Shiver me timbers

R.L. Stine, author of the beloved "Goosebumps" series of creepy, crawly stories, is heading to "HorrorLand." The ghoulish theme park will be the springboard for 12 new tales, with Scholastic Books planning to release the first two next April.

The "HorrorLand" series will include new characters and revive some "Goosebumps" villains. Each story will stand on its own, but an overarching mystery will be threaded through the dozen books.

Stine's "Goosebumps" series has sold more than 300 million copies since it debuted in 1992. As part of its marketing push, Scholastic plans to reissue the books with new cover illustrations and launch specialized websites to complement each story.

— Kristina Lindgren 5/18/07


Around the world in 42 days

Feeling hemmed in lately? Maybe you want to pick up a copy of the recently re-released classic by Frenchman Xavier de Maistre, "Journey Round My Room." It tells of the author's imaginary journeys during his house arrest for 42 days as a punishment for dueling while serving as an officer in the Piedmontese army.

Confined to his Turin quarters for six weeks, De Maistre (1763-1852) counts the 36 paces of the room's border and then starts exploring the items within it and examining their significance upon his life. He writes about lessons he's learned from his servant and his dog, frequent visitors. At times, he uses his armchair as a proto-Segway, tipping it backward, forward and sideways to help spur his imagination. Taking armchair travel to a new level, he comments upon the pictures on his walls, the view outside and just about anything else that comes to mind. And a lot comes to his mind. The book features echoes of Laurence Sterne's "Tristram Shandy," acccording to the publisher, Arion Press.

The book's run is limited to 300 numbered copies, with photographs of models of the room taken with a cellphone camera by architect Ross Anderson. An additional 30 copies come in a special boxed set, designed by Anderson, with the box evoking the apartment and portholes to peek inside representing the windows. Welcome to the examined life.

— Orli Low 5/18/07


Celebrating Studs

Studs Terkel turns 95 today, and to honor him, the New Press has reissued "The Studs Terkel Reader: My American Century" (with a new foreword by Calvin Trillin), featuring selections from the many oral records that he has created during his career. His memoir, "Touch and Go," is scheduled to be published by the press in November.

That's not all, though. The publisher has also set up a Studs link where people can post tributes and read a variety of quirky entries about him and find unexpected features, including his favorite martini recipe or a link to buy red socks online like the ones Terkel wears. The New Press announced in its press materials that a skywriter was chartered to fly over Chicago at 11 a.m. today and write "Happy 95th B-Day Studs Terkel" above the city Terkel has called home since childhood.

— Nick Owchar 5/16/07


No spoilers, please
At the Leaky Cauldron, one of the preeminent Harry Potter websites, you can be assured of one thing about the forthcoming "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows": No leaks about the novel will be tolerated. The website has posted a strident warning that anyone sending on a spoiler could find themselves in legal hot water. So, if a copy of the book miraculously lands in your hands early, the message is clear: Keep it to yourself! That's also the message that J.K. Rowling herself has issued, .