Book News

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The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • In an unusually metaphysical copyright case, that an American psychologist — and not Jesus Christ — is the author of a book that she said Christ dictated to her in a “waking dream.” The late Helen Schucman said she was a vessel for the words of Christ in her book A Course in Miracles, and a German Christian group called the New Christian Endeavour Academy argued that they were therefore free to put text from the book up on their website without paying for it (Jesus, apparently, does not require payment.) The U.S.-based Foundation for Inner Peace, which owns the, uh, worldly rights to the book, sued. According to The Guardian, the New Christian Endeavour Academy “argued that Schucman had not considered herself the author of the work, and referred to a 2003 ruling by a New York court that it said had put the work into the public domain.” The academy also said: “For many there is no doubt that Jesus of Nazareth is the author of the course and that copyright law therefore doesn’t apply to his work.” The German court, however, ruled that the rights go to the actual writer of the book, regardless of divine inspiration.
  • Two new Flowers in the Attic novels will revisit the arsenic- and incest-laced world of the Dollanganger siblings, . Series creator V.C. Andrews died in 1986, but her estate has continued to churn out ghostwritten sequels. The novels Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth and Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger pick upthe story in present day “when 17-year-old Kristin Masterwood — a distant relative of the Dollangangers — discovers the diary in the ruins of Foxworth Hall, the Virginia house in which the Dollanganger kids were imprisoned, and his story becomes a dangerous obsession for Kristin,” according to the Reporter. The first book is set to come out in October; the second in January.
  • In one of the more unexpected literary/commercial collaborations, Jonathan Safran Foer has joined forces with Chipotle to print stories from Toni Morrison, George Saunders and other major authors on the chain’s paper cups. that he got the idea after sitting in Chipotle with nothing to read. He said Chipotle gave him complete control in choosing the text: “I selected the writers, and insofar as there was any editing, I did it. I tried to put together a somewhat eclectic group, in terms of styles. I wanted some that were essayistic, some fiction, some things that were funny, and somewhat thought provoking.” Asked whether he had any concerns about the ethics of working with Chipotle (he’s been a vocal critic of the meat industry), he said that “what interested me is 800,000 Americans of extremely diverse backgrounds having access to good writing. A lot of those people don’t have access to libraries, or bookstores. Something felt very democratic and good about this.”
  • The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin has bought the archive of British author Ian McEwan. The archive includes drafts of his novels as well as “letters written to McEwan by other literary figures, including Christopher Hitchens, David Lodge, Michael Ondaatje, Harold Pinter, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith,” according to . It adds, “From 1997 onward, McEwan’s complete email correspondence is preserved as part of the archive.” Asked about the value of his archive , McEwan said, “The writer tends to forget rapidly the routes he or she discarded along the way. Sometimes the path towards a finished novel takes surprising twists. It’s rarely an even development. For example, my novel Atonement started out as a science fiction story set two or three centuries into future.”

Daniel Radcliffe Featured in Fan Book Series


Dan Radcliffe 3Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe will be the first star spotlighted in a new fan book series for Creative Partners Publishing House. Author Randy Jernigan to write the series.


New York, NY, May 14, 2014 –(– Celebrity biographer Randy Jernigan has been contracted to write a series of “fan books” for his publisher–the first to be spotlighted in the series is Harry Potter actor, Daniel Radcliffe.

The book is expected to cover Radcliffe’s early childhood years, little known facts about the actors private life, as well as his very busy career in film, television and the theater.

The Radcliffe biography will be the first in the fan book series to be published for Creative Partners Publishing House.

Well known for his concise, biting interview style, Randy Jernigan has worked as an entertainment journalist for twenty-two years covering the careers and private lives of such celebrities as Tom Cruise, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Jernigan will release a biography of singer Marie Osmond later this year, and recently released The Road to Happiness through Creative Partners Gift Books.

“I’m excited to be a part of this project,” says Jernigan. “After reviewing all the material on Dan I can tell there’s a lot of crap that’s been written–my job will be to wade through all the rumor and turn out a factual piece of history of an amazing actor.”

