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J.K. Rowling Sends Harry Potter Books to Girl in Syria: This Week in Books

A bit of a light week in books and publishing with the Thanksgiving holiday, but a few noteworthy things:

J.K. Rowling Sends Books to Syrian Fan

Bana, a seven-year-old girl live-tweeting her experience in rebel-held Eastern Aleppo, (she has over 141,000 followers!) saw the Harry Potter movie and loved it. Her mom realized she couldn’t get the books in Syria and reached out to Rowling on Twitter–the author responded and sent Bana the ebooks to read. A tiny but bright literary spot out of Syria, where the news is rarely good.

 

Public Library Books Defaced with Swastikas

Evanston public librarians discovered several books about the Middle East had been defaced with swastikas and racial slurs in the days leading up to a public lecture on the Middle East. The library has reported the incident to both the police and the Southern Poverty Law Center, and states that “those who are caught defacing library materials will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” Hate crimes have been sharply on the rise since Trump’s election, and the fact that they’re moving into our libraries, which should be centers of tolerance and open-mindedness, is very chilling.

 

New Feminist Classics to Read

On the flip side of a rise in hate crimes, the election has also brought about a metric ton of lists of books to read about feminism, immigration, climate change, and other social justice issues. Flipping (or scrolling) through them often brings up the same titles over and over, so this list of 40 new feminist classics–only those published in the last 10 years, both fiction and nonfiction–is refreshing.


Thanks to Searching for John Hughes for sponsoring This Week in Books.

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For as long as Jason Diamond can remember, he’s been infatuated with John Hughes’ movies. From the antics in National Lampoon’s Vacation to the teenage angst in The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink to the insanely clever Home Alone, Jason could not get enough. And so the seed was planted in his mind that he should write a biography of his favorite filmmaker. It didn’t matter to Jason that he had no qualifications, training, platform, or direction. Thus went the years-long, delusional, earnest, and assiduous quest to reach his goal. What he did get was a coming-of-age story that fills the pages of this unconventional, hilarious memoir.

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