Cover Stories: Jack Rosenthal; Bradt Guides; Phrasebooks

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The Independent Culture

*Last month, Radio 4 broadcast dramatised extracts from the memoirs of the late great Jack Rosenthal, By Jack Rosenthal, directed by his widow, Maureen Lipman. The playwright died two years ago from myeloma. Now Lipman is publishing a collection of "anthropoemorphic ramblings", The Gibbon's in Decline But the Horse is Stable, proceeds from which will go to the International Myeloma Foundation UK. The £6.99 hardback, published by Robson on 31 August, combines Lipman's nonsense animal verse with illustrations by the likes of Gerald Scarfe, Bill Tidy and Posy Simmonds, as well as Lipman herself and her daughter Amy. The verses were written while Rosenthal was undergoing chemo and were Lipman's personal form of " comic relief". The illustrations will be auctioned later this month to raise further funds for the charity.

*Summer travels often make us feel we'd like to try our hand at travel writing. On 16 September, Bradt Guides, the award-winning indie travel publisher, is hosting a seminar on "the art and craft of travel writing" - and there'll be a chance to win a commission to write a Bradt guidebook. The event takes place at Amersham Community Centre, in Bucks. More details at

*Phrasebooks have traditionally given holidaymakers the wherewithal to ask for a cup of coffee or the way to the loo. But two new Berlitz offerings provide the phrases for many more 21st-century needs. Hide This French/Spanish Phrase Book includes the linguistic nuts and bolts to aid survival for more intimate situations, including "nudist beaches, body parts and sex".