TikTok boosts sales of Mills and Boon

And other stories from the stranger side of life

Hand holding smartphone showing TikTok
The viral challenge is alleged to have caused dozens of deaths worldwide
(Image credit: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

TikTok has “rekindled passion for romance novels”, said The Times. Sales of the genre have risen by 110% in three years to be worth about £53m, according to industry data. Publishers have attributed the rise to the #romancebooks hashtag on TikTok, which has had billions of views on the platform, making it the biggest sub-genre within the BookTok community. Romance “used to be tucked away, almost ashamedly”, said Maddy Marshall, at HarperFiction but now there are table displays with “‘BookTok recommends’ and ‘BookTok made me buy it’ signs”.

Did Mystic Meg predict her own death?

Mystic Meg’s final horoscope “eerily” predicted her own death, said Metro. Her agent confirmed on Wednesday that “Britain’s most famous astrologer by a million miles” died at the age of 80 after being admitted to hospital with flu. In her final horoscope, Meg predicted she’d “take a journey towards her soulmate”, which was an “eerie reading considering Nigel Moores, the man considered to be ‘the love of her life’, died more than 40 years ago”, said the paper.

Youngest yoga teacher is seven

A seven-year-old girl in India has earned a Guinness World Record as the world’s youngest certified yoga instructor. Praanvi Gupta was seven years and 165 days old when she was recognised as the world’s youngest yoga instructor (female), said the record-keeping organisation. Gupta, who started practicing yoga with her mother when she was three and a half years old, talks about yoga on her YouTube channel, Learning with Praanvi.

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Chas Newkey-Burden has been part of The Week Digital team for more than a decade and a journalist for 25 years, starting out on the irreverent football weekly 90 Minutes, before moving to lifestyle magazines Loaded and Attitude. He was a columnist for The Big Issue and landed a world exclusive with David Beckham that became the weekly magazine’s bestselling issue. He now writes regularly for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Metro, FourFourTwo and the i new site. He is also the author of a number of non-fiction books.