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Mike Unwin recalls a close shave with Botswanan customs officials in this extract from 'Irresponsible Traveller'

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This year’s Man Booker Prize shortlist – intriguing though it is – has put a dampener on one of the most fun Booker night games for junior literary hacks: the dash between publishers’ parties as the winner is announced.

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The Saturday Miscellany: How to be productive; Lunchboxing; Instant ethics; Sitting pretty

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Henry Kissinger: the aura of power is unmistakable

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The Top Ten: Misleading definitions of words

This list started with a conversation on Twitter. Aric Gilinsky (respectfully) disagreed with Tom Doran's opinion on the meaning of irony. Tom had said: 'It means 'a bit like iron'. Everyone knows that.' Aric asked: 'Is this part of a Top 10 false meanings of words that you could totally convince a foreigner are true?' It is now.

Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst share their 'shelfies' for London Art Book Fair

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The Tiger Who Came To Tea

The Crocodile Under the Bed: Judith Kerr's 50-year follow-up to The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Judith Kerr tells Etan Smallman what inspired her latest animal intruder which has taken 46 years to get into print.

The Diarists: The week in history

23 September 1896

Susan Hill: The Woman in Black author talks evil urges, prison reform and angry drivers

Murder is a boring subject There are only certain ways people can kill and it's not very interesting to write about. With my crime novels, I'm not interested in whodunit, but whydunit: most murders are committed within the family, or from within the neighbourhood; very rarely are the police left baffled.

Between the Covers: what’s really going on in the world of books

Authors are having a spot of bother with Amazon. Again. Not, this time, owing to Amazon knobbling sales of some authors’ books to get back at their publishers for standing up to them. This time, authors are suffering as a result of Amazon reviews. If you can call them “reviews”...

First, JoJo Moyes came under fire from a particular customer, who appears to have bought every single one of her best-selling novels and marked them all with the succinct critique: “I hate it.” (We can tell that the reviewer is a balanced critic, however, because a Slap On Snap On Silicone Rubber Sports Watch gets five stars and “I love it.”) Silly billy.

Meanwhile, Owen Jones (right) has sent an “embarrassing plea” to friends and fans asking if they can help to counter the slew of nasty, one-star reviews that littered Amazon even before The Establishment And How They Get Away With It was published. “I’ve not read this book,” begins a typical diatribe, unnecessarily. Jones begs: “Please do not buy this book from Amazon ... buy it from a local, tax-paying bookshop”, but frets that “the website is a key reference point for potential readers”. Don’t worry: readers who can read will see through it.

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