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maya-angelouIn the past week, the biggest literary news was the sad passing of acclaimed and cherished American poet and writer Maya Angelou. The beloved author of the 1969 autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings inspired many with her legacy of works, and her death at the age of 86 led to numerous commemorative events across the US and elsewhere. At the time of her death she had been teaching at Wake Forest University, North Carolina.

Summer reading isn’t just beach books and romance novels; there are a whole host of novels coming our way over the next – hopefully sunny – few months. USA Today has compiled a list of 30 upcoming titles to get you excited for summer. Despite being a US list, many of the titles have simultaneous release dates for UK readers: Summer reads

Amy Poehler has released a preview of her anticipated book’s cover. Though it may lack the immediate laughs of comedian BFF Tina Fey’s fantastic Bossy Pants cover, Poehler’s Yes Please will hopefully be just as funny, as well as an insightful look into the life of Leslie Knope…I mean Poehler, Amy Poehler.

Another important lady with a book on the way is Hillary Clinton, who will be publishing the highly awaited memoir Hard Choices on June 10th. Many are anticipating Clinton to run in the next Democratic Presidential race, so this book should hopefully be an informative look at the recent making of a major player in world politics. It might not be perfect bedtime reading, but could be at least a bit of an eye opener.

Researchers are now claiming that Scottish poet Robert Burns may have had bipolar disorder. ‘May have’ is key here, as such a statement cannot be proven conclusively, according to the academics at the heart of this assessment. Though initially brought up in 2009 to general mockery, effort is now being made to officially prove or refute this claim with the help of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies.

The controversy over GCSE examinations continues to intensify, but more announcements have been made to try and reassure readers and teachers of Gove’s planned changes. Maya Angelou, John Steinbeck and Harper Lee are to be replaced by Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go), Alan Bennett, Mark Haddon and Meera Syal. Comparing this to rumours that Dickens, Austen and Shakespeare would feature more heavily, this is clearly a diverse list of British authors that are being added to the syllabus. However, true diversity in proposed reading lists still requires commitment to authors writing from beyond UK borders.

Can you identify classic sci fi books by their covers? The Guardian dares you to: Sci Fi quiz

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