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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

Working women upset about Ivanka Trump's new book, 'Women Who Work'

Ivanka Trump’s second book, “Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success,” which was released Tuesday, didn’t receive an entirely warm welcome, especially from working women.

>> Read more trending news 

Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that teaches girls to learn how to write code, was featured in the book. 

>> Related: Before Michelle, Barack Obama proposed to another woman, book claims

Saujani wasn’t happy about her story being included, and not long after the book’s release, Saujani published a tweet to Trump telling her not to feature her story unless she stopped being “complicit,” writing: “@ivankatrump don’t use my story in #WomenWhoWork unless you are going to stop being #complicit #askivanka.”

Another woman quoted in the book, renowned scientist Jane Goodall, who said she was never informed that she was going to be quoted in the book, also had something to say to Trump. 

In a statement to Mashable, Goodall said:

“I understand that Ms. Trump has used one of my quotes in her forthcoming book. I was not aware of this, and have not spoken with her, but I sincerely hope she will take the full import of my words to heart.

“She is in a position to do much good or terrible harm. I hope that Ms. Trump will stand with us to value and cherish our natural world and protect this planet for future generations.”

Soon, other women started sending out their own messages of frustration over Trump’s book, which is described as a book that will give readers the “best skills” that she has learned from “amazing people.”

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

The book’s description is as follows: 

“‘Women Who Work’ will equip you with the best skills I’ve learned from some of the amazing people I’ve met, on subjects such as identifying opportunities, shifting careers smoothly, negotiating, leading teams, starting companies, managing work and family and helping change the system to make it better for women -- now and in the future. I hope it will inspire you to redefine success and architect a life that honors your individual passions and priorities, in a way only you can.”

New picture book will show black Santa with white husband

Most depictions of Santa Claus show a hefty white man with a white beard in a red suit with a hat to match. 

But one man is advocating for black Santa in a unique way. 

>> Read more trending news

Daniel Kibblesmith, a staff writer for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” first tweeted his idea about black Santa in December, when he said he had decided he would only tell his future children about black Santa.

“If they see a white one, we’ll say, ‘That’s his husband,’” Kibblesmith wrote. 

Nearly four months later, Kibblesmith posted an update with developments of a book idea. 

The book, titled “Santa’s Husband,” is described as a “parody children’s book ... which tells the true story of black Santa and his white husband ... and their life in the North Pole,” according to a release. 

The book chronicles the men and explains that white Santa is often the face of the couple, as he’s seen out more frequently, while his husband fulfills other duties.

Cover art shows the interracial couple looking lovingly into each others’ eyes.  

Harper Design will publish the book in October. 

Kibblesmith has also authored “How to Win at Everything: Even Things You Can’t or Shouldn’t Try to Win At.”

Class assignment leads 8-year-old to become bestselling author

What started off as a school assignment led one 8-year-old girl to land on Amazon’s Best Seller list.

>> Read more trending news

Nia Mya Reese is a student in Hoover, Alabama. She has an “annoying” little brother who constantly keeps her on her toes.

“He won’t always listen,” Nia told CBS News.

Nia Mya wrote a book about her experiences as a big sister titled, “How to Deal With and Care For Your Annoying Little Brother.” The book has since landed at the top of Amazon’s Best Seller list for parenting under the sibling relationships subsection.

The book began as a first-grade class assignment last year.

“Nia Mya shared that she was a great big sister to an annoying little brother,” teacher Beth Hankins told CBS News.

Nia Mya’s mom, Cherinita, turned the book into a summer assignment, encouraging Nia Mya to work on getting the words and sentences just right.

Now, Nia Mya has a fan base and attends book signing for her book. She said she learned something very valuable from the whole experience.

“I learned to follow my own dreams,” she said. 

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, author who wrote heartbreaking 'dating profile' for husband, dead at 51

The terminally ill Chicago author who wrote a heartbreaking "dating profile" for her husband has died.

According to The Associated Press, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015, died Monday, her literary agent confirmed. She was 51.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Author with terminal cancer writes emotional 'dating profile' for husband

In a column titled "You May Want to Marry My Husband" published earlier this month in The New York Times, Rosenthal, known for her children's books and the memoir "Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal," wrote about how she hoped that her husband, Jason, will love again after her death. The essay quickly went viral online, with more than 4 1/2 million readers, the Times reported.

>> Read the full essay here

"I'm facing a deadline, in this case, a pressing one," Rosenthal wrote. "I need to say this (and say it right) while I have a) your attention, and b) a pulse."

She then described her husband of 26 years in a mock dating profile.

"I have never been on Tinder, Bumble or eHarmony, but I'm going to create a general profile for Jason right here, based on my experience of coexisting in the same house with him for, like, 9,490 days," she wrote.

Rosenthal called Jason an "absolutely wonderful father" and a "dreamy, let's-go-for-it travel companion."

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

She added: "Here is the kind of man Jason is: He showed up at our first pregnancy ultrasound with flowers. This is a man who, because he is always up early, surprises me every Sunday morning by making some kind of oddball smiley face out of items near the coffeepot: a spoon, a mug, a banana.

"This is a man who emerges from the minimart or gas station and says, 'Give me your palm.' And, voila, a colorful gumball appears. (He knows I love all the flavors but white.)

"My guess is you know enough about him now. So let's swipe right."

Days later, Jason shared his emotional reaction to the essay.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Husband of dying author says he was 'ripped apart' by emotional 'dating profile'

"I was with her as she labored through this process, and I can tell you that writing the story was no easy task," Jason told People magazine. "When I read her words for the first time, I was shocked at the beauty, slightly surprised at the incredible prose given her condition and, of course, emotionally ripped apart.”

He said he doesn't have his wife's way with words, "but if I did, I can assure you that my tale would be about the most epic love story – ours," People reported.

>> Read more trending news

That love was apparent on Valentine's Day, when Jason "hung music sheets with words to different love songs for Amy, with notes on each one," Rosenthal's literary agent, Amy Rennert, told the Chicago Sun-Times. It was the same day Rosenthal completed her column.

Read more here or here.

After learning she didn't have long to live, she composed a dating profile for the man she'd leave behind https://t.co/j7SStrsMo6— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 5, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

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