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

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).

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

Invisible Ink No 254: Nedra Tyre

The paperback, published in 1959 by Dell, displays a coquettish girl, almost naked, beneath the caption: “14 lively ladies spin 14 torrid tales of mayhem and murder – The Lethal Sex”.

YouTube star Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, who has branded press reports

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

Why are the media so keen to jump on Zoella, the 24-year-old internet sensation whose young-adult novel Girl Online became the fastest-selling novel of 2014?

Pick of the crop: Yotam Ottolenghi turned his attention to vegetables

Christmas 2014: Best books on food

The best cookbooks make being in the kitchen fun and relaxing

Boris Johnson has released a biography of Winston Churchill

Christmas 2014: Best books on politics

Boris Johnson can write, we know that, but his history is shaky and the text is ruined by ridiculous 'Churchill Factor' ratings out of 10, which make it read like a Cosmopolitan feature

9 January 1915: 'Christmas Truce in the Trenches : Friend and Foe Join in a Hare Hunt'. Original Artwork: Drawing by Gilbert Holliday, from a description by an eye witness rifleman. Original Publication: The Graphic.

Christmas 2014: Best poetry books

Carol Ann Duffy’s The Christmas Truce commemorates the night 100 years ago when German, French and British troops left their trenches to mingle

Circa 1918: Author Vera Brittain (1893 - 1970) as a nurse in WW I.

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain: Book of a lifetime

The story of Vera Brittain and her own 'lost generation' stands as proxy for us all, whose families lost loved ones in the War and who want to derive some understanding of what they suffered and endured

Over the Hills and Far Away book illustration, 'Dance Little Baby', 'Dance to your Daddy' by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom

Children’s picture books round-up: From None the Number to Over the Hills and Far Away

Over the Hills and Far Away is a treasury of 150 nursery rhymes collected from around the world and is illustrated by 77 of the world’s leading artists

T S Eliot with Virginia Woolf and Vivienne Eliot

The Letters of TS Eliot: Volume 5 1930-1931, book review: Cats and a dislike of cocktails

This is a significant work of scholarship, but one that throws up as many questions as answers it provides

Arts and Entertainment
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Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
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Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
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'Banksy Does New York' Film - 2014

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British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
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film
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V&A museum in London

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Grace Dent on TV

tv
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Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

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‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
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Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

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

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

theatre
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Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

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Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

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theatre
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people
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Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

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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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