Katy Guest

Katy Guest is the literary editor of the Independent on Sunday

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Tom Moorhouse

Move over, Ratty. Sylvan's here: An Oxford academic's new children's book could rival 'The Wind in the Willows'

The adventures of Ratty and Fiver have been entertaining children for decades, but the animal stars of stories such as The Wind in the Willows and Watership Down could soon have a new addition to their ranks, straight from the imagination of a postdoctoral researcher.

Doyle: Avoids wallowing in nostalgia, but throws his ageing fans the odd bone from his early stuff

Review: The Guts, By Roddy Doyle

It is 26 years since Roddy Doyle introduced us to Jimmy Rabbitte. Now he's back with some old friends, but time has moved on for all of them

To see the casual link between rising ice cream sales and shark attacks is ridiculous

Benefits fantasies, pippins fit for a prince, honest reading, and a tip

IDS has been trying to justify welfare cuts, Prince George has been given an apple tree and many staff are on zero-hours contracts at Amazon...

Read Tash Aw's fourth novel, set in Shanghai

Guest List: The IoS Literary Editor picks the best books for your summer holiday

Before you stuff your luggage with this year's Man Booker longlist titles, Katy Guest makes a case for some varied alternatives

We already pay for our doctors through taxation

Pay to see our GP? We already do

Counting the cost of GP visits, stand-up diets and stupid hair

Maria Miller vs the BBC: Tackling sexism in sports coverage is quite the set of hurdles

The Minister for Women and Equalities will have her work cut out

Reading a dull book? Put it down this instant!

One of the best pieces of advice my English teacher ever gave me – one which I would like to share with every teenager in Britain – was never to struggle on with a book that you hate. Life is too short for ironing and bad books, as Schopenhauer nearly said, and the world is not short of wonderful literature: the next book you read could be the one that changes your life. If you're really not getting on with a book, please put it down before you really grow to resent it. One day you may try again and love it, but not if your parents, a newspaper review or Michael Gove has forced you to plough through it to the bitter end.

Church is in sickness, but marriage is in health

A couple found out recently that the devil does not have all the best words when they were forbidden to "have" and to "hold" each other during their wedding vows. The marriage was a civil ceremony, which has a zero tolerance attitude to religious content. Not that having and holding is particularly Christian, but the words come from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, so were banned along with "in sickness and in health".

Review: Shire, By Ali Smith, with images by Sarah Wood

Bewitching, at least three times over

MPs need a nanny – and some manners

When Russell Crowe piped up recently that the treatment of the former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard lacked "gallantry", he meant well but his choice of words was wrong. Crowe was reacting to a menu at a Liberal fundraiser which included "Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail – small breasts, huge thighs, and a big red box". My dictionary says gallantry is thoughtfulness and courtesy "especially towards women", but it wasn't chivalric valour Gillard was after. She didn't want coats draped over puddles; just a little respect and some manners, the same as any Aussie bloke would expect.

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A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week