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J.K. Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy' sees respectable sales figures during first week

J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy is reportedly “on track to become the year’s bestselling novel in hardcover,” according to EVP of Little, Brown Michael Pietsch.

Which is another way of saying it’ll be one of the best-selling novels of the year other than E L James’ paperback Fifty Shades trilogy. Nielsen BookScan reports that Rowling’s first novel for adults sold 157,000 hardcover copies in its first week of publication, and Little, Brown announced that the novel has sold 375,000 copies across all formats. The book only went on sale on Thursday (whereas books are normally published on Tuesdays), but it fell short of the record set for adult books by Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, which moved 550,946 copies in its first week of publication in 2009.

The Casual Vacancy has exceeded our expectations,” Pietsch said. While it may turn out to be the best-selling hardcover fiction of 2012, it probably won’t be the top-selling hardcover overall. No Easy Day, Mark Owen’s firsthand account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, sold 254,000 copies in its first week and continues to do well, moving 52,000 copies this past week against Rowling’s adult debut.

Will you be purchasing a copy of The Casual Vacancy?

Read more:
J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’: 10 NSFW lines you would NEVER see in a Harry Potter book
J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’: Read EW’s review
J.K. Rowling considering a ‘director’s cut’ of the ‘Harry Potter’ books

J.K. Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy': 10 NSFW lines you would NEVER see in a Harry Potter book

Today, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling‘s much-anticipated novel for grown-ups hit bookstores, and while reviews have been mixed (read EW’s here), one thing is for sure: this is not a book for kids. Heroin addiction, rape, child abuse, self-mutilation — Rowling positively piles on the unpleasantness. The Casual Vacancy is about various residents of a small English town jockeying over an open town-council seat, which might not sound like the stuff of parental nightmares. But trust us: do not let your kids read this book. Not convinced? Here are 10 context-free lines that offer just a small taste of Rowling’s not-at-Hogwarts-anymore new novel. READ FULL STORY

J.K. Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy': Read EW's review

Nobody, it seems, says no to J.K. Rowling. After selling some 450 million copies of her justly beloved Harry Potter books, publishing’s biggest superstar could write a Proust-size ode to her toenails and eager editors would line up to publish it. She wrote a 500-page novel for grown-ups? Great! It’s got teen sex and explicit descriptions of shooting heroin and characters who say things to each other like “you useless f—in’ smackhead cow”? Uh, okay. It’s about a bunch of disagreeable buffoons bickering over a minor local-government job in Nowhere, England? Huh. If you say so…

The Casual Vacancy, Rowling’s overlong but often entertaining debut adult novel, is a big book that follows small people jockeying for a little position in the tiny town of Pagford. When one of the community’s 16 parish councilors unexpectedly dies of an aneurysm, a bunch of town notables try to use the ensuing “casual vacancy” to pursue various conflicting agendas. Rowling does a nice job laying out her 20-plus characters’ endless pretensions and weaknesses, which she punctures with gleeful flicks of a surprisingly sharp comic blade.  READ FULL STORY

J.K. Rowling considering a 'director's cut' of the 'Harry Potter' books

We have magical news for you, readers! (Alas, it will not be delivered by owl.) J.K. Rowling has announced that she is considering releasing a “director’s cut” of the Harry Potter books. Commence your freak out accordingly.

In an interview with the BBC, Rowling confessed that she wishes she’d had more time with some of the Potter books. “I read them, and I think ‘Oh God, maybe I’ll go back and do a director’s cut,’” Rowling said. “I don’t know.”

The 47-year-old scribe went on to say that she won’t rule out another new Harry Potter book either. “[I]f I did have a great idea for something else, I probably would do it,” she admitted. “I am very averse to the prequel-sequel idea. A sidestep could maybe … well, we’ll see.” READ FULL STORY

J.K. Rowling says you can't have sex near unicorns and other interesting facts about the 'Harry Potter' author

J.K. Rowling will publish her first book in five years on Sept. 27.  The Harry Potter author first announced the novel back in February, followed by the title – The Casual Vacancy –  in April. Not much is known about The Casual Vacancy, which is protected by a strict non-disclosure agreement, but in anticipation of the book’s release, both The New Yorker and Britain’s The Guardian have written lengthy profiles on Rowling. While we recommend checking them both out, we’ve selected some of the most interesting facts and quotes from these profiles for you to enjoy here.

