Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis in 'Thelma and Louise'

It's not just men who can do firm fictive friendships - but women might do them differently: week in books column

Friendship was essential to Aristotle’s well-lived life, much more so than the flibbertigibbet passions of romantic love, while Oscar Wilde’s model of a friend was a trustworthy contrarian, bold enough to “stab you in the front”.

Shoot to Kill Scene Kev Walker

Author Steve Cole on reinventing James Bond in his new book Shoot to Kill

Cole: 'The name remains a promise for action and adventure and pure, pulse-pounding excitement, for anyone – anyone – who wants to join him'

The Novel Cure: Literary prescriptions for living a lie

Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin, bibliotherapists at the School of Life
The History of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Illustration by Charles Folkard from The Arabian Nights (Hilary Morgan / Alamy)

The earliest known Arabic short stories in the world have just been translated into English for the first time

The stories are even more fantastic and full of marvels than those in the ‘Arabian Nights’

Author Mal Peet

One Minute With: Mal Peet, young adult author & illustrator

Where are you now and what can you see?

Female University Student Reading a Book in a Library

Make a noise about libraries but, please, keep quiet afterwards: Week in books

Libraries shouldn’t have to become multi-platform, nor should they have to jump through hoops to show us their worth

Chris Close Harkaway Author

Author Nick Harkaway: How being shortlisted for a book prize has forced me to acknowledge the truth

Nick Harkaway's novel Tigerman is in the Goodreads Choice Award fictions list, and he is struggling with the news

American novelist Jane Smiley, best known for her Pulitzer Prize winning novel A Thousand Acres. Originally shot for The Guardian, October 2014.

Jane Smiley interview: Pulitzer Prize winner on her new trilogy set in the Iowa badlands

Some Luck is the first volume of Smiley's new literary trilogy, tracing the fortunes of an Iowan farming clan over the century from 1920

Wendy Cope, English poet, on October 27, 2014 in London

Wendy Cope interview: ‘You know, there’s some sadness in me’

Life, Love and The Archers, the first book-length prose offering from this well-loved poet will, no doubt fill many a stocking this festive season

The Novel Cure: Literary prescriptions for being exceptionally brainy

Ailment: Being exceptionally brainy

Andrea Levy: One minute interview

Where are you now and what can you see?

Three segments of the Berlin Wall and a figure of a bear, symbolic of Berlin, in Seoul

Back to a time before the fall: German fiction

A mere quarter-century ago, the Berlin Wall opened. Soon after, the Soviet empire fell. Yet much of that cataclysmic history has already faded into kitsch and platitude. Happily, literature can resurrect a reality beyond the scope of official commemorations. Three novels from authors who grew up in the lost world of East Germany - all brought to us in outstanding translations - anchor that obliterated landscape to intimate memories, beliefs and emotions. Fiction can dig the tunnel that takes us under the Wall and back through time.

Don Gerardo: great British Hispanist Gerald Brenan in 1987, the year of his death

Andalusian home of British writer Gerald Brenan takes on new life as a cultural centre

The building was once a hub for celebrities, shepherds and beatniks
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment
A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
Arts and Entertainment
Fake Banksy stencil given to artist Alex Jakob-Whitworth

art

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
Arts and Entertainment
Woody Allen and Placido Domingo will work together on Puccini's Schicchi

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
The sixteen celebrities taking part in The Jump 2015

TV

Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose' in memoir of a grief-stricken daughter who became obsessed with training a goshawk
Arts and Entertainment
Tom DeLonge has announced his departure from Blink-182

music
Arts and Entertainment
The episode saw the surprise return of shifty caravan owner Susan Wright, played by a Pauline Quirke (ITV)

Review: Broadchurch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo are teaming up for a Hurricane Katrina drama

film
Arts and Entertainment
Just folk: The Unthanks

music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne with his Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rowan Atkinson is bringing out Mr Bean for Comic Relief

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
V&A museum in London

Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'

Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
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    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

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    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

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