Harry Potter Ends 10 Years as Best-Seller
RACHEL MARTIN, host:
Welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. We're online all the time at npr.org. From time to time, I like to amble...
MIKE PESCA, host:
Oh! We're doing...
(Soundbite of laughter)
PESCA: You've got to tell the listeners the premise here. We're doing a limerick off of...
MARTIN: No, I didn't! We were doing radio without a net.
PESCA: Yeah, but you have to tell the premise. We're doing a limerick in real time.
MARTIN: OK, we're doing a limerick in real time.
PESCA: OK, so what was your first line?
MARTIN: From time to time, I like to amble...
PESCA: Sometimes I adopt a - though sometimes it becomes a shamble.
MARTIN: And then when things get really tense, I throw up my hands and we start to Ramble?
(Soundbite of music)
MARTIN: I don't think we succeeded on that. I...
PESCA: A-A-B-B-A. That is the rhyme scheme. All right. It's OK.
MARTIN: I'm - give me a break.
PESCA: OK, first up on our Ramble, it's finally happened. "Harry Potter" has fallen off the New York Times' bestseller list. It's been almost ten years since the list was last "Potter"-free. Akin to the NBA widening the foul lane when Will Chamberlain became too dominant in the post, the New York Times Book Review opened up a separate children's bestseller list when the "Potternaught" was keeping new titles off the fiction list.
The new children's books were frozen out, so they introduced a children's series list. They stopped short of creating a fourth list for books about wizards named Harry. It's been a good run. J. K. Rowling became the first billionaire author. The seven books in the "Potter" series have sold some 375 million copies. Last year, the final installment sold 8.3 million copies in the U.S. in its first 24 hours.
PESCA: Broke all sorts of records. When the next "Harry Potter" movie comes out, it's likely that the books will be back on the New York Times' list.
MARTIN: She is a cajillionaire (ph)!
MARTIN: I'm sure she is a cajillionaire.
PESCA: Oh, Harry.
MARTIN: Oh, Harry. So, a sad story. The late adventurer, we remember him, Steve Fossett? Well, his estate? Eight figures. That man had a lot of money, speaking of money. The cost of the search to find him when he went missing was a lot of money, 687,000 dollars. The amount contributed to the search by Barron Hilton? Two-hundred thousand dollars. Asking Fossett's widow to make up the difference? Priceless.
Apparently, she didn't want to do that. The governor of Nevada reportedly wants Steve Fossett's widow to help pay for the unsuccessful search for her husband. The 60-year - 63-year-old adventurer went missing in September, after taking off in a small plane from Barron Hilton's Nevada ranch.
The Nevada National Guard and the Civil Air Patrol embarked on a month-long search for Fossett. They covered 20,000 square miles, but they never found anything. And Fossett was legally - was declared legally dead February 15th by an Illinois judge. He left behind an eight-figure estate. A spokesman for the governor tells the AP any contribution the Fossett family makes to the search costs will be voluntary.
PESCA: A 500-year-old ship has been found by diamond hunters off the coast of Namibia. Its captain may have been a pirate, so I am obliged to do the rest of this Ramble in pirate talk. Dieter Noli, an arr-chaeologist (ph) researching the wrr-eckage (ph) said the wealth on board may tell the tale.
In addition to a bunch of ivory, some cannons, some primitive navigational equipment, there's also some copp-arrr (ph) and a bunch of silver and gold coins from Portugal and Spain. The copp-arrr (ph) found suggests that the ship may have been sent by a government looking for materials to build cannons. Anoth-arrr (ph) indication is that the ship may have been on official business. The ivory - no, I can't do it with ivory.
MARTIN: No, it doesn't work.
PESCA: Ivory trade was usually controlled by royal families, but here's the thing. If the ship had been trading for copp-arrr (ph), why was there still so much currency on board? Wouldn't they have been paid for it? Uh-huh, avast, ye mateys? Despite the fact that the wreck was pounded to smithereens, Noli is confident that they'll figure out what the ship was and what its captain was up to. Rachel Marrr-tin (ph)?
MARTIN: That was a B-plus pirate...
MARTIN: But better than mine, probably. OK...
PESCA: The peg leg gets in the way.
MARTIN: So the sweetest second-degree burglary ever. Three men have been charged after trying to bust a dog out of a city pound so he could attend his owner's funeral. Seriously. The mixed-breed dog named Luke was picked up ten days ago while roaming the streets. A day later, his owner, a 53-year-old woman named Sandra, passed away.
Now, there was this rumor that began circulating that Luke would be euthanized. So the three men tried to break Luke out before this could happen. They turned off security lines and cut a lock with wire cutters...
PESCA: Oh, no.
MARTIN: A police officer caught them as they tried to leave the pound with the dog. That's sad.
PESCA: They thought for sure it was a harebrained scheme just crazy enough to work.
MARTIN: No, authorities say...
PESCA: A rag-tag bunch of misfits, perhaps Tim Conway would be giving advice? This is so Disney movie of the week.
MARTIN: Authorities say as soon as a fence is built to contain Luke, he'll be returned to the family...
PESCA: That's good.
MARTIN: But I don't think he got to go to the funeral.
PESCA: That's OK.
MARTIN: Hey, folks, that's your ambly Rambly. These stories and more on our website, npr.org/bryantpark.
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