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On the Books: Recovered letters describe Jane Austen's brother's life

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Mary Evans Picture Library/Everett Collection

Newly recovered letters suggest Jane Austen’s brother Charles sought out a relationship with famed novelists the Porters to further his sister’s reputation. Additional letters document his frequent visits to the West Indian madams, free mixed-race women “who almost certainly sold more than pickles and rooms.” (The New York Times)

Tiny Hamster from the popular YouTube videos is getting his own book. Joel Jensen, Joseph Matsushima, and Amy Matsushima—who co-founded Denizen Company, producer of the popular videos—are teaming up to write Tiny Hamster Is a Giant Monster.  The story follows the no-longer-tiny creature as he traverses all over the city, eating everything in his path. The picture book and a new video of the same name will be released June 2. (Adweek)

There’s more Christian Grey coming your way. Before the first movie’s official release, director Sam Taylor-Johnson announced that sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed will also be adapted to the big screen. (Adweek)

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz writer L. Frank Baum is getting a casino named in honor of his most famous work: The Yellow Brick Road Casino is scheduled to open this year. Baum once called for the “total annihilation of the few remaining Indians” in an editorial in the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer. Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter, however, said, “I think that’s a wonderful message—that we’re able to overcome by repentance and by forgiveness.” (L.A. Times

In honor of its 80th anniversary, Penguin Classics is selling 80 of its Little Black Classics for 80 pence, which is about $1.25. Head over to the publisher’s website for a special compass which allows readers to discover passages from different titles in the series. (Adweek)

The longlists for the Carnegie Medal for children’s books and the Kate Greenaway Medal for children’s book illustration have been announced. Previous Carnegie winners like Meg Rosoff and Patrick Ness are going up against newcomers Clare Furniss and Kim Slater, while previous Kate Greenaway Medal winners Mini Grey, Catherine Rayner and Chris Riddell are all nominated again. (The Telegraph)

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