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Why Len Deighton’s spy stories are set to thrill a new generation

Spies, treachery and dangerous secrets, all liberally seasoned with dry wit: these were the moreish ingredients that made international hits of Len Deighton’s stylish 1960s thrillers, set in the grey world of post-colonial, postwar British intelligence. His sardonic working-class hero, played on screen by Michael Caine in the The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin and Billion Dollar Brain, set the template for a succession of deadpan, worldly-wise leading men. Now a fresh generation have the chance to sample Deighton’s wares as Penguin republishes many of his books, starting this month with those three, early bestselling titles. Read more

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International Booker prize shortlist led by books ‘pushing the boundaries’ of fiction

The International Booker goes to “the finest fiction from around the world” that has been translated into English. Six books are now in the running for the £50,000 award, which is split equally between author and translator, all of them displaying “an extraordinary amount of ingenuity and originality”, said chair of judges Lucy Hughes-Hallett. Read more

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In the Instagram age, you actually can judge a book by its cover

Last week’s big literary event was not the publication of a new book, the million-pound signing of a celebrity author or the announcement of a prestigious prize. Instead, it was the unveiling of a cover: the jacket of the forthcoming novel by Sally Rooney.

“It’s quite rare that a publisher will reveal a jacket and make such a big deal about who designed it, or even mention who designed it,” says Danny Arter, creative editor of The Bookseller, a magazine reporting on the publishing industry. But in recent years, book cover design has taken on a higher profile, and we may be seeing a new heyday for book design. Read more

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Rathbones Folio prize paid £30,000 to scammers posing as the winner

Publishing industry magazine the Bookseller revealed on Wednesday that the Folio, which is awarded to the year’s best work of literature regardless of form, was scammed by “sophisticated cyber-criminals”. The scammers posed as the Mexican author Valeria Luiselli, who had won with her novel Lost Children Archive, and requested that the £30,000 payment be made through PayPal. Read more