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The Inauguration was nothing compared to this: The Washington Post warns D.C. residents--especially the Masons among them--to prepare for a tourist onslaught once Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, rumored to be a romp through the secrets of our capital city, is released next week. Sample experience from the European locations of Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code: "One Roman tour guide describes how her tours of the Colosseum were so frequently interrupted by tourists more interested in 'Angels & Demons' faux-history that she had to create a special tour for them." (Meanwhile, as part of New York magazine's Dan Brown package, Sam Anderson semi-recuperates him from critical purgatory by arguing that The Da Vinci Code is "intelligibility porn: You get the satisfaction of understanding, over and over, without any of the real-world effort.")

Love in Lancaster County: After a couple decades of saying, when I describe where my family is from, "Pennsylvania Dutch country, you know, like Witness," maybe I can start saying, "You know, like the bonnet books." The Wall Street Journal reports that Amish love stories by writers like Cindy Woodsmall, Beverly Lewis, and Wanda Brunstetter are selling "like shoofly pie," with mixed responses among the Amish themselves. (You know when the risque love interest is a Mennonite, you're not in Twilight country anymore--speaking of which: who is going to write the first Amish vampire series?)

Last exit in London: Independent publisher Marion Boyars, the UK home of Georges Bataille, Hubert Selby, and Shel Silverstein, among others, is closing its doors after the fall season.

Moving & shaking: Mark Goulston's Just Listen: Discovering the Secret to Getting Through to Just About Anyone is #2 on Movers & Shakers this morning, jumping to #64 in our overall top 100. Is it thanks to this HuffPost endorsement?


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Re your comment under "Love in Lancaster County": If and when an Amish vampire series is written, it would have to include quilting (a prick of the finger by a needle produces a drop of blood, which raises the 'hackles' of the vampire), and puppy mills (yeah, a real problem in Amish country...I've seen it first hand). Of course, this comment is completely tongue in cheek....

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