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books & literature

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Stephen King’s ‘Pet Sematary’ house is for sale

The house that inspired horror novelist Stephen King to write “Pet Sematary” is up for sale, the Bangor Daily News reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The house in Orrington, Maine, carries a $255,000 price tag. King and his family lived there for a year while he was a writer-in-residence at his alma mater, the University of Maine at Orono.

King said he did not remember the house number -- 664 River Road -- but recognized its picture in a real estate listing. The house has been featured in news stories, books, blogs and television shows.

“Don’t remember the number, but it was across the street from the store owned by the late, great Julio Desanctis,” King told the Bangor Daily News. “That’s actually where I wrote the book — in his storeroom.”

During King’s stay at the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home, his daughter Naomi’s cat, Smucky, was hit by a truck and died. The animal was buried in an informal pet cemetery on a hill behind the rental property, King said on his website.

“I can remember crossing the road and thinking that the cat had been killed in the road — and [thought] what if a kid died in that road,” King said on the website. “We had had this experience with [our son] Owen running toward the road, where I had just grabbed him and pulled him back. And the two things just came together.

“On one side of this two-lane highway was the idea of what if the cat came back, and on the other side of the highway was what if the kid came back — so that when I reached the other side, I had been galvanized by the idea, but not in any melodramatic way,” the author said. “I knew immediately that it was a novel.”

“Pet Sematary” was published in 1983, and a movie version was released in 1989.

The aunt of Loran Dosen purchased the home, which was built in 1904, in 1991. When Dosen’s aunt died recently, Dosen’s parents, Lin and Joe Dosen, inherited the house. Loran Dosen said her aunt was interviewed for a Stephen King TV biography featured about living in the house.

“Some super fans have knocked on the door and asked to come inside,” Loran Dosen told the Bangor Daily News.

‘Charlotte’s Web’ author E.B. White’s Maine home listed for $3.7M

The Maine barn from the beloved children’s book “Charlotte’s Web” is officially on the market.

>> Read more trending news

Listed at $3.7 million, the New England property, including the beautiful barn, was home to late author E.B. White. It was where he lived with his wife until his death in 1985, according to an online exclusive from Yankee Magazine.

Since then, Robert and Mary Gallant have made the lovely Allen Cove farmhouse in North Brooklin, Maine, their home.

“It’s clear they do not want to leave,” Yankee Magazine writer Mel Allen penned. “They know they should. It is time, they say, to downsize to one home and live closer to their four children and seven grandchildren, who remain in the Carolinas.”

» RELATED: For sale: ‘Scariest’ lodging in America, iconic Clown Motel 

So now, decades later, the Gallants want another family to love the home the way they have.

The more than 200-year-old New England property has the original swing hanging by the doorway (the same one that E.B. White’s character Fern enjoyed) and, Allen wrote, “there may or may not be a spider spinning her web in the darker corners of the rafters.”

It includes 12 rooms, six working fireplaces, three and a half bathrooms and a wood cook stove.

» RELATED: President Trump’s Caribbean estate selling for $16.9 million

The 44-acre saltwater farm also features views of the bay and mountains of Acadia National Park, a sun porch, a boathouse with a dock and more.

The House at Allen Cove listing is priced at $3.7 million.

According to The Associated Press, Down East Properties listing agent Martha Dischinger said Wednesday the property retains many historical touches, and the owners maintained the gardens tended by E.B. White’s wife, Katharine, before her death in 1977.

Read the full Yankee Magazine exclusive at NewEngland.com.

Bush sisters going on tour for new book

Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush are headed on a book tour.

>> Read more trending news

According to PEOPLE magazine, the sisters are hitting the road together to promote their upcoming memoir, “Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life.”

“In ‘Sisters First’, Jenna and Barbara will take readers on a revealing, thoughtful, and deeply personal tour behind the scenes of their lives, with never-before-told funny and poignant personal stories and reflections about their family, their adventures, their loves and losses, and the special sisterly bond that fulfills them,” Grand Central Publishing said in a statement.

