporations, like paternal government, don't want to squash me; they only want to make me happy and keep me happy. It is in their interest to stay umbilically bonded to me with their array of marvelous products and services, their sundry delightful programs and phones and foods and shows. The scale of Leviathanic institutions is such that their power to entertain and sustain me seems limitless. And all Leviathan asks of me, in exchange for its benevolence, is that I remain in perpetual childhood, reconciled in my imagination to the hopeful delusion of life without limits. But Terminus alone, "God of walls, doors and reticence," "can teach us how to alter our gestures." I don't have any good ideas about funding public radio or the like. I like NPR. But all I know is in the long run I have no real trust in these paternal immensities, private or not, as the caretakers of culture.
  20. [see also the Kindle and other e-readers thread] I have owned and used a Kindle for a while now, and I thought I would put together a little hodgepodge of links and notes for the benefit of anyone who may be interested. I post this here and not in the Kindle thread because my comments mostly pertain to the subject of ebooks, not to the readers themselves. Although I have used only the Kindle (hence the Kindle-centricity of my sources), many of these links should be useful to owners of other devices. Essential links Inkmesh. A very useful ebook search engine. Lets you restrict your search to free ebooks. The Kindle Store. When I look for a particular ebook I almost always check Amazon's offerings, even though free books can usually be found at multiple sites. For one thing, you don't have to manually transfer books to the Kindle as Amazon sends them to it automagically. But the main reason I like to use Amazon's copies is because Amazon collects online--here--whatever you highlight and annotate on your Kindle. It's handy to have my notes and quotations all in one place online, where they may be easily copied. But as far as I know Amazon only does this with books you procure from Amazon, not with books you get elsewhere. Manybooks.net. A very large repository of free ebooks in a multiplicity of formats. Many of these are derived from Project Gutenberg's editions. I use this site all the time. Project Gutenberg. The one and only. Mobileread Forums. A large community-driven collection of free ebooks in various formats. A lot of material here that you might not find elsewhere. For instance, you can find handy omnibus collections of various authors from Arthur Conan Doyle to Earl Derr Biggers. Other ebook sources The Internet Archive. This is a massive, cluttered site, unwieldy and, to say the least, not ideally searchable or navigable. Yet it is truly loaded with books unavailable elsewhere, free or otherwise. Where else can you find classic oddities as The Biography of a New York Hotel Scrub, Little Pedlington and the Pedlingtonians, Ralph Keeler's Vagabond Adventures, and Studies in the Art of Rat-Catching? You will often find multiple versions of a single work, scanned from different libraries. And in my experience a lot of these versions are simply unreadable textually--thus if you find something you want, you may be forced to go with the PDF download, if your reader supports PDF. Project Gutenberg: Australia and Canada. As you probably know, if you live in Australia or Canada you have access to public domain books which in America are not yet in the public domain. Members of the Mobileread forums have converted a number of these books into ereader formats. Munseys. Feedbooks. Software Calibre. Terrific ebook management software. Convert an ebook from one format to another. I used Calibre to produce a handy, easily-browseable and navigable collection of Samuel Johnson's Rambler essays, as well as an edition of Thomas Traherne's Centuries. Kindelabra. A nice tool for managing your Kindle Collections. Useful if you have a lot of books you want to organize relatively painlessly. A few ebook recommendations The incomparable Saki. Thanks to the advent of ebooks, the impossibly wonderful tales of Saki are swiftly procurable. Saki is the Shakespeare of sardonic bemusement. Witty and cruel and unforgettable. Stephen Leacock. Author of many great literary parodies and zany stories. On the downside, his humor is sometimes dated and frankly befuddling from today's perspective. But I will always cherish Leacock's Nonsense Novels, which is a great, quick read. Stoner, Butcher's Crossing, and Augustus by John Williams. Three remarkable, remarkably varied novels by this neglected, supremely gifted American writer. The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson. This is the perfect sort of book to read on the Kindle. A splendid, funny adventure story. Various classic nature books. From the likes of Gilbert White, Thoreau, and so on. G. K. Chesterton. Amazon also has 29 of his books in a single collection for $0.89, if you don't wish to bother downloading these titles individually. Hilaire Belloc. A wide variety of Belloc's works are available as free ebooks. I can personally vouch for Hills and the Sea, On Nothing and Kindred Subjects, On Something, and The Path to Rome. P. G. Wodehouse. And another Amazon omnibus. These collections are very handy, but in practice they can be difficult to navigate. Also, due to their size they may take a little longer to flip between pages than the individual titles.
  21. Currently reading The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson. It is splendid. More witty, ironic undertone than you might expect from such a swashbuckling tale.
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