- - Sunday, December 18, 2011

Beach Boys announce 50th anniversary reunion tour

It’s almost winter, but get ready for some surf and sun: The Beach Boys are reuniting.

The surviving founding members of the classic rock group - Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine - announced Friday they are getting back together to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary. They’re working on a new album and also plan a 50-date tour that will take them around the world.

Mr. Wilson said in a statement that he misses “the boys” and it will be a thrill to be on stage with them again.

The group also includes Bruce Johnston and David Marks, who have been with the band for decades.

The Beach Boys’ first concert is scheduled for April 27 at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Sales jump for books written by Hitchens

Fans of Christopher Hitchens are doing more than mourning his death: They’re buying his books.

“Arguably,” an essay collection released in September, and “God is Not Great,” his 2007 best-seller, were both in the top 100 on Amazon.com as of Friday afternoon. Three of his books, including the memoir “Hitch-22,” were in the top 6 on Amazon’s list of “Movers and Shakers,” the fastest sellers.

Mr. Hitchens died Thursday at age 62 after an 18-month battle with cancer of the esophagus. He was known for his fiery and eloquent rhetoric, his militant atheism, and his defiance of political category.

Twelve Publishers announced Friday that a memoir about his illness he had been working on, “Mortality,” would come out next year.

Stephen King’s heating oil help exceeds goals

Horror author Stephen King’s effort to raise money to help low-income Maine residents pay their heating oil bills this winter has exceeded its goals, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Mr. King announced last month that his foundation would match up to $70,000 if listeners of the three Bangor-area radio stations he owns donated that amount, for a total of $140,000.

Listeners donated $24,000, the Lerner Foundation pitched in $46,000, and the foundation kept its promise.

On-air personality Pat LaMarche says an anonymous Californian then promised another $50,000, if Mr. King matched it. The Maine native agreed, bringing the total to more than $240,000.

Mr. King says he’s grateful to everybody who helped.

The federal government told the state it should expect $23 million in heating oil assistance this winter, down from $55.6 million last winter.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.

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