The official tour is set to begin on the day of the book’s release on Oct. 24 in New York City, and their mother will join them for a preview of the book in Kennebunkport, Maine, on Aug. 18.

“We’ve always felt lucky that we had each other to walk side-by-side as sisters through the extraordinary circumstances of our ordinary lives,” the sisters previously said after announcing their book in March. “We are so excited to share the stories that mean the most to us — from the ones that made us laugh to those that shaped us the most — and we hope to make ‘Sisters First’ an entertaining read that will also give readers a more nuanced look behind the headlines.”

Tickets for the tour go on sale on Aug. 4.. More information about the tour can be found on the book’s official website.

'Sweet Valley High' movie reportedly in the works, lands 'Legally Blonde' writer

Sweet Valley's Wakefield twins are reportedly taking their identical blonde tresses, Pacific Ocean-hued eyes and "perfect size 6 figures" to the big screen.

According to Deadline, Paramount Pictures has tapped "Legally Blonde" writer Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith and Harper Dill, who writes for Fox's "The Mick," to work on a film adaptation of the popular "Sweet Valley High" young-adult novels by Francine Pascal. 

>> Read more trending news

The cult-classic book series, which debuted in 1983, focuses on teen twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield and their soap opera-style lives in idyllic Sweet Valley, California. The franchise includes multiple spin-off book series, two modern-day reboots published in 2011 and 2012, and a 1990s TV show starring real-life twins Brittany and Cynthia Daniel.

Read more here.

TSA ends testing, will not screen passengers’ books separately

TSA officials will not screen and search books separate from luggage during security checks before passengers board planes at airports across the country.

The agency announced the decision to end testing the practice at select airports at the end of June. Testing was being performed at two U.S. airports.

>> Read more trending news

Many people criticized the book screenings, saying TSA agents could potentially choose passengers to search based on the titles and topics of their reading materials.

“Academics are unsurprisingly big readers, and since we don’t simply read for pleasure, we often read materials with which we disagree or which may be seen by others as offensive,” Henry Reichman, chair of the American Association of University Professors’ Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, said last month. “For instance, a scholar studying terrorism and its roots may well be reading -- and potentially carrying on a plane -- books that others might see as endorsing terrorism.”

Other critics said publicly disclosing reading material could feel like an invasion of privacy to some travelers. 

“A person who is reading a book entitled ‘Overcoming Sexual Abuse’ or ‘Overcoming Sexual Dysfunction’ is not likely to want to plop that volume down on the conveyor belt for all to see,” said notes privacy expert Jay Stanley in an analysis of the TSA’s previous plan.

But the TSA has asserted the the book search, which has been terminated at test airports will not expand across the country as previously planned.

Passengers do not need to remove books from carry-on bags before sending luggage through X-ray machines.

“We’re always testing procedures to help stay ahead of our adversaries. We were testing the removal of books at two airport locations and the testing ran its course,” the TSA said in a news release. “We’re no longer testing and have no intentions of instituting those procedures.”

In the release, the TSA said it implemented the book screening test because “adversaries seem to know every trick in the book when it comes to concealing dangerous items, and books have been used in the past to conceal prohibited items.”

“We weren’t judging your books by their covers, just making sure nothing dangerous was inside,” TSA said

2 new Harry Potter-related books coming this fall

In celebration of the 20th year anniversary of the release of the first book in the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling has announced plans for an exhibit about the fictional wizard at the British Library. 

>> Read more trending news 

In collaboration, two new series-related books will be released.

“Harry Potter: A History of Magic” is the official book of the exhibition, and it promises to “take readers on a fascinating journey through the subjects studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry -- from Alchemy and Potions classes through to Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures,” according to Bloomsbury Publishing. According to the publisher, readers can “discover the truth behind making the Philosopher’s Stone, create (a) potion and uncover the secret of invisible ink. (Plus) learn all about the history of mandrake roots and dragons, discover what witches really used their brooms for, pore over incredible images of actual mermaids and read about real-life potions, astronomers and alchemists.”

