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Quidditch was invented "in a small hotel in Manchester after a row with my then boyfriend," writes the Harry Potter creator. Other book news: Ireland puts an entire short story on a postage stamp; Daniel Handler on Midwestern literature; and the best books coming out this week.
In softcover nonfiction, Jenny Rosenstrach examines dinnertime, Kate Summerscale recounts a scandalous Victorian trial, and John Dramani Mahama looks back on his childhood in Ghana. In fiction, Victor Davis Hanson reimagines an ancient battle, and Marie NDiaye follows three women from Senegal to Europe.
Author Ethan Rutherford started reading Daphne du Maurier's collection of stories, Don't Look Now, while it was still light out and didn't move from his chair until dark. Each one features characters who endure the strange and the extreme, and who are forever changed by the events that befall them.
When the factory she worked at closed down, Tammy Thomas reinvented herself as a community organizer; and when Dean Price's truck stop business went belly up, he became a champion of biofuel. In a new book, George Packer examines how ordinary people are adapting to a new America.
Less than two months into her study abroad program in Italy, Amanda Knox was accused and eventually convicted of murdering her roommate, Meredith Kercher. After her conviction was overturned, Knox returned home to Seattle — and now faces a potential retrial. Knox tells her story in a new memoir.
Generations of physicists have claimed that time is an illusion. But not all agree. In his book Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe, theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that time exists--and he says time is key to understanding the evolution of the universe.
In Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein, astrophysicist Mario Livio explores the colossal errors committed by scientific greats, from chemist Linus Pauling's botched model of DNA, to Charles Darwin's failure to understand genetics--the very mechanism of natural selection.