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Book News for Thursday, April 17, 2008

  • Three Days of the Condor:
    That was fast. Closing arguments were delivered yesterday in the copyright infringement trial of the year — J. K. Rowling and Warner Brothers vs. publisher RDR Books. The proposed RDR publication of a Harry Potter "encyclopedia" based on the popular website, The Harry Potter Lexicon, is now on hold indefinitely and the judge has urged both sides to settle. Rowling is accusing RDR of feasting on the carcass of her story ideas and wit. From Publishers Weekly:

    Rowling then took the stand for rebuttal and offered impassioned words in support of her rights, though the questions and answers were frequently objected to by the defense as not directly addressing earlier testimony. (At one point Cendali asked Hammer, "Are you trying to suppress Ms. Rowling?" to which he replied, "That seems to be impossible.") Rowling contended that because the "fictional facts" in her series are of her own invention, the need to protect the manner in which they are used was all the more important. "These things have no existence outside my language and turns of phrase," she said, later adding, "Are we or are we not the owners of our own work?"

    When asked if she felt that the Lexicon had any entertainment value, Rowling replied, "I think there are funny things in there, and I wrote them." She also objected to the idea that her fame somehow meant she had less of a right to her own creative content. "Somehow because my work is successful, I've weakened my own right to copyright?" she asked. "This would inevitably lead to a slippery slope."

    ...the parties agreed on the May 9 deadline for filing additional documents. Before adjourning the trial, Judge Patterson quipped, "I may need a reference guide to this case."

    I'll bet money that J. K. Rowling is somewhere muttering, expulso... evanesco!

  • Lists, lists, and more lists:
    The web site Reading Group Choices, arbiter of all that is discussable over tea, announced their reader's top Book Club Picks of 2007.
    1. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
    2. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
    3. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
    4. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
    5. TIE: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
    6. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
    7. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
    8. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
    9. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

    A bit predictable, but I feel so bewildered! Are women the only ones doing the book club thing? Pretty much, says Diana Loevy, author of The Book Club Companion, in an interview on the blog Future Perfect Publishing.

    Next year, I'm stuffing the ballot box. And tapping a keg at my next book club meeting!

Books mentioned in this post

2 Responses to "Book News for Thursday, April 17, 2008"

    Beth April 17th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    JK Rowling has every right to fight to protect her creations! I think the appropriate spell is "Ridikulus!"

    lynnr April 17th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Keg...did someone say keg...?

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