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The inside scoop on the book world

The inside scoop on the book world–”Harry Potter,” Stan Lee and Valerie Harper

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No trouble with Harry
Although it’s slated to go on sale July 8, J.K. Rowling‘s fourth Harry Potter installment, tentatively titled Harry Potter and the Doomspell Tournament, tops the current Amazon.com list. While the site lists popular books well in advance of on-sale dates — you can, for example, preorder Patricia Cornwell‘s The Last Precinct, coming in November — never has an upcoming book shot to the top of the best-seller list so early. (The Last Precinct is at 637.) Amazon thinks sales will be record-breaking. Scholastic, Rowling’s publisher, has similar expectations, though it won’t begin taking orders from booksellers until March. ”It’s a Harry Potter world; we just live in it,” says a happy Michael Jacobs, senior VP at Scholastic.

Mair and Rhoda
Stan Lee, the comic book legend and creative force behind Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, will finally be telling his own story, teaming up with writer George Mair to pen Stan Lee: Master of Imagination. Lee says of his Marvel Comics days, ”I’d like to think that we took what had formerly been a two-dimensional type of superhero and humanized him.” Fireside/Simon & Schuster will publish in spring 2001…. Hot off her TV reunion with Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda Morgenstern — er, that is, Valerie Harper — has sold a book about life as an older woman. Today I Am a Ma’am: and Other Musings on Life, Beauty and Growing Older will be a collection of essays that range from relationships to Rhoda herself. ”It’s very much for the aging baby boomer,” says Diane Reverand, publisher of the Cliff Street Books imprint of HarperCollins, which paid in the mid-six figures for the title.