The feud between Hachette Book Group and Amazon has intensified. The Los Angeles Times reports that Amazon has taken the pre-order buttons off of big Hachette titles, like The Burning Room by Michael Connelly and The Silkworm by Richard Galbraith, the pen name for J.K. Rowling. This is in addition to allegedly extending back order times for popular books, like Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. Hachette has issued a statement saying they are “sparing no effort and exploring all options” to resolve this conflict, but Amazon has declined to comment. Hachette author James Patterson has been very outspoken about this battle. “What I don’t understand about this particular battle tactic is how it is in the best interest of Amazon customers,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “It certainly doesn’t appear to be in the best interest of authors.” READ FULL STORY
Tag: J.K. Rowling (11-20 of 73)
The Quidditch World Cup continued on Pottermore today, and game two pitted Nigeria against Fiji. As predicted, tournament-favorite Nigeria steamrolled the island nation of Fiji in a 400-160 win. Read the full article from The Daily Prophet‘s Quidditch correspondent Ginny Weasley to figure out why Fijian coach Hector Bolobolo’s only comment after the game was, “I’m going to kill him.”
Nigeria will go on to face the winner of the Poland v. Japan match — and meanwhile, Pottermore tells us that it will be updating The Daily Prophet every day this week with new coverage from Ginny (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling).We’re Quaffling with excitement.
Harry Potter’s official fan site, Pottermore, posted two new pieces from J.K. Rowling as part of the “History of the Quidditch World Cup.” And now we know why! Because Ginny Potter (née Weasley) is going to be “reporting live” from the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, which is happening in the Patagonian desert this year, folks. (So I guess South America is hosting all the World Cups. Lucky dogs.)
These days, Ginny is married to Harry and enjoying a post-player career as a sports journalist. Her byline says, “from the Daily Prophet’s Quidditch Correspondent in the Patagonian desert, Ginny Potter.” J.K. Rowling also quotes the magical creatures expert Rolf Scamander in the piece — which a press release noted that “knowledgeable Harry Potter fans” should be able to “spot the link to the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts that J.K. Rowling is currently writing, the protagonist of which is Newt Scamander, Rolf’s grandfather.” So are you a true fan? Did you catch that?? (I didn’t.)
This first article from Ginny describes how the international teams’ mascots, magical creatures from the world of Harry Potter, took part in the ceremony and caused havoc for their handlers. We find out why more than 300 crowd members are suffering from shock, broken bones and bites following the ceremony, and why failure to bring their usual mascots — a troupe of performing trolls — caused a great deal of trouble for the Norwegian delegation. A match report details the thrilling action between Norway and Ivory Coast in the first match of the tournament.
To check out the articles, sign in to Pottermore and go to the Office of The Daily Prophet section.
More Potter! More Potter! Fridays are so much better with Harry Potter stories. The second installment of The History of the Quidditch World Cup, the follow up to last week’s story on Pottermore, has gone up online today. This section covers “amusing recaps of some notable recent matches that have been held every four years since 1990.” Let’s get a Kickstarter campaign together to beg J.K. Rowling to release chapters from the wizard-verse every week. I know that she already has all the money she could want, but there must be something we could offer her as encouragement…any ideas?
In other book news, the author and journalist Khushwant Singh passed away at age 99. The Guardian says that “he held a particular place in Indian life as a critic of the establishment and a challenger of hypocrisy.” His mosaic ethnic background helped make him a keen observer of India’s modern history, especially its violent division into Muslim and Hindu countries: “Though his mother tongue was Punjabi and his cultural language was Urdu – he loved the Urdu poets and knew the Persian script – he chose to write in English, and soaked himself in Punjabi, Urdu and English and other European literature. Intellectually independent, he never took himself too seriously, and despite his Sikh background was an unrepentant agnostic. He made quite a success out of poking fun at pomposity, self‑righteousness, religiosity and his country’s myriad gods.”
