Palin media blitz
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's television documentary debuts Nov. 14 on TLC. The show, called Sarah Palin's Alaska, is slated for just eight episodes and has been billed by TLC as part travelogue, part documentary. But that's just part of the media blitz for Palin, who many assume will be running for president in 2012. The former vice-presidential nominee's new book, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, will go on sale Nov. 23.
Russian author Leo Tolstoy died 100 years ago on Nov. 20 at Astapovo railway station as a fugitive from his former life. Days prior to his death, Tolstoy, who penned War and Peace and Anna Karenina, had left his family and fortune behind, seeking to live his final years as a traveling ascetic.
Nearly 2 million Muslims from across the globe are expected to arrive in Mecca to complete the Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage. The Hajj will begin at the sighting of the new moon, expected around Nov. 14. Every able-bodied Muslim is expected to complete the pilgrimage once during his lifetime.
Obama book release
President Obama's latest book hits stores on Nov. 16. The book, titled Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, is meant for children and is a tribute to 13 Americans, including George Washington, Georgia O'Keefe, and Jackie Robinson.
National Adoption Day
November is National Adoption Month (see "Adoption obstacles") and on Nov. 20 adoption advocates and policymakers celebrate National Adoption Day. The National Adoption Day Coalition reports that last year advocates marked the day with 345 events nationwide.
Harry Potter release
The first part of the final installment of the Harry Potter movie series premieres Nov. 19. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be a two-part finale of the wildly popular series that began in 2001. The previous Potter film grossed nearly $1 billion off of a $250 million budget. Part 2, and the final Harry Potter movie, will arrive in 2011.