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Morning Shots: Protesting A Library 'Raid,' Summer Books, And Steve Martin

One of the most interesting reads of the day is about a rather upsetting event: a "midnight raid" that removed the books from the Kensal Rise Library in London during a dispute over its closing. Joan Bakewell's essay concludes, "the Kensal Rise story stands witness to our loss of values and our slow drift to being an uncaring and ignorant country." [The Telegraph]

NPR's Summer Books series is underway, and I strongly encourage you to bookmark it, read it, and enjoy it — it's one of our best showcases for arts content all year. But it's not the only summer books coverage out there — I like the Atlantic Wire's collection of summer reading lists from YA authors including Judy Blume and R.L. Stine. [The Atlantic Wire]

I must link you to this story about Universal smacking down an alleged direct-to-DVD rip-off of Battleship (...why?), simply so you can read about how the alleged rip-off-ers once made a direct-to-DVD movie called Transmorphers. I don't know why, but that was my first out-loud laugh of the day. [The Hollywood Reporter]

It appears that American Idol's Phillip Phillips is being rewarded for his not-terrible coronation song: it debuted at #2 on the Hot Digital Songs chart, and it's the best first-week download number since they started tracking such things. [Entertainment Weekly]

Today is the day The A.V. Club starts reviewing Firefly for Summer TV Club Classic series. It's kind of surprising they didn't do it already. Do they have the proper amount of verve about this project? Please enjoy the blurb on this page that says, "Thrill as we review episodes out of order! Enjoy as we post reviews erratically, in different timeslots, sometimes in the wee hours of the morning!" (They're just kidding.) [The A.V. Club]

Injuries are not funny. Concussions, especially if you get a lot of them, are bad. That's the only reason "Justin Bieber suffers concussion after walking into glass wall" is not an extremely funny headline. [The Guardian]

Slashfilm runs down recent rumors that Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone may wind up in a boxing movie together. [Slashfilm]

Vulture has a good rundown of the ratings specifics for History's Hatfields & McCoys, which got huge ratings this week — although largely in a demographic that tends to get less respect from networks. [Vulture]

George Lucas says he's quitting big movies and going into little movies. The best part, as quoted by Deadline from an interview with Empire magazine, is where he says, "I'm going to retire to my garage with my saw and hammer and build hobby movies." Of course, 20 years later, he will remake the same hobby movies, only this time with a saw and an axe. But I kid George Lucas! [Empire via Deadline]

Julie Taymor and the producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, who fired her as director and went on to make the poorly-reviewed show a financial success, are headed to court. [The New York Times]

And finally: In actual great news, Steve Martin's comedy specials are coming to DVD in a box set. [Splitsider]

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Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.

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