1. Rowling wanted a “more run-of-the-mill publishing experience” this time around: Unfortunately, that’s not possible when you’re J.K. Rowling. The New Yorker‘s Ian Parker says he was forced to read all 512 pages of The Casual Vacancy at the Little, Brown offices and a non-disclosure agreement prevented him from taking notes while reading. Meanwhile, The Guardian‘s Decca Aitkenhead writes that she was “required to sign more legal documents than would typically be involved in buying a house” before she was allowed to read Rowling’s new book. READ FULL STORY

J.K. Rowling live! The 'Harry Potter' author to take the stage for a one-time U.S. event

You may wish you could Apparate to New York City come Oct. 16.

J.K. Rowling will be making a rare public U.S. appearance to discuss The Casual Vacancy, her first novel for adults, which chronicles a small British town roiled by scandal. The Harry Potter author will be joined by State of Wonder author Ann Patchett for a conversation in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City.

Tickets ($43 if purchased online, $44 if purchased via phone, $37 if purchased at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office) are available starting Sept. 10 and will include a copy of The Casual Vacancy (Sept. 27).

Does this sound like the best book club meeting ever?

Follow @EWStephanLee on Twitter.

Read more:
See the cover for ‘The Casual Vacancy’ by J.K. Rowling
The Queen names new litter of dogs after ‘Harry Potter’
New ‘Harry Potter’ box set to be released

'Harry Potter' tops NPR's poll of 100 best young-adult novels

Harry-Potter-Sorcerer

The Harry Potter series conjured its way to the No. 1 spot in an online poll of best teen novels of all time conducted by NPR. J. K. Rowling’s series edged out The Hunger Games in second place and Harper Lee’s 1960s classic To Kill a Mockingbird in third. Other required-reading titles in the top 10 include The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

The top 10 also includes some deserving, non-franchise contemporary best-sellers. John Green, who has one of the most fervent followings of any YA author out there, had two titles in the top 10 — The Fault in Our Stars at No. 4 and Looking For Alaska at No. 9 — and five total in the top 100. Marcus Zusak’s inventive 2006 Holocaust novel The Book Thief came in at No. 10.

It looks like the Twihards didn’t mobilize for this particular poll. READ FULL STORY

See the cover for 'The Casual Vacancy' by J.K. Rowling

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Little, Brown has released the cover for The Casual Vacancy, which is sure to be one of the buzziest books of the year when it’s released Sept. 27. Following the aesthetics of recent literary titles like The Marriage Plot and The Art of Fielding, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel will sport swoopy script, solid colors, and minimal design. The checkbox on the cover is likely a nod to the political themes of the book, which takes place in a small England town roiled by controversy. The novel will be 512 pages long. Here’s an updated plot summary from the publisher: READ FULL STORY

The Queen names new litter of dogs after 'Harry Potter'

With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee officially commencing this weekend, the royal family is in the news more than ever — with the exception, of course, of that little wedding last year.

Today, another nugget of info about the Queen Elizabeth’s personal life came out: She’s named a litter of Labradors after Harry Potter. Royals: They’re just like us. According to MSN, the Queen named one of the dogs “Gryffindor” which of course is one of the four Hogwarts houses, and not the name of an actual character from the books. No word on whether there is a Hufflepuff dog as well, which, being the house that is loyal and true, seems a perfect match for a canine pal. Gryffindor is the only name so far that is being reported, but one has to assume Sirius Black made the cut. This isn’t the first time the Queen has shown her Potter love. In 2006, J.K. Rowling helped the Queen celebrate her 80th birthday.

Read more:
New ‘Harry Potter’ box set to be released
Original ‘Harry Potter’ manuscript goes on tour
‘Harry Potter’ books to be part of Kindle lending service  

New 'Harry Potter' box set to be released

It’s not the long-rumored Harry Potter encyclopedia, but there was more news today on the Potter front. Bloomsbury announced it will be releasing The Hogwarts Library Box Set later this year.

The set will contain Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through The Ages (both published together in 2001) and The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which was published a year after the final Harry Potter novel in 2008. READ FULL STORY

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