Jernigan has already begun interviews for the book.

It’s expected that “The Life and Career of Daniel Radcliffe” will hit store shelves later this year.

Alicia Silverstone’s Candid Discussion About Her Parenting Strategy, New Book and Dealing With Her Critics


When Alicia Silverstone talks or writes about pregnancy, motherhood, or anything environmentally kind, her passion for the subject matter fuels every word.

About her 3-year-old son, Bear, she says, “Honestly, every moment since the day he was born has been incredible and I am just thrilled to be on this journey — this is the greatest love.”

Well-known for her role in the movie, Clueless, the actress has added bestselling author, activist, and conservationist to her credits. Silverstone’s first book, The Kind Diet, which is a guide to vegan nutrition, climbed to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Currently, there’s swirl around her follow-up book, The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning, from both avid supporters and critics. Silverstone describes the book as, “a recipe for having the happiest, healthiest baby around.”

I interviewed Silverstone, who openly discussed issues including: The Kind Mama, attachment parenting, and her critics, as well as her advice for maternal anxiety and smartphone-addicted parents.

Attachment Parenting
Silverstone’s framework for The Kind Mama comes out of attachment parenting, which has its roots in attachment theory developed by psychologist John Bowlby. The idea is that the emotional bond children have with their parents early on affects their future well-being. If children trust that their parents can meet their needs, they will then form a healthy attachment and have the capability for healthy relationships throughout life.

According to, part of nurturing and sensitively responding to a child’s emotional needs includes among other things, empathic understanding, affection, breastfeeding, and co-sleeping.

For Silverstone, attachment parenting is about, “getting back to basics and doing away with excess.” She is drawn to this framework because, “You are your baby’s food, solace, entertainment, transportation, and education, and all of that brings you and your baby closer together than you could ever imagine. It strengthens your bond with your child and helps him develop a sense of contentment and belonging in the universe.”

Why She Wrote The Kind Mama
With The Kind Mama, Silverstone says she, “wanted to provide women with a book that was full of valuable information that would help them get pregnant, have an ailment-free pregnancy (free of the icky stuff we all assume is unavoidable — from hemorrhoids and swollen ankles to diabetes), know their birth options, and empower them to make the choices that feel right for them throughout, so that they could have the most healthy little baby.”

And to Her Critics She Says …
Silverstone and her book have sparked dialogue and debate about pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Her response to critics is, “I have done my research — have read the studies, spoken with doctors, scientists, and other experts in the field — and I am confident in my choices. And I trust my intuition when it comes to parenting. When I do need advice, I look to women who I’ve admired for how they were pregnant/birthed/raised their children. Frankly, the rest of it is all noise to me and I don’t pay it any mind.”

Smartphone-addicted Parents
A recent study in Pediatrics found parents on smartphones tend to ignore their kids and have negative interactions with them. I wanted to get Silverstone’s take on this and what her advice is to multitasking, smartphone-obsessed, stressed-out moms.

She empathizes, “Believe me, I know what it’s like to feel like you’re drowning in emails — all of them time sensitive, of course — and trying to spend time with your child, which is why I think it’s more important than ever to create boundaries when it comes to tech and parenting.”

Silverstone goes on to advise, “When I am with Bear, I make a point to be completely focused on him and aim to be totally present for both our sakes — I want to soak up every morsel of his sweetness — so no computers and phones when he is around. Having him feel seen and heard is very important. So, when something comes up that urgently needs to be addressed, I take a mini-break to go deal with it, and then come back and re-focus. Institute 100 percent phone-free time… when you can and catch-up on things during work hours. Ninety-nine percent of the time, those emails coming in are not life or death and can wait until later in the evening or even the next day.”

Worries That Keep Moms Up At Night
For many parents, an inherent part of the experience is waking up at night with worries. I asked Silverstone if she experienced this and what she does to cope with the maternal anxiety. She answers, “Like many moms, I sometimes find myself going down a rabbit hole of paranoid worries — things like ‘What if he falls out the window?’ or ‘What if I die in a plane crash and he’s left without his mama?'”