The second book, “Harry Potter: A Journey Through the History of Magic,” takes readers “on a journey through the Hogwarts curriculum, including Defense Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy, Divination and more,” a description on the British Library’s official website reads. The book features exclusive, unseen sketches and manuscripts from Rowling and magical illustrations.

Both books will be released in October.

The first book in the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” was released in the United Kingdom June 26, 1997.  It was released in the U.S. in 1998 with the title “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

After Donald Trump blocked Stephen King on Twitter, J.K. Rowling came to the rescue

After President Donald Trump reportedly blocked best-selling author Stephen King from reading his tweets on Twitter, “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling came to her fellow author’s rescue.

>> Read more trending news

On Tuesday, King said in a tweet that he had been blocked by the United States’ 45th president, writing, “Trump has blocked me from reading his tweets. I may have to kill myself.”

While some Twitter users were quick to congratulate King or share their own blocking stories, Rowling took sympathy on the “It” author and offered to help him out.

“I still have access. I’ll DM them to you,” she quickly replied.

King replied, "Thanks. Maybe it's a hoax. I'm good either way. I'll always have Pence, hahahaha."

Recently, Trump has been blocking people who disagree with him on Twitter, including a veterans group that has opposed to his travel ban, but according to lawyers for two of those blocked Twitter users, his blocks may be unconstitutional.

In a letter sent to Trump last week, lawyers from The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University argued that blocking dissenters on Twitter is against the First Amendment.

“This Twitter account operates as a 'designated public forum' for First Amendment purposes, and accordingly the viewpoint-based blocking of our clients is unconstitutional,” the letter reads, according to The New York Times. “We ask you to unblock them and any others who have been blocked for similar reasons.”

The letter implied that if Trump did not unblock their clients, a lawsuit would soon follow.

Bill Clinton, James Patterson writing a novel together

James Patterson probably doesn’t need any help selling his books, but it can’t hurt that his next writing partner will be former President Bill Clinton.

Knopf and Little, Brown announced Monday that they will jointly publish "The President Is Missing" on June 11, 2018.

The publishers describe the book as a “unique amalgam of intrigue, suspense and behind-the-scenes global drama from the highest corridors of power. It will be informed by insider details that only a president can know,” the online trade publication Publisher’s Lunch reports.

“Working with President Clinton has been the highlight of my career and having access to his firsthand experience has uniquely informed the writing of this novel,” Patterson said in a statement to The Associated Press. “I’m a storyteller, and President Clinton’s insight has allowed us to tell a really interesting one.”

>> Read more trending news

Clinton and Patterson have been friends since they met on a golf course 10 years ago, Publisher’s Weekly said. Attorney Robert Barnett, their mutual literary representative, suggested they collaborate and negotiated the deal.

“Working on a book about a sitting president — drawing on what I know about the job, life in the White House and the way Washington works — has been a lot of fun,” Clinton said in a statement to The Associated Press. “And working with Jim has been terrific. I’ve been a fan of his for a very long time.”

The co-authors will participate in a national book tour when the book is published, Publishers Lunch said.

Patterson, who frequently writes with co-authors, has sold more than 300 million copies of his books. He tops the list of best-selling authors on The New York Times’ list, with 67 books.

Clinton has written three books, the most successful of which is the million-selling "My Life." Jimmy Carter became the first American president to pen a novel when he published the historical novel "The Hornet's Nest" in 2003.

Dolly Parton considered suicide, new book suggests

A new book by Randy L. Schmidt called “Dolly on Dolly: Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton” contains interviews spanning five decades of Dolly Parton’s career.

The book, just released, gives fans deep insight into the country music star’s life. While the book hasn’t been authorized or endorsed by Parton, it does include some shocking revelations about her past.

