Harry Potter and The Meaning of Life

Gary Deane spotted Harry Potter and The Meaning of Life that examines what's behind this Potter-mania.
The author says since it began, Potter-mania has represented a cultural infantilism, that only grows as the years go by. It is about what we expect from our kids, our books, our value system and ourselves. Whatever happens in The Order of the Phoenix, the story of our obsession with Harry Potter is unlikely to have a happy ending.


Book publishers ride wave of conservative readersh

John Grubb writes "From the Washington Times:

"The publishing world has gotten the message: Conservatives are a large and powerful audience with enough muscle to send an author to the top of the best-seller lists."

"In voting and book-buying, almost half the adult American public has a point of view considered conservative on some or most issues," said publisher Steve Ross, who calls conservatives "an underserved readership."

Full Story


Hitler\'s second book finally coming out in English

Steve Fesenmaier writes "I hope this book will not be read by all the neo-fascists in the world, but it may. Hitler's most famous film, TRIUMPH OF THE WILL, is an icon for many racists in this country and abroad.

NYTimes Has The Full Story



Illinois bishops condemn Left Behind books

This story from a couple weeks ago seems to have fallen through the LISNews cracks: Bishops warn Catholics about "Left Behind" books.

"The books are actually anti-Catholic," says an associate director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois.

"Instead of being critical of what we\'re doing, [the bishops] should face the fact that, for once, there\'s a best-selling series of books that doesn\'t shock their sense of moral values, doesn\'t use profanity and doesn\'t denigrate Jesus Christ," says Left Behind co-author Tim LaHaye.

"Don\'t make me come down there!" says God. (Okay, that one\'s not in the article. A little Day-After-Father\'s-Day humor.)


Narrative on selecting a book cover

A recent article in The Chronicle gives an interesting account of the process involved in selecting book cover art. Stephanie A. Shields (who is a Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at Pennsylvania State University) tells the story of how she searched for and chose an image for the cover of Speaking from the Heart: Gender and the Social Meaning of Emotion -- with guidance from editors and publishers, of course.


Oprah Winfrey's Book Club to Return

Millions of Oprah fans will be happy, AP Reports the talk-show host will announce her long-awaited pick on her show next Wednesday, nearly four months after revealing that she was bringing back her club and focusing on "classic" authors such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway.

Fans will have plenty of time to read her comeback choice; the follow-up program will not air until the fall.

Winfrey had tentatively planned to name her club Traveling With the Classics. But a spokeswoman said it will be called, as it had been before, Oprah's Book Club. Winfrey is expected to make from three to five choices a year. The books likely will be written by both living and dead authors.


Harry Potter's Pirates

writes "CBSNews Has One that says the publishing industry loses about seven billion dollars a year thanks to pirate book sellers. They say the ease of publishing in the digital age has allowed pirating to spread like a bad rash across the book hungry third world to countries like Nigerian, the Ukraine, and several countries in the Far East. J.K. Rowling must be starving to death."


For Sale: Short Stories for the Long Ride Home

" is in the grand tradition that a small, friendly 27-year-old woman named Adrian Brune set up shop about two months ago to sell her wares at Times Square. Her "shop" is a very common one for subway commerce, consisting of a small cardboard box, behind which she sits with her back against the wall. But what differentiates Ms. Brune from her competitors are her unique handmade products, advertised in a hand-lettered sign on the sides of the box."

"Writer w/ good short stories for sale: $2 each," it says, adding in parentheses, "Masters from Columbia; bad economy."

"In other words, Ms. Brune is a player in what the writer Terry Southern once called the "quality lit game," but instead of trying to sell her work through publishers, she has decided to go right to the reading public. This would be a brave decision, if it were one she made herself. In actual fact, she says, it was made for her by the publishers." (from The New York Times)


In Gold Ink on a Chip, the World's Tiniest Book

"To the naked eye, it looks like a fleck of tile decorated with the Greek letters alpha and omega. But when it is magnified by a factor of 600, its true nature becomes evident — the world's most portable copy of the New Testament. According to the latest version of Guinness Book of World Records, the five-millimeter-square tablet is the smallest reproduction yet of a printed book."

"It was created in 2001 by two scientists in the field of object recognition, Pawan Sinha and Pamela R. Lipson, both 36 years old and husband and wife, who call it a tool for archiving and authentication. Mr. Sinha is an assistant professor of visual neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Ms. Lipson is a founder of Imagen Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based company that develops image analysis software." (from The New York Times)


City Lights Bookstore celebrates 50th anniversary

SomeOne writes "City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, a haven for the Beats and the literature-loving successors, celebrates its 50th anniversary. "What we choose are not the bestsellers bu the books that we think should be the bestsellers," says Nancy J. Peters, co-owner with Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Here's The Story




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