On the Books: Paul Ryan inks book deal; celebrated Ghanaian poet killed in Nairobi mall attack

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Image Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

This weekend’s news spanned the globe, with the passings of notable international poets, while at home, a former VP candidate signed a book deal and some poets scouring Craigslist hit the jackpot. Read on for the top books headlines:

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, the party’s 2012 vice presidential candidate, struck a book deal with Twelve, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing. The book is titled “Where Do We Go from Here?”

Overseas, Ghana is mourning the death of poet and statesman Kofi Awoonor, who was killed in Saturday’s attack on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Ghana’s president, John Dramani Mahama, said in a statement, “I am shocked to hear the death of professor Kofi Awoonor in the Nairobi mall terrorist attack. Such a sad twist of fate.” [Al Jazeera]

The weekend also saw the passing of prolific Colombian writer and poet Alvaro Mutis Jaramillo, who died Sunday at age 90. “The millions of friends and admirers of Alvaro Mutis profoundly lament his death. All of Colombia honors him,” said Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. [Washington Post]

Moving on to Asia, here’s an excerpt from Wild Swans author Jung Chan’s new book on Empress Dowager Cixi, the semi-literate concubine who ruled China behind the scenes from 1861 to 1908. [The Telegraph]

Meanwhile, actress Joanna Lumley launched a campaign to save the childhood playground of J.M. Barrie, which inspired Peter Pan. [The Telegraph]

Make sure to join Robert McCrum as he embarks on his 100-week project, a “100 Best Novels” list, beginning with John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. [The Guardian]

Game of Thrones fans, here’s your chance to pick up a magazine only about George R.R. Martin. Random House and Flipboard are teaming up to produce a custom digital magazine for the author called The World of Ice and Fire, and will also be producing one for Margaret Atwood called MaddAddam’s World. [Publisher's Weekly]

Finally, for your weird-but-awesome literary news of the day: A Craigslist ad asked for one poem in exchange for a whopping $10,000. [The New York Times]

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