Marcel Proust

For the next two years, McDonald’s in Britain will give out children’s books with Happy Meals. The campaign is backed by the UK National Literacy Trust, and the chain expects to give out more than fifteen million fiction and non-fiction books by the end of 2015.

On Thursday, Doubleday announced that it is releasing the Fifty Shades of Gray series in hardcover for the first time at the end of the month, giving the trilogy an even more peculiar publication trajectory in the US (going from e-books to paperbacks to hardcovers). The move is timed to coincide with Valentine’s Day, and the books will include certain bonus features like “themed endpapers (ties, masks, handcuffs),” “rough front pages” and “red silk ribbon markers.”

Seth Godin asks: "Does Kickstarter work as a platform for books?" Maybe, but not so well. “The Kickstarter platform is a bit of a nightmare for the independent author,” Godin writes.

We’re super psyched about the Morgan Library’s upcoming exhibition in honor of the one hundredth anniversary of the publication of Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way. In addition to a “selection of the author's notebooks, preliminary drafts, galley-proofs, and other documents from the collection of the Bibliothèque nationale de France,” the show will feature “period postcards with depictions of Illiers, which served as the inspiration for Proust's fictional town Combray,” and “several letters between Proust and his mother, Jeanne.” Marcel Proust and Swann's Way opens on February 15, and will be up through the end of April.

The Complete Review wagers that Giacomo Leopardi's Zibaldone will be the biggest book of 2013—if not in buzz, at least in size. The book weighs in at 2,672 pages, and will be out this July.

If Edward St. Aubyn could force Barack Obama to read any book, it would be Das Kapital. (And if he could meet any character, if would be Isabel Archer—he would ask her to marry him.)

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