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Can You Read This Witch Spell? A Chicago Library Needs You

The Newberry is asking for public's help in translating 17th-century charms manuscript

(Newser) - In the market for some 17th-century spells written by (possible) real-life witches? The Book of Magical Charms, a handwritten manuscript penned by two unknown Brits in the 1600s, is shelved at Chicago's Newberry Library, along with two similar books, Quartz reports. The charms manual includes everyday tips and remedies,... More »

Their Names Are on Tolkien's Grave. Now, They're a Book

He wrote fairy tale while recovering from WWI

(Newser) - JRR Tolkien's fairy tale love story Beren and Luthien is now a book—100 years after he came up with the story as a 24-year-old WWI veteran traumatized by the horror of the trenches. The book was edited by Christopher Tolkien, the author's 92-year-old son, who includes Tolkien'... More »

Clinton's Next Book: a Thriller Written With James Patterson

Yes, really

(Newser) - Bill Clinton's books: a 1,000-page autobiography , a couple of treatises on his political philosophy, books on the importance of giving and government , and ... a thriller? Yes, Clinton is collaborating with best-selling novelist James Patterson on The President Is Missing, due out June 2018, the AP reports. The book... More »

Caitlyn Makes Big Reveal in New Memoir

She's had gender reassignment surgery, 'People' confirms

(Newser) - Caitlyn Jenner has a new memoir dropping April 25, and she makes a big announcement in it, People has confirmed: She underwent gender reassignment surgery in January, meaning her physical transformation from male to female is more or less complete. "The surgery was a success, and I feel not... More »

Despite Milo Move, Author Won't Let Publisher Off Hook

Feminist author Roxane Gay rails on Simon & Schuster

(Newser) - People are buzzing about Simon & Schuster pulling Milo Yiannopoulos' upcoming book, Dangerous, over past pedophilia comments—but one person not giving him, or the publisher, a pass is Roxane Gay. On her Tumblr , the Bad Feminist author digs into S&S, noting that no, "they did not finally... More »

Kitten Experiment in 4th-Grade Textbook Outrages Parents

India science primer tells kids to suffocate cats to illustrate how living beings need air

(Newser) - A textbook has sparked outrage in India for instructing fourth-graders to suffocate a kitten to show how living beings need air. The experiment described in the environmental science textbook for 9-year-olds tells the students to place two kittens in separate boxes, one of them without air holes, and wait to... More »

Ex-Husband: Judy Garland Was Groped by Munchkins on Oz Set

'They thought they could get away with anything because they were so small'

(Newser) - Judy Garland's third husband has a posthumous memoir out, and parts of it will be very uncomfortable reading for Wizard of Oz fans. In Judy and I: My Life With Judy Garland, Sid Luft claims that the 16-year-old Garland was groped by Munchkins on set, People reports. "They... More »

Hillary to Dish on 2016 Race in New Book

Clinton's Simon & Schuster tome will feature favorite quotations, personal essays

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton has a lot of plans for 2017, including some reflections on her stunning loss last fall to Donald Trump. The former secretary of state, senator, and first lady is working on a book of personal essays that will come out this fall, Simon & Schuster tells the AP... More »

What This Man Learned in Letting 83 Insects Sting Him

Justin Schmidt has suffered for science

(Newser) - If you ever get stung by a tarantula hawk , Justin Schmidt has some advice: "Lie down and scream." The entomologist has endured the sting of that wasp, along with the stings of 82 other insects from around the world, as part of what FiveThirtyEight describes as an obsession... More »

Book Details Women's 'Horrifically Unspeakable' Suffering Under Nazis

Both Jewish and non-Jewish women suffered

(Newser) - "We don't have the right to say it's too difficult to read." That's what Beverley Chalmers says about her book Birth, Sex and Abuse: Women's Voices Under Nazi Rule , which chronicles the "horrific" experiences endured by both Jewish and non-Jewish women as the... More »

Michigan Couple Face Jail Over Late Dr. Seuss Book

They say it isn't criminal to take so long paying late fees

(Newser) - A Michigan husband and wife are beside themselves after having been warned they could face up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine over two unreturned library books. It all started in the summer of 2014, when their son checked out a Dr. Seuss book for the couple'... More »

Before Jack the Ripper Came America's First Serial Killer

The 'Midnight Assassin' terrorized Austin in the 1880s

(Newser) - For years, author Skip Hollandsworth has been trying to solve the case of the Midnight Assassin—a serial killer who brutally slayed six women and a 12-year-old girl in Austin, Texas, between December 1884 and December 1885. But, he tells the Star-Telegram , "I still have no clue," adding... More »

New Book: Koch Brothers' Dad Dealt With Third Reich

And wealthy family helped fund today's conservative movement, per Jane Mayer

(Newser) - There's been plenty written about the Koch brothers , but a new book offers a fresh take on the controversial family. Prominent among the pages of Jane Mayer's Dark Money is the claim the Koch clan was among a group of rich families that brought to fruition, through their... More »

Author: Nazi Soldiers Were High on Crystal Meth

Norman Ohler's new book also describes Hitler's drug use

(Newser) - You can add drug abuse to the long list of Nazi exploits, according to author Norman Ohler, who claims Adolf Hitler's soldiers were as high as a kite during World War II. When a friend mentioned Nazi soldiers used drugs, Ohler began scouring US and German archives and uncovered... More »

Bacteria Took Part of His Face; Then His Parents Left

Abandoned as a baby, Howard Shulman describes journey to reunion

(Newser) - As a child, Howard Shulman bounced from family to family as a ward of New Jersey, enduring close to a hundred operations. Suffering from a rare bacterial infection that ate away at half of his face as a newborn, Shulman—or as he became known to the state, XUG-905—was... More »

Holly Madison: Hef Was Abusive

Former Playboy Bunny bashes her once-lover in new book

(Newser) - Holly Madison insists that she doesn't like talking about living at the Playboy mansion and dating Hugh Hefner, but believes "it's important to tell the truth of my story." The 35-year-old former Playboy Bunny writes about life before, during, and after the mansion in her new... More »

New Fifty Shades Book Out Today Is 'Raunchiest Yet'

But no surprises await in EL James' Grey

(Newser) - Anyone who doesn't care to purchase EL James' newest book in the Fifty Shades of Grey series might want to steer clear of bookstores today. A million copies of Grey—essentially Fifty Shades of Grey told from the perspective of BDSM's most notorious fictional fan, Christian Grey—are... More »

Debut Author's 'Staggering' Sales Break Record

The Girl on the Train 's next stop: the big screen

(Newser) - Journalist-turned-author Paula Hawkins has apparently found her calling. Four months after releasing The Girl on the Train, the author's first thriller has reportedly broken a record as the fastest adult hardcover to reach a "staggering" 2 million copies sold, and a film adaptation is now in the works.... More »

Former Top Spook Spills His National Security Fears

Starting with an al-Qaeda attack on home soil

(Newser) - Michael Morell may have left his post as acting director of the CIA, but he's still haunted by fears of another attack like 9/11, which he guesses would involve al-Qaeda bringing down an airliner on American soil, potentially killing hundreds of people. "If that happened tomorrow, I would... More »

Krakauer Book on Campus Rape Rocks Mont. Town

'Missoula' scrutinizes sexual assaults at university and how victims were treated

(Newser) - Jon Krakauer, the author of Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, has a new book out today, and there's one town in particular that's been steeling itself for its release for months. Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town stays true to its title,... More »

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