She continues, “But then I take a deep breath and assure myself that I’m doing everything possible to keep him safe and I let those thoughts go. There are always going to be things beyond our control and it helps to just focus on what you can control, which is being present and loving to your kids when you are with them. And I do worry about the kind of world we live in — one in which people can be unkind and disconnected from each other and make decisions based on fear. That said, we aim to surround our family with a tribe of positive, loving, warm, open, and smart people.”

A Growing Family?
Silverstone is married to musician and activist Christopher Jarecki. When asked if she is going to expand her family of three, she indicates that she, “would love to, but not right now!”

As she and her husband raise Bear, they make an effort to model the values they want him to have. “When it comes to values, he is amazing and sweet and loving. He sees the way in which we live our lives — with respect for each other, our planet, it’s people and animals — and I imagine and hope he will stay that way,” she says wistfully.

Modern Family, ABC Pay for New York City Marriage Licenses

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Hugh Jackman Talks About Skin Cancer

PHOTO: Hugh Jackman at the Broadway opening of "After Midnight" in New York, Nov. 3, 2013.

Hugh Jackman just revealed last week his second bout with cancer, now he’s explaining why he is pleading with people to wear sun screen and get checked out.

“We are all human, this happened to me, I didn’t wear sun screen when I was a kid,” he told ABC News at the “X-Men: Days of Future Past” premiere over the weekend. “I don’t want kids to be as stupid as me and maybe they’ll listen to Wolverine more than they’ll listen to teachers at school.”

In fact, Jackman thinks he’s lucky where others might not be.

Read: Hugh Jackman Reveals 2nd Bout of Skin Cancer

“It’s all preventable. I was lucky to be in a job, where I have makeup artists looking at my face, going, ‘What is that?'” he added. “And my wife nagging me to go and get it checked out.”

The 45-year-old actor had revealed on his Instagram account on Thursday that he had to have another spot of skin cancer removed. Jackman posted a picture of himself with a bandage over his nose to cover up the spot where the cancer spot was removed. His fans are happy the actor seems to be doing all right and are sharing their well-wishes on his photo.

10 Things to Know About Melanoma

“Another Basel Cell Carsinoma [sic]. All out now,” The “X-Men” star captioned the photo. “Thanks Dr. Albom and Dr. Arian. PLEASE! PLEASE! WEAR SUNSCREEN!”

This comes after the Australian actor had a basal-cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, removed from almost the same location on his nose just six months ago, which he also shared via Instagram.

Daniel Radcliffe NOT Engaged, Rep Says.


Daniel Radcliffe is engaged? Fans of “Harry Potter” were driven into a frenzy when new reports surfaced that the actor was engaged and ready to marry his long time girlfriend. Fans should have checked the source first though, because Star Magazine is where the reports first popped up.

Is Daniel Radcliffe really ready to walk down the aisle? Not just yet, according to Perez Hilton on May 8. A representative for the actor quickly denied the report that the former Harry Potter is ready to marry Erin Darke. The couple has been dating since October 2012. The reports said that Daniel had popped the question, and they would marry in 2015. The reports even said that Emma Watson, his co-star in the “Harry Potter” films, was attending the ceremony.

However, Daniel and Emma rarely speak anymore. The two spent 10 years together filming the series of “Harry Potter” films together, but Perez Hilton reports that Daniel revealed in a recent interview that he and Emma are rarely in contact. They are “excited about meeting new people.” That is understandable. Working with someone for 10 years is not easy.

In a case like that, co-stars become more like family, and you don’t talk to your family much either at time, right? If Daniel was really getting married, it is likely Emma and his other “Harry Potter” co-stars would be invited to the big wedding ceremony, but he is not rushing to get married just yet. That could change, but for now he is not engaged.

Could he be too busy with his other pursuits? Radcliffe is back on Broadway. He is currently starring in the title role of “The Cripple of Inishmaan” at the Cort Theater. The production opened in April, and he is playing the challenging role of a man in this play. His character is determined to get a role in a film being produced in his town, but he suffers from cerebral palsy. That is not stopping him from trying though.

