HERE'S TO 2023!

We here at MPB wish you, one and all, a healthy, happy and altogether fulfilling New Year.  In this ongoing tumultuous time of Covid and its various manifestations, we continue to take the necessary precautions to keep all our visitors and customers safe and comfortable during their time here.

Our stock continues to be replenished and, as ever, we hope that as you browse our newly rejuvenated website you'll be able to find -- with ease and speed -- all you may be looking for, and even items you've had no idea we have among our treasures.

Easy Come, Easy Go

Friday August 29, 2014

The famed 19th century writer Honore de Balzac was a bit of a whack job. First of all, he lived in a hovel without any furniture and without heat. But what he did for interior decorating was this: He wrote on each wall what he wanted to see there. On one he wrote "Rosewood paneling with commode,' and on another...

Ya' Just Never Know

Tuesday August 26, 2014

William Burroughs most famous work boasts one of the literary world's most renowned titles: NAKED LUNCH. In fact, the person to thank for that title is Jack Kerouac. Burroughs intended to call his book INTERZONE (after the 'International Zone' in Tangiers where he wrote most of it). Then he changed his mind and re-titled it NAKED LUST. One day Kerouac...

Back from London with great stuff!!

Saturday August 23, 2014

Back from another London trip, returning with more highly collectible literary treasures both brand new and antiquarian.  First & foremost is the new, highly touted Murakami novel.  As all the U.K. newspapers screamed out in bold headlines and lengthy feature articles, MURAKAMI MANIA.  The new book, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, was released simultaneously in the U.K. and the...

What a party host!

Sunday August 3, 2014

William Burroughs must have carried around a magic charm. In 1951, he and his wife were living in Mexico. One evening, at a party at their home, Burroughs, a well known zonked-out heroin addict decided to entertain his guests with a modified version of a William Tell routine. He got his wife Joan (a constantly jittering Benzedrine addict) to balance...

Raise a glass to Chandler!

Saturday July 26, 2014

Raymond Chandler used to say, "I think a man ought to get drunk at least twice a year, just on principle." But he, as is well known, drank much, much more than that. A confirmed alcoholic, at one point he decided to attempt recovery and was able to stay sober for some time. During this period Paramount hired him to...

Nice homage

Friday July 18, 2014

How's this for an interesting piece of trivia? -- The award winning film auteurs Ethan & Joel Coen have a genuine affinity for author William Faulkner and enjoy slipping references to him in their films. In 1987's RAISING ARIZONA, the convicts played by John Goodman & William Forsythe are named Gale & Evelle Snoats, the Snopes brothers from Faulkner's novels...

Call the paramedics. FAST!!

Wednesday July 16, 2014

Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) wrote the ALICE books under quite a handicap. He suffered from lumbago, arrhythmia, rheumatism, pleurisy, laryngitis, chronic bronchitis, neuralgia, constant diarrhea, boils, arthritis, regular toothaches, partial deafness, strange ongoing hallucinations, migraines, and a lifelong stammer. Small wonder he was a hardcore opium addict.

Lord Byron, what a sentimentalist!

Thursday July 10, 2014

Back in the day, way before Kodak, Byron had a unique way of paying tribute to his ex-girlfriends. He used to place little snippets of each one's pubic hair in envelopes, writing their individual names on the fronts. There were quite a number of them since, reportedly, he bedded in one year alone as many as 250 woman… and an...

Better than a Red Bull??

Tuesday July 8, 2014

According to his daughter Margaret, J.D. Salinger often used to drink his own urine, apparently for curative reasons (hopefully not for refreshment). He also had some other offbeat practices: He spent time in his own Orgone Box (invented by Wilhelm Reich as a sexual stimulant); he favored a macrobiotic diet (which at one point turned his skin a kind of...

Ever Heard of Branwell?

Saturday July 5, 2014

Turns out there were six Bronte siblings. Two died in childhood, three became literary legends, and the sixth, Branwell, was perhaps the most talented of them all. He was an excellent painter (whose portraits of his sisters are bang-on perfect), an accomplished poet, and a most well-respected tutor. He was also an alcoholic, an addict, (his drug of choice laudanum...

Po' Poe

Thursday July 3, 2014

As is well known, Edgar Allan Poe was a classic diehard falling-down drunk, a real alcoholic.  (And the difference between an alcoholic and a REAL alcoholic is the difference between being dead & being REALLY dead).  The man couldn't stop drinking, and his behavior reflected that.  At age 27 he married his cousin Virginia.  She was 13.  Shortly after they...

What the Dickens!?

Tuesday July 1, 2014

Charles Dickens had a bunch of strange habits; today we'd call him OCD(ickens). He was a neat freak in the extreme. He wouldn't write unless the room's furniture was arranged in a certain way; he brushed his (thinning) hair constantly, literally hundreds of times a day; he was incredibly superstitious, touching everything three times for good fortune, sleeping every single...

Not the brightest flame in the fire

Monday June 30, 2014

One of our greatest writers, William Faulkner, one day went out dove hunting with director Howard Hawks and an actor he had never met, Clark Gable (a movie star not known for high intelligence). Faulkner and Hawks were having a long discussion about literature and writers while the actor just stayed silent. Finally, Gable asked the other two who they...

Don't Open the Mail!!

Thursday June 19, 2014

All writers agree: Rejection letters ain't no fun. "Moby Dick" was rejected by one publisher who dismissed it with, "Very, very long, over-long, and rather old-fashioned." George Orwell's "Animal Farm" was rejected by one American publisher with the note, "It is impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S." H.G. Wells had one publisher say his "War of the Worlds"...

Different strokes…….

Sunday June 15, 2014

When Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" was first published, the New York Times reviewer said it was "bonecrushingly dense, compulsively elaborate, silly, obscene, funny, tragic, pastoral, historical, philosophical, poetic, grindingly dull, inspired, horrific, cold, bloated, beached, and blasted."
If that sounds good to you, we've got a gorgeous First Edition: $3,500.

How 'bout this?

Friday June 13, 2014

Who'da thought?  --  Arthur Conan Doyle's original name for the world's most famous detective was -- would you believe? -- Sherringford Hope.  Who knows where Sherringford comes from, but Hope was the name of a whaling ship that the author loved.  In any case, Doyle's wife Louisa thought her husband's name choices were awful and she urged him to come...


Monday June 9, 2014

Immediately upon the publication of "Ulysses" James Joyce was considered a genius.  Like a modern day rock star he was invariably stopped on the street and asked for his autograph.  One day, in Switzerland, a stranger walked up to him and said, "Oh, Mr Joyce, please -- May I kiss the hand that wrote "Ulysses?"  Joyce looked at him, shook...


Saturday June 7, 2014

How's this for some trivia?

Actual, Original Titles (which fortunately got changed):

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter was originally called The Mute

All the President's Men was originally At This Point in Time

The Blackboard Jungle was originally To Climb the Wall

Brideshead Revisited was originally The House of the Faith

Lolita was originally The Kingdom by the Sea

Roots was originally Before This Anger

The Red Badge of Courage was originally Private Fleming, His Various...

Interesting Fact

Friday June 6, 2014

It was Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, who was the very first person to suggest putting the title of the book on the paper dust jacket.  He proposed the idea to his publisher and -- voila! -- it became the accepted practice from then on.  So the one that started it all was Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark.