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All stories relating to Harry Potter

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Book links roundup: Beautiful Disaster film finds studio, Fifty Shades outsells Harry Potter, and more

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Book links roundup: Government delay on ebook royalties deemed “unlawful,” Alan Moore’s Harry Potter antichrist, and more

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Book links roundup: Sara Nelson’s big move, Harry Potter enters Kindle library, and more

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Book links roundup: Ottawa reviews Target, Harry Potter ebook sales over $1.5 million, and more

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Book links roundup: Toronto Public Library reaches tentative deal, Charlie Kaufman’s book deal, and more

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Book links roundup: Mad Men’s literary leanings, Pottermore opens its ebook shop, and more

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Book links roundup: Harry Potter ebooks delayed, Putin’s book club, and more

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J.K. Rowling signs deal for an adult novel; Twitter goes hog wild

Five years after finishing life at Hogwarts, J.K. Rowling is back with a new publisher and a book deal for her first adult novel. Little, Brown will publish the untitled novel in the U.S. and in the U.K., and Hachette Book Group Canada will handle Canadian sales and marketing.

Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter series, published by Bloomsbury in the U.K. and Scholastic in the U.S., was initially published in Canada by Raincoast Books, which enjoyed record-breaking sales until 2010. Canadian editions are now available through Penguin Canada.

In a statement Rowling said:

Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world. The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher. I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life.

Although the release date and details for the new book are unknown, Rowling, who does not have a social media presence, is trending worldwide on Twitter. Here are a few entertaining tweets out of the thousands already posted:

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Booksellers’ picks of the year: international fiction

Canadian booksellers contacted by Q&Q all pointed to American author Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, The Night Circus, as one of the top books of 2011. “The buzz has been huge, and all the reviews I’ve seen have been raves,” says Christopher Johnson, a manager at Nicholas Hoare in Toronto.

Michael Hamm, manager of Bookmark in Halifax, credits much of The Night Circus’s buzz to the fact that early adopters of Harry Potter and the Twilight series have grown up reading supernatural tales. “Now that they’re adults, they’re looking for a fantastical book, and this one certainly fits the bill,” he says.

Another top seller this fall is The Marriage Plot, U.S. novelist Jeffrey Eugenides’s follow-up to Middlesex, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2003. “A lot of people hold Middlesex in such high regard that it’s kind of hard to top that,” Hamm says, “but I read [The Marriage Plot] and I loved it.”

Booksellers contacted by Q&Q also consider The Sense of an Ending, British writer Julian Barnes’s 2011 Man Booker Prize–winning novel, one of the year’s biggest successes. “That was selling well before it was given the award, and now it’s selling even more,” says Ian Donker, manager of Book City in Toronto, adding that The Sense of an Ending is an in-house favourite.

Japanese writer Haruki Murakami’s ambitious new novel, 1Q84, has been extremely popular in Canada since its release in October, according to booksellers. Other top 2011 titles include Nobel Prize–winning Portuguese author José Saramago’s posthumous novel, Cain; British novelist Alan Hollinghurst’s new title, The Stranger’s Child; and American writer Stephen Mitchell’s translation of The Iliad.

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Kobo Reading Life and Facebook partner for “frictionless” social e-reading

Soon Facebook users won’t have to click a button to tell their friends what they’re reading. Yesterday at F8, Facebook’s annual developers conference, Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis announced that its e-reading app, Kobo Reading Life, will be seamlessly integrated into the Facebook interface as part of the website’s Open Graph product, along with services for music, film, games, and news media.

During the conference’s keynote speech, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg referred to Open Graph as a means of “frictionless sharing,” meaning once a user signs up for an app, it will automatically track their media usage, which will then be shared, in real-time, with friends as part of Facebook’s new Ticker feature.

“You don’t have to ‘like’ a book, you can just read a book. You don’t have to ‘like’ a movie, you can just watch a movie…” says Zuckerberg, referring to the website’s ubiquitous Like button. Facebook’s new Timeline feature, available now as a beta program, also gives users the ability to build personal reports, such as how many pages read in a single week.

In a video interview at F8, Kobo Reading Life product manager Jason Gamblen and Serbinis offered more insight into the integration. Through the Reading Life app, Serbinis says, a Kobo user can track “all the books you’ve ever read, what you’re reading right now, times a day you read, stats about yourselves, friends that you share books with.” Gamblen explained that when a Facebook user adds Kobo to their Timeline, they can also account for the number of books read, the amount of time and the most popular days spent reading. Users are also eligible for awards by hitting milestones such as reading 50,000 pages or a certain number of classic books.

Reading Life’s “social e-reading” features allow people to connect and engage with other Kobo users via Facebook. “Our best recommendations come from friends, not the 400th Harry Potter review on some e-commerce site,” says Serbinis, who also briefly mentioned a new initiative, Kobo Pulse, which will be officially announced in the next couple of weeks.


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Eva Stachniak's Empress of the Night

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