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Navy SEAL writes firsthand account of Bin Laden raid

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A U.S. Navy SEAL who participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden has written an anonymous first-hand, blow-by-blow account of the operation to be released on Sept. 11.

No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden is described by its author, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen, as an effort “to set the record straight about one of the most important missions in US military history.”  Penguin, the book’s publisher, added that the work provides a “blow-by-blow narrative of the assault, beginning with the helicopter crash that could have ended Owen’s life to the radio call confirming Bin Laden’s death.”

The project had been top secret within Penguin — word had not even reached Washington before yesterday’s announcement. The US government was said to be surprised by news of the book’s release and admitted to not having had the opportunity to review the book for any potential security breaches.

Should it be deemed that there is classified information in the book, Owen could face criminal charges. READ FULL STORY

Katniss wears the crown: 'Hunger Games' supplants 'Harry Potter' as best selling-series on Amazon

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Move on over, Harry.  It’s Katniss’s turn to wear the crown.

In a statement released today, Amazon.com announced  that  The Hunger Games trilogy has supplanted Harry Potter as the best-selling series of all time on the website.

“Since debuting in 2008, Katniss Everdeen and the Hunger Games have taken the world by storm, much as Harry Potter did a decade before,” Sara Nelson, the editorial director of books and Kindle at Amazon, said.

In what is yet another testament to the immense popularity of Suzanne Collins’ post-apocalyptic novels, the three-part Hunger Games saga overtook the seven-book Harry Potter series in just four years.

The figures take both print and Kindle book sales into account.

Does this news have you itching for some Katniss? No need to fret, ‘The Hunger Games’ Blu-ray/DVD hits stores tomorrow.

Comic-Con: Neil Gaiman to write new 'Sandman' series for DC Comics' Vertigo imprint

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Call it a dream come true. Acclaimed fantasy author Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Coraline) is returning to comics and the character that made him a superstar scribe: Dream, a.k.a. Morpheus, member of the Endless, a deeply dysfunctional family of eternal though not immutable entities with names that begin with the letter ‘D’ who preside over various aspects of human existence (except Destruction did abandon his mantle and dominion and ran away… but never mind). Gaiman — who wrote 75 issues of The Sandman from 1988 to 1996 (all collected in “graphic novel” form), producing one of the most celebrated and most erudite comic book series ever — will team with artist J. H. Williams III (Promethea, Batwoman) for a mini-series that’s set prior to the events in Sandman #1. In that story, an English occult leader inadvertently summoned Dream using a black magic ritual involving rat claws and angel wings on June 10, 1916 and held him captive for 72 years. (The foolish mortal was actually trying to trap Morpheus’ sister, Death, but something went awry. Magic: So darn unpredictable!)
READ FULL STORY

Another way to get rich off Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg's former assistant writes memoir

The founder of Facebook might “like” this: Katherine Losse, Facebook’s 51st employee, has written a memoir about her five-year stint at the social network. The book — titled The Boy Kings: A Journey Into the Heart of the Social Network — will be released June 26 by The Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

According to a release, Losse’s book will describe “the vision, culture, and tactics of the hackers, venture capitalists, and Ivy League grads” who took Facebook from campus curiosity to worldwide phenomenon. It will also “ignite broad cultural conversations about technology, gender, race, and the future of the Internet.” But will it involve time travel? Because that’s really what we look for in a Facebook book.

Losse served as a writer and researcher at the website — as well as Zuckerberg’s assistant — from 2005 to 2010, leaving on “friendly terms.” She’s currently living and writing in Marfa, Tx.

Read more:
Facebook making trademark claim on the word ‘book’
Yahoo CEO ousted after resume scandal
See the trailer for ‘The Future of Us’ by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler — EXCLUSIVE

Updated figures for 'The Hunger Games' books: More than 36.5M in print in the U.S. alone

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In explaining the phenomenon fueling The Hunger Games film’s massive $155 million opening, many box office prognosticators referred to the 24 million copies of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy printed in the U.S. alone. But now it seems we’ve all been aiming our arrows far too low. Scholastic released updated figures today, and it looks like there are more than 36.5 million copies of Katniss Everdeen’s saga available domestically. Publishers are notoriously cagey about releasing sales data, but when the numbers are this robust, there’s reason to brag. Here’s the breakdown by book: READ FULL STORY

11 pounds of marijuana addressed to St. Martin's Press intercepted by feds

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Two Express Mail parcels of marijuana en route from San Diego to the New York City offices of book publisher St. Martin’s Press were seized by federal agents after postal workers detected a “suspicious odor” coming from the packages, the Smoking Gun reports.

The sender had either been smoking too much of the stuff or reading too much fiction; the packages, the contents of which could be valued as high as $70,000, were addressed to Karen Wright — no one by that name works at St. Martin’s, according to a company phone operator — and the supposed sender “ABT Books” does not exist either. St. Martin’s Press publishes many major books, including titles by Robert Ludlum, Emily Giffin, and Augusten Burroughs. READ FULL STORY

Mario Puzo's estate sued by Paramount over 'Godfather' novels

It’s “strictly business” for Paramount Pictures, the  studio that distributed the Godfather films. Paramount filed a lawsuit against Anthony Puzo, the son of author Mario Puzo and executor of the family estate, seeking to block a Godfather prequel, The Family Corleone, which is slated for publication by Grand Central Publishing in May.

The lawsuit claims that Paramount authorized one Godfather sequel — The Godfather Returns, published by Random House in 2004 — after Mario Puzo’s death in 1999, but not a second sequel, The Godfather’s Revenge in 2006. The studio claims in the suit that The Godfather’s Revenge “tarnished” the Godfather brand and falsely led consumers to believe the book was authorized by Paramount and that the Puzo estate is planning to use trademarks related to the Godfather films to promote The Family Corleone, written by Ed Falco. READ FULL STORY

Gabrielle Giffords' husband is writing a children's book: 'Mousestronaut'

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of former U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is writing a children’s book about a mouse who ventures into space. Kelly previously collaborated with his wife on her memoir that spoke of Giffords’ incredible survival after suffering a gunshot to the head.

The inspiration for the story came from Kelly’s own experience: “On my first space shuttle flight, we had 18 mice on board as experiments,” he said in a press release. “And 17 of them, as soon as we got into zero gravity, stayed latched on to the side of the cage. But one of them seemed comfortable through the whole mission, like he was enjoying it.” Simon & Schuster will publish Kelly’s Mousestronaut: A Partially True Story in October of this year.

Read more:
Gabrielle Giffords and the healing power of music: A must-watch clip from last night’s ’20/20′
Gabrielle Giffords in her new memoir: ‘I will get stronger. I will return.’

Amanda Knox signs a massive book deal with HarperCollins

Amanda Knox, the 24-year-old American who was imprisoned on murder charges for four years in Perugia, Italy, has signed a book deal with HarperCollins for close to $4 million, the New York Times reports. A heated auction for the book rights had been ensuing for four days.

Four months ago, Knox was released from Italian prison and acquitted of charges that she murdered her roommate Meredith Kercher. During her incarceration, Knox, who studied creative writing, kept a diary that will now help shape the book.

Said HarperCollins in a statement: “Knox will give a full and unflinching account of the events that led to her arrest in Perugia and her struggles with the complexities of the Italian judicial system. … Aided by journals she kept during her imprisonment, Knox will talk about her harrowing experience at the hands of the Italian police and later prison guards and inmates. She will reveal never before-told details surrounding her case, and describe how she used her inner strength and strong family ties to cope with the most challenging time of her young life.” READ FULL STORY

Film rights for 'Daughter of Smoke & Bone' acquired by Universal Pictures -- EXCLUSIVE

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Will Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor become the next huge books-to-movies franchise? It took a huge step toward that rarefied status today when Universal Pictures announced that it has acquired worldwide rights to the young adult fantasy novel, EW has learned exclusively.

Taylor’s thrilling, fresh novel — the first in a trilogy — centers on a young blue-haired girl named Karou who encounters unusual creatures and dangerous angels as she travels the world to carry out mysterious errands. EW’s Sara Vilkomerson wrote, “This smartly plotted, surprising, and fiercely compelling read will hook you from its opening pages. … Seriously, cancel all plans once you begin; you won’t want to put it down.” Daughter has made several major year-end lists: It was the sole young adult title in Amazon’s top 10 best books of 2011, and the New York Times named it one of five notable young adult books of the year. READ FULL STORY

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