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Over the weekend British author Jackie Collins, the glamorous well-known writer of salaciously steamy romance novels, sadly passed away at the age of 77 in her home in Los Angeles. The author, who during her long-running career sold 500 million copies of her books in numerous translations throughout the world (including more than 30 books that hit the New York Times’s best-seller spot), had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Joan Collins posted a touching tribute to her younger sister on twitter which said: “Farewell to my beautiful brave baby sister. I will love you and miss you forever. Rest in peace.”

In other book news:

The Man Booker Prize shortlist has now been created, and includes two British novelists in the chosen six. Tom McCarthy (Satin Island) and Sunjeev Sahota (The Year of the Runaways) are the nominated pair up against two Americans (Anne Tyler for A Spool of Blue Thread and Hanya Yanagihara for A Little Life), the Jamaican author Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings) and Nigerian writer Chigozie Obioma (The Fishermen). Favourite longlisted author Marilynne Robinson was surprisingly excluded from the shortlist for her novel Lila, which has already garnered plenty of praise in other award prizegivings so far this year.

Another week, another slice of Harry Potter news. This time it’s not to do with the always active J. K. Rowling, but fans of the book series themselves. A recent movement, started by MuggleNet.com, among readers has been gaining steam, with the campaign #PotterItForward, for which readers are leaving notes and messages in Potter books in libraries detailing the ways that Rowling’s fictional world has impacted and inspired them personally.

The BBC National Short Story awards has its list of authors shortlisted, including Mark Haddon and Hilary Mantel. Five authors are in line to win the £15,000 prize: Mantel for ‘The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher’, Mark Haddon for ‘Bunny’, Jonathan Buckley for ‘Briar Road’, Frances Leviston for ‘Broderie Anglaise’ and Jeremy Page for ‘Do it Now, Jump the Table’.

X-Men and The Usual Suspects director Bryan Singer will be adapting Jules Vernes’ classic adventure tale 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for the big screen. The famous late nineteenth-century science fiction novel follows a mariner, Pierre Aronnax, sent to investigate claims made by several sea crews in 1866 about the existence of a sea monster. The monster, however, turns out to be an advanced form of submarine named Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo.

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