Sounds like we could all take a page from his book. Speaking of ripping out pages, a publisher of Immanuel Kant’s essays on reason and judgement placed a “political correction” notice on its version of Kant’s Critiques. It reads: “This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today. Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work.” Since when do we need to add a caveat to one of the western world’s greatest philosophers? [Open Culture]
Attention Potter Fans! (That’s the same as saying “attention everyone.”) J.K. Rowling has written a 2,400 word story on the “History of the Quidditch World Cup” and she’s given it exclusively to Pottermore to post in two parts, half today and half next Friday, March 21st.
Part one, which is going up today, provides historical background about the tournament, information about how the tournament works, and examples of controversial tournaments, including the infamous 1877 match played in Kazakhstan’s Ryn Desert now known as the Tournament that Nobody Remembers. READ FULL STORY
Using a similar approach as she took with Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling has plans to write up to seven novels in her Cormoran Strike series, according to The Sunday Times. Rowling, writing under the name Robert Galbraith, has already had solid success with the detective genre. Her first book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was published last April and has sold 600,000 hardback copies and 1 million ebooks. As we announced last week, the sequel The Silkworm is coming out in June 2014.
Now that we all know that Robert Galbraith is J.K. Rowling’s pseudonym, there’s no way the sequel to last year’s surprise best-seller The Cuckoo’s Calling will spend any time in obscurity. The Silkworm will debut in the U.K. on June 19 and in the U.S. on June 24. Here’s the official plot description from Mulholland Books: READ FULL STORY
Seven years after putting the finishing touches on her Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling is having second thoughts about romantically pairing Hermione with Ron. Some fans of the books never warmed to the idea that the bookish girl and the clumsy but loyal red-head were meant to be — especially since Harry and Hermione always seemed so perfect for each other. Now, in an upcoming interview with Emma Watson in Wonderland magazine (and teased in today’s Sunday Times), Rowling admits that she might have done things differently. “If I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that,” she told Watson, who’s guest-editor for the magazine. “It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.”
“I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment,” Rowling said. “That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron.”
Watson didn’t seem shocked by the revelation, telling Rowling, “I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy.”
Bad news for Ron Weasley. But at least Rowling didn’t kill him off altogether.
We are able to reveal new information from J.K. Rowling about one of the most colorful characters from the Harry Potter books: Gilderoy Lockhart.
Played by Kenneth Branagh in the films, the vain one-time Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher’s birthday falls on January 26th, and J.K. Rowling has recorded three short audio clips for Pottermore.com – the digital platform for the Harry Potter stories and the world described within them. These clips are being revealed today at A Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida and will be released on Pottermore.com soon.
In the three clips, J.K. Rowling discusses her flamboyant creation’s family background, a failed business idea and where the Sorting Hat nearly put him during his time at Hogwarts. The audio reveals her mischievous sense of humour, and a penchant for poking fun at the excesses of celebrity, with echoes of today’s celebrity endorsement culture. READ FULL STORY
The British edition of the Harry Potter series has gotten a visual makeover for its latest complete set, Bloomsbury has announced. The new editions have been redesigned with art by Jim Kay, an artist chosen by J.K. Rowling, and The Telegraph has a look. [The Telegraph]
Following Nelson Mandela’s death, NPR revisits his books, the autobiography Long Walk to Freedom and Conversations with Myself. Among all the coverage, there are also standout pieces from The New York Times, which published an extensive interactive graphic outlining his speeches and memorable quotes, and The New Yorker, which revisited the power of Mandela’s words through verse.
The Blue Peter Book Awards has announced its 2014 shortlist. The award celebrates children’s books in fiction and non-fiction categories, with the two winning books to be announced on March 6, 2014. [The Telegraph]
On to some must-reads: New poems by John Ashbery have been published in The American Reader. [The American Reader]
Susannah Jacob examines the life of Rose Williams, Tennessee Williams’ schizophrenic sister and the inspiration for The Glass Menagerie‘s Laura Wingfield. [The Paris Review]
Megan Garber predicts birds will be the primary enemy of Amazon’s delivery drones. [The Atlantic]
USA Today has a roundup of the best cookbooks for the holidays. [USA Today]
And ICYMI: Lena Dunham interviewed Judy Blume for Believer magazine. [EW]
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