On the Books: Maya Angelou writes poem for Nelson Mandela; Simon & Schuster launches 'Hot Bed' category

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Image Credit: Riccardo S. Savi/WireImage

Today’s headlines feature plenty of must-reads, but one news item highlights a book published half a decade ago. Read on for more:

Maya Angelou penned a poem for Nelson Mandela, releasing a video about the late South African leader. [NPR]

On that note, Publishers Weekly has a list of books by Mandela and the best literature about him. [Publishers Weekly]

Simon & Schuster has launched a new category: the Hot Bed. Geared toward “New Adult” readers (readers interested in romance novels), the genre will serve up content through social media platforms like Twitter and Tumblr on authors like Abbi Glines, Colleen Hoover, and Alice Clayton. [LA Times]

John Williams’ novel Stoner sold only 2,000 copies when it was released 50 years ago, but today, it’s one of the most popular books, seeing commercial success internationally. U.K. bookstore Waterstones even named it book or the year. (Why the sudden popularity? That’s still a mystery.) [Publishers Weekly]

Gladiator screenwriter William Nicholson talked why he rejected the offer to write The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, saying he thought the book “repeats itself,” and that the first installment in Suzanne Collins’ series is “much more compelling.” [The Telegraph]

Here’s a list of the best comics and graphic novels of the year, courtesy of USA Today‘s Whitney Matheson. [USA Today]

…And here’s a look back at this year’s literary feuds. Remember the battle between Jonathan Franzen and “the modern world”? [The New Yorker]

Want to know why your book failed? Rebecca Mead and George Prochnik think they’ve got some answers in the form of book club questions for you the consider. [The New Yorker]

Kathryn Hughes considers the book vs. film debate with Mary Poppins and Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks. [The Guardian]

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