Arts and Entertainment

Nina Stibbe moved to London in 1982 to work as a nanny for Mary-Kay Wilmers, the editor of the London Review of Books. In the years following, she wrote letters home to her sister in Leicester, and Love, Nina is the result.

Sotheby's director of the department of printed books and manuscripts Dr Philip Errington poses for photographers with a first edition copy of the first Harry Potter book

First edition of Harry Potter with annotations by JK Rowling fetches wizard £150,000 price

A first edition of the first in the Harry Potter series containing hand drawings and annotations by author JK Rowling has sold at auction for £150,000.

The Wind in the Willows, West Yorkshire Playhouse

The Playhouse needed to do something special to match last Christmas’s feelgood revival of Annie. But Ian Brown, making a speedy return as director to the house he left just this year after more than a decade at its artistic helm, comes within a mole’s whisker of achieving that formidable goal.

Alan Bennett would make a great guest editor for the Today programme

Today's the day for new blood in the radio programme's editor's chair

The names of the guest editors lined up for Radio 4's Today show were released today. Between 27 December and New Year's Day, the 6am to 9am slot will be in the hands of the Nobel prize-winning geneticist Sir Paul Nurse, journalist Dame Ann Leslie, comedian Al Murray, poet Benjamin Zephaniah and the US philanthropist Melinda Gates, wife of Bill.

Protesters outside the Kensal Rise Library in north-west London

Residents battle to preserve library gifted to community by Mark Twain

It was handed to the community by author Mark Twain more than a hundred years ago. Now that community is fighting to keep it open. A group of protesters became a figurehead for the host of anti-library closure campaigns across the country yesterday as they barricaded the doors and stopped its shelves being stripped of books.

Protesters outside the Kensal Rise Library in north-west London

Protesters barricade doors of Kensal Rise Library in bid to stop the council clearing shelves books

It was handed to the local community by the author Mark Twain more than a hundred years ago. Now that community is fighting to keep it. Protesters are barricading the doors of their local library in a bid to stop the council clearing its shelves of books.

Leading article: Libraries can prosper - if they change

The plan to allow the reading public to rent e-books, much as they rent movies, has proved so much more contentious than its pioneer, the former Waterstones managing director Tim Coates, had hoped.

At 83 years old, celebrated New York writer Cynthia Osick is the oldest woman to make the prize’s long list with Foreign Bodies

Cynthia Ozick (aged 83) in running for Orange Prize

Cynthia Ozick has become the oldest writer to compete for the Orange Prize for Fiction, beating the previous record by almost a decade.

Fiction writer, Jean Rhys, famed for Wide Sargasso Sea, will be honoured by English Heritage at Paultons Square

A happy twist in the tale of literature's great outsider

A blue plaque will honour Jean Rhys, whose life was marked by alcoholism, prostitution and doomed affairs

Griff Rhys Jