Stockings

Books of the year 2014: The best stocking fillers

Warning: contains Peanuts

Simon Hughes has accused Justice Secretary Chris Grayling and the Tories of adopting 'sticking-plaster solutions'

Between the covers: What’s really going on in the world of books

Unusually the 2014 Villain of the Year title was hotly contested, in this case by the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, who tried and failed to ban prisoners from receiving books in the post

Invisible ink no 255: The Forgotten Dickens Christmas books

Popularity was the worst thing that could have happened to A Christmas Carol.

Internet phenomenon turned author - Zoella (Zoe Suggs) at her book signing in Bluewater

Ghostwritten or not, Zoe Suggs' Girl Online novel is hard to fault - Zoella book review

Reading the YouTube sensation's work of adult fiction it becomes obvious why parents encourage Zoella as a role model for their children, says Daisy Wyatt

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, book of a lifetime: Truth, fairness, and a deep analysis of how policy affects lives

Nadine Dorries read Harper Lee's novel when she was 13 years old and it altered the way she thought about everyone and everything

Euphoria by Lily King, book review: Tribal loyalties and a tragic love story

A sensual novel based on the life of the American anthropologist Margaret Mead

Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found by Frances Larson, book review

Larson has a brave eye for details of the macabre

Ibn Abd al-Wahhab by Michael Crawford, book review: A puritan's progress

The man behind 'deviant innovation' that would become Wahhabi Islam

Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science by Daniel P. Todes, book review: Pavlov wasn't a Pavlovian

Russian science has an illustrious history – Mendeleev (Periodic Table), Kapitsa (nuclear physics), Tsiolkovsky (rocket pioneer), Sakharov (nuclear physicist and dissident) – but it has always laboured under some handicaps: firstly Tsarist repression then distortion for political ends by communism (the Lysenko Affair).

Forty Days Without Shadow by Olivier Truc; trans Louise Rogers LaLaurie, book review

This thriller is set among the reindeer herds on the snows of Lapland, but Christmas card country it ain't. The "forty days" of the title are those when the sun never rises. And this is the 21st century.

Vncent Van Gogh. Ever Yours: The Essential Letters, edited by Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten and Nienke Bakker, book review

Boyd Tonkin discovers that the remarkable artist was also an avid reader and an accomplished writer

Seeing Things As They Are: Selected Journalism and Other Writing of George Orwell, edited by Peter Davison, book review

Davison gives us new insight into the man who shaped journalism

Things We Couldn't Explain, by Betsy Tobin - book review: Wit and warmth in a tale of a miracle in the Midwest

Things We Couldn’t Explain is about first love, miracles, and the moral choices people make in the face of the inexplicable

There's Been a Life!, Alex Norton, review: This Hollywood insider's heart belongs to Glasgow

Norton has a lovely knack of being able to be both a star-struck insider and the head-shaking Glasgow realist

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

art
Arts and Entertainment
Laugh a minute: Steph Parker with Nigel Farage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Comic Ivor Dembina has staged his ‘Traditional Jewish Xmas Eve Show’ for the past 20 years; the JNF UK charity is linked to the Jewish National Fund, set up to fund Jewish people buying land in Palestinian territories
comedy

Arts and Entertainment
Transformers: Age of Extinction was the most searched for movie in the UK in 2014

film
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson has had two UK number two singles but never a number one...yet

music
Arts and Entertainment
Clara Amfo will take over from Jameela Jamil on 25 January

radio
Arts and Entertainment
This is New England: Ken Cheeseman, Ann Dowd, Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in Olive Kitteridge

The most magnificently miserable show on television in a long timeTV
Arts and Entertainment
Andrea Faustini looks triumphant after hearing he has not made it through to Sunday's live final

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig, pictured here in Skyfall, is returning as James Bond for Spectre

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lorenzo Richelmy (L) and Zhu Zhu (R)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the records in contention for the coveted Christmas No 1 spot
musicNew system means that evergreen songs could top the festive charts
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
Anna Chancellor as Lucia and Miranda Richardson as Mapp, in the BBC’s new adaptation (C) BBC - Photographer: Nick Briggs)
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
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