>> Read more trending news 

In particular, the Daily Mail reported that the country darling had an “affair of the heart” in the 1980s behind husband Carl Dean’s back. It ended in a heartbreak that nearly drove her to suicide.

“I was sitting upstairs in my bedroom one afternoon when I noticed in the nightstand drawer my gun that I keep for burglars. I looked at it a long time. Then, just as I picked it up, just to hold it and look at it for a moment, our little dog, Popeye, came running up the stairs,” she said. “The tap-tap-tap of his paws jolted me back to reality. I kinda believe Popeye was a spiritual messenger from God.”

>> Related: Dolly Parton shocks Tennessee wildfire victims with this huge payout

Throughout the book, her lover is never named, but many believe him to have been her band leader, Gregg Perry.

“I don’t think I’d have done it, killed myself, but I can’t say for sure,” Parton, who is still married to Dean, continued, according to the Daily Mail. “Now that I’ve gone through that terrible moment, I can certainly understand the possibilities even for someone solid like me if the pain gets bad enough.”

“Dolly on Dolly” also goes into detail about her poor childhood, her experimenting sexually at a young age, how she feels about her iconic look and her struggles with binge eating.

Before Michelle, Barack Obama proposed to another woman, book claims

A new book about the life of President Barack Obama emphasizes the former president’s commitment to career and political success at the expense of his personal relationships.

>> Read more trending news 

“Rising Star” by David J. Garrow “portrays Obama as a man who ruthlessly compartmentalized his existence; who believed early on that he was fated for greatness; and who made emotional sacrifices in the pursuit of a goal that must have seemed unlikely to everyone but him,” according to a Washington Post book review. “Every step -- whether his foray into community organizing, Harvard Law School, even the choice of whom to love -- was not just about living a life but about fulfilling a destiny.”

>> Related: Obama says he'll write a book and 'be quiet for a while' after White House exit

The book highlights a long-term relationship that Obama had with Sheila Miyoshi Jager, whom he met and lived with in Chicago years before he met Michelle Robinson, his future wife.

Jager, who was briefly mentioned  only as one of a few former girlfriends in Barack Obama’s autobiography, “Dreams from my Father,” studied anthropology in college like Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham.

Jager said Obama proposed to her in 1986, but her parents said no because they believed that she, two years younger than Obama, was too young to wed. The two remained a couple and continued conversations about marriage.

Jager said the 25-year-old Obama changed significantly the next year.

>> Related: Barack, Michelle Obama discuss post-White House plans

According to Garrow, Jager, who is of Dutch and Japanese descent, and Barack Obama initially bonded over their multicultural backgrounds, but the two were pushed apart by Obama’s tunnel-visioned desire to advance in the political world and his growing focus on his black identity and dismissal of his white roots, Jager said.

“He became ... so very ambitious ... very suddenly,” she told Garrow. “I remember very clearly when this transformation happened, and I remember very specifically that by 1987, about a year into our relationship, he already had his sights on becoming president.

“The marriage discussions dragged on and on ... (but there was) torment over this central issue of his life ... race and identity ... (The) resolution of his black identity was directly linked to his decision to pursue a political career.” 

>> Related: Barack, Michelle Obama sign multimillion-dollar book deal with Penguin Random House

Garrow claims that Obama ultimately believed that he couldn’t pursue a more serious relationship with Jager in part because of racial issues. Though they continued to see one another into the 1990s, after Obama started dating Michelle Robinson, their communication became more and more infrequent.

>> Related: Malia Obama’s stalker detained, given psych evaluation

>> Related: Malia Obama decides which Ivy League college she'll attend

Today, Jager is a professor at Oberlin College.

According to Washington Post reporter Carlos Lozada, Garrow’s “Rising Star” is “harsh but persuasive” as well as accusatory.

Read more at The Washington Post.

>> Related: Michelle Obama writes actress Yara Shahidi college recommendation letter

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