Arts and Entertainment

Given our national obsession with property prices, Tim Walker’s novel is bound to hit a nerve. His fictional couple, the Manvilles, bought their large north London home at a knock-down price in the 1990s, and it became the key to two aspects of their family life. Jerry, a successful advertising executive, undertook all the original plumbing, electrical and redecoration work; Pen devised a series of popular children’s books, The House on the Hill, whose “cheeky brat with the ridiculous schemes” is modelled on, and named after, her real-life son Conrad: 15 years on, they have done a loft conversion, and divorced.

Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus have both caused a stir on Twitter by tweeting about their diets this week

Celebrity diets: don't try this at home

As so many controversies do these days, it started with a tweet. "Just killed back-to-back spin classes. Eating a salad dreaming of a cheeseburger #Pop SingersDontEat #IWasBornThisWay", tweeted Lady Gaga to her 22 million followers earlier this week.

Album: Ysaÿe, Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, opus 27 – Tai Murray (Harmonia Mundi)

Eugène Ysaÿe's 1924 sonatas anticipate the memorial beauty of Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Suites for Unaccompanied Violin by three years and the desolate fury of Bartók's Sonata for Solo Violin by two decades.

Enough is enough: hoarders often find it impossible to throw
anything away

Hoarding: The art of letting go

Hoarding can take over people's lives and homes, but only now is it being recognised as a distinct psychological disorder. Emily Jupp meets members of the first therapy group for sufferers

Sally May May (with a Korean hornbeam) had always been interested in trees, when a friend took her to a bonsai show in Bournemouth in 2003. 'Between me and my husband, we have more than 100 now. I love their shape and beauty, and the fact that they personify a large tree in a small area. I've got a hornbeam that's my favourite - it has a lovely, crinkly trunk. It's had more and more branches on it in the three years I've had it.' The Mays live in Salisbury, and are members of the Swindon Bonsai society. Has bonsai taken over Sally's life? She laughs. 'It can be a lot of work. I suppose it has in a way. But not so much, as I also have rabbits.'

It's the little things in life: What's driving a bonsai boom in Britain?

It's about intrinsic beauty, inner spirit, a synecdochical relationship with nature. It's also about battling it out on a cold spring morning to see whose tree is tops. Matthew Bell joins Britain's hardcore bonsai enthusiasts – in Swindon, of all places.

Dirty rotten scoundrels: the disappointing 'House of Lies'

House of Lies: A comedy for the one per cent? Don't make me laugh

House of Lies is a new sitcom that makes light of corporate greed

Author Caroline Smailes said fans were unhappy at the gloomy endings of her other work

Did they all live happily ever after? That's up to you...

A new digital novel will overturn centuries of literary tradition by allowing readers to choose how they would like a story to end.

Opium: Afghanistan's new front line

War torn and ravaged by division, Afghanistan has become the focus for the worldwide fight against child drug addiction

Bar Balto, By Faiza Guene (trs Sarah Ardizzone)

Murderous monologues from the citizens of Making-Ends-Meet

Drug addiction may be hereditary, study suggests

The human brain may be “wired up” for addictive behaviour according to a study that shows how some people are more likely than others to become addicted to crack cocaine.

Ketil Kinden Endresen

House of Tolerance (18)

Starring: Hafsia Herzi, Céline Sallette, Jasmine Trinca

Stanford, the Texan who shook cricket, takes his guard

Wearing a grey patterned suit and a blue open-collared shirt, not the green or orange prison jumpsuits which have been his public attire for almost three years, Allen Stanford faced his peers in a Houston courthouse at last.

A famous workaholic, Margaret Thatcher said she could function on about four hours of sleep a night

The boss was right: being workaholic's good for you

They have been lambasted for their long working hours, for taking their laptops on holiday and obsessively checking their emails. But now there is good news for workaholics everywhere – their fixation with work is not necessarily a bad thing.

The Royal College of Physicians has argued in favour of e-cigarettes as a harm-reduction tool

A safer way to puff

Electronic cigarettes could save hundreds of thousands of lives, according to their makers. So why are many health experts opposed to them? Enjoli Liston hears the arguments

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Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
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Apple CEO Timothy Cook
peopleAnti-LGBT campaigner Vitaly Milonov suggested Tim Cook could bring 'Aids or gonorrhea' to Russia
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Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
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Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
filmCritic Kaleem Aftab picks his favourites for Halloween
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Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes