J.K. Rowling

Exploring the Architecture of Harry Potter's Universe

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When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 opens in theaters this Friday, we’ll be closing the door on a beloved film franchise. As our friends over Architizer point out, one of the most memorable aspects of these magical movies — especially for the architecturally-inclined — is their intricate set design. Now, thanks to Architectural Digest’s new interview with Academy Award–winning production designer Stuart Craig, you can meet the man who helped bring J.K. Rowling’s epic vision to life. Click through for a few quick highlights from the article, and head over to Architectural Digest to take the full tour of the Potter sets.
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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

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1. After spending the past seven years fighting Mark Zuckerberg, the beefy Winklevoss twins have decided not to take a challenge to their $65 million 2008 settlement to the Supreme Court. Facebook’s rather glib response to the news: “We’ve considered this case closed for a long time, and we’re pleased to see the other party… Read More

RIP, Our Favorite Secondary Characters in Literature

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We all grieve when the protagonist of a novel dies, but how about when we mourn over characters who aren’t as prominent? They might be the friends, mentors, peers, and family members who share the spotlight at times but who either peripheral to the main action or because of other circumstances drift apart from the storyline at some point along the way, due to their untimely ends. From the unexpected deaths to the horribly slow ones, we offer you ten secondary characters who passed too soon but who will not be forgotten.
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Famous Last Words: Our 20 Favorite Final Lines in Literature

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Endings, as we all know, are important. An entire novel can be ruined by a disappointing ending, but by the same token, an entire novel can be made by a wonderful one. We’ve already given you a rundown of our favorite opening lines in literature, but since every beginning needs an ending (and you’d be surprised at how many works with awesome first lines also have awesome last lines – or perhaps you wouldn’t be surprised), we feel compelled to treat you to a list of our favorite last lines as well. Click through for 20 of our favorite endings from our bookshelf of classic and contemporary greats, and let us know your own picks for best last lines in the comments.
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When Real Books Inspire Fake Books

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Whether retroactively penned by adoring fans, postmodern literary pranksters, or the original authors themselves, imaginary books have a way of eventually making their way into reality, evolving from two-dimensional plot props into real published tomes. Although we’ve already made a wishlist of reads we wish fictional characters would write — and indeed over in TV-land, characters from Mad Men’s Roger Sterling to Californication’s Hank Moody have also had their fictional volumes published on this side of the screen — here are five real books that exemplify literary life imitating fictional art.
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Against Promotional Author Photographs

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Excellent authors avoid writing cliches. The problem is that some of these very authors do not apply the same level of vigilance when it comes to taking promotional photographs, whether they’re for magazine profiles or back-of-the-book biographies. In an attempt to look uniquely profound yet accessible, or convey some novel combination of deep thoughts with good times, a lot of writers end up looking exactly the same as their peers. It doesn’t matter if the authors are well-established or just scheduling their first panel discussion — all are susceptible to producing hackneyed images.

Since we don’t expect authors to be virtuosos in every medium, we thought we’d take a critical look at five categories of promotional-author photography as a warning for all future writers who want to break out of the formula.
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