Radcliffe was definitely up to the challenge though. He had starred in the same role when it was played out in London. The actor said the following about the challenge of taking on the role again for New York to Playbill: “It’s something that your body has to get used to, and builds up the strength to do. It’s something I was keen to get right. When I played it in London I had months to adjust, but this time it’s harder because I’ve been filming ‘Frankenstein’ right up to this week and my character is hunchback. So, different physical challenges, but both characters are similarly abused.”

This production will continue to run at the Cort Theater through mid-June. With Radcliffe busy with both film and stage roles, he might not have the time to focus on a marriage right now. Radcliffe has made it clear that he “didn’t want to be famous.” However, he is just that. He is definitely famous enough to cause fans to go into a frenzy when a report like this pops up.

Spider-Man at the Top of North American Box Office!

Andrew Garfield
Andrew Garfield

Los Angeles (AFP) – “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” sprang to the top of the North American box office this weekend, its first in movie theaters, industry estimates showed Sunday.

The sequel featuring Andrew Garfield in the title character’s celebrated red and blue tights took in $92 million in 4,324 theaters, outperforming the original that went on to gross $262 million.

Falling to number two, romantic comedy “The Other Woman” starring Cameron Diaz earned $14.2 million its second week in theaters.

“Heaven Is For Real,” starring Greg Kinnear as the father of a four-year-old boy who wakes up from emergency surgery with a story about going to heaven and back, held on to third place with $8.7 million in receipts.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” based on the iconic Marvel superhero starring Chris Evans, dropped to fourth from last week’s second place finish. It pulled in $7.8 million.

Animated flick “Rio 2” about a family of blue Macaw parrots with voices by Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway slipped a notch to fifth with a gross of $7.6 million.

Behind it in sixth, grossing $3.5 million in its second week, was “Brick Mansions,” a futuristic crime drama starring the late actor Paul Walker, who was killed in a high speed crash last November.

“Divergent,” based on the popular young adult novel of the same name, took in $2.2 million, enough to lift into seventh place from ninth last week. Over seven weeks, it has grossed $142.7 million.

Eighth place went to “The Quiet Ones,” the British horror film starring Jared Harris — son of late acting legend Richard Harris — which earned $2.0 million.

“God’s Not Dead,” in which a student tries to prove God’s existence, dipped in box office earnings to $1.77 in its seventh week out, but still rose in the rankings to ninth.

Rounding out the top 10 was “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” with $1.7 million.

Jordin Sparks Lost Weight for health Reasons

Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks lost 50lbs to improve her health.

The ‘One Step At A Time’ hitmaker, who now fluctuates between 155 to 161lbs, decided to lose weight because she was fed up of feeling sluggish and unwell.

She said: “I had gotten really sick. And I was about to celebrate my birthday and I was like, ‘I should be in the prime of my life right now. I shouldn’t be feeling like this. I really need to make my health a priority’.”

The 24-year-old singer, who lost weight by changing up her diet and adding more exercise into her lifestyle, insists she never felt pressurised into shedding the pounds because she was happy with how she looked beforehand.

She explained on the ‘Today’ show: “I was comfortable with how I looked before, but it was about really focusing on become healthier.

“And then my body changed, which was awesome. But it wasn’t about being a size zero, or anything like that.”

Jordin, who has been dating Jason Derulo for over three years, hopes she can encourage other women to look in the mirror and love their bodies as well.

She said: “I know that there are some women who struggle to even look themselves in the mirror. And I hope that those women who are struggling can watch this and go, ‘You know what? I’m OK with who I am. And I’m beautiful in my own way’.”

Harry Potter Goes Evil in New Frankenstein Film

Daniel IgorDaniel Radcliffe goes all evil in his upcoming remake of Mary Shelley’s most famous of stories. Dan plays Igor to X-Men: Days of Future past’s James McAvoy’s Frankenstein, directed by Paul McGuigan.

Scripting of the film came from Chronicle writer Max Landis and also stars Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay and Sherlock’s Andrew Scott!

Sure to be a winner!