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’Three Cups’ readers take fraud claims to court

MOUNTAINEERING — Three people who bought books by mountain climber Greg Mortenson are taking their claims of fraud against the humanitarian to a federal appeals court. 

Last month, U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon dismissed their lawsuit that alleged that Mortenson, his publisher, his co-author and his charity lied in his books “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones Into Schools” to boost sales and donations.  

Haddon called the case flimsy and “fraught with shortcomings.”  

The Associated Press reports today that on Wednesday, attorneys for the readers from Montana and California filed a notice of appeal with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A fourth plaintiff from Illinois has dropped out of the lawsuit. 

The best-selling memoirs recount how Mortenson started building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The lawsuit was filed last year after media reports that Mortenson fabricated parts of them.
  

Rick Bass to give Get Lit! a wilderness connection

OUTDOOR LITERATURE — Author Rick Bass of Montana's Yaak Valley, who captured a national audience by writing on man’s relationship with nature, will blend his perspective with an edgy Montana band in a special Get Lit! reading performance April 14, 7 p.m., in the Blue Room of the Spokane Masonic Center, 1108 W. Riverside Ave. Cost: $15

His readings will be accompanied by the unique live performance sound of Stellarondo.
 
A pass for the annual literary festival organized by Eastern Washington University is $45 for the week-long event that's phasing into high gear next week. Tickets are available from TicketsWest.
 
Read on for more about Rick Bass and the upcoming performance.

Orlean, Whitehead, Lowry booked for Get Lit!

Some big literary names have been booked into Eastern Washington University's Get Lit! Festival April 11-15:

  • Susan Orlean, author of “The Orchid Thief” and the just-released “Rin Tin Tin: Life and Legend,” the biography of the famous movie dog. The latter is poised to be one of the bestselling books of the season.
  • Colson Whitehead, author of “Sag Harbor,” “The Intuitionist” and the new “Zone One,” an ironic take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel. 
  • Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate.
  • Rick Bass, author of “The Wild Marsh” and many other meditative books about the West and its natural history.
  • Lois Lowry, the Newberry Award-winning young adult author.
  • Steve Almond, author of “Candyfreak” and “God Bless America: Stories.”
  • Jess Walter, Spokane novelist and National Book Award finalist.

This impressive lineup makes the Festival Pass look like an excellent option at $45. You can get them via Ticketswest outlets beginning Nov. 4. Individual tickets won't go on sale until Jan. 2.