August 1, 2016

Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned in 2013, has signed a book deal with Bloomsbury to write his autobiography. Last Testament, to be co-written with German journalist Peter Seewald, will be released internationally in November. The book describes his childhood during the Third Reich, charts his rise to the papacy, and, the press materials suggest, grapples with his shortcomings at the Vatican: “His account deals with the controversies that rocked the Catholic world—how he enraged the Muslim world with his Regensburg speech, what he did and did not do to stamp out the clerical sexual abuse of children, the Vatileaks scandal and more.”

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, the author of the bestselling book Lean In, is writing a new book about the sudden death last year of her husband, David Goldberg. Option B, written in collaboration with Adam Grant, “will touch on themes of hardship,” said Grant, “and finding comfort after marriage, raising children and experiencing suffering.”

J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling announced on Saturday that Harry Potter’s adventures have come to an end. At the opening gala for the book and theater production Harry Potter and the Lost Child—sold out for the moment, with a new batch of golden tickets to be released on August 4 for performances through December 2017—the author said of the wizard: “He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done.”

Hillary Clinton continues to gain endorsements from prominent writers—even those who are emphatically lukewarm about her candidacy. In The Guardian, P.  J. O’Rourke writes of Clinton: “I mean, she’s wrong about absolutely everything, but she’s wrong within normal parameters.” He’s siding with Clinton because Trump is “just a fool—incredibly shallow and a liar. . . . There’s nothing predictable about him. When you have the outsized power of the president, that unpredictability is unacceptable.” Andrew Sullivan, who has returned to the Internet after shuttering his politics blog The Dish in 2015, live-blogged the Republican and Democratic conventions for New York and told the New York Times that although Clinton hasn’t changed, “she’s the only thing standing between Trump and us. She’ll do.”

After some staffers tweeted enthusiastically about President Obama’s DNC speech, BuzzFeed editor in chief Ben Smith reminded employees to “refrain from taking ‘partisan stands’ on social media.” Smith noted that readers are less likely to trust journalists who “are vitriolic about a subject, or . . . are celebratory. When in doubt, the ideal journalistic posture is: 👀”

Politico reports that vice presidential candidate and prolific op-ed writer Mike Pence is trying to convince the Trump campaign to stop blacklisting media outlets. Pence told radio host Hugh Hewitt, “I fully expect in the next 100 days we’re going to continue to be available to the media, whether they’re fair or unfair.”

A newly unearthed Michael Crichton novel, which dramatizes the rivalry of two paleontologists, has been acquired by HarperCollins. Crichton’s widow Sherri found the manuscript while looking through the late author’s files for material for his official archives. The novel is slated to be released in 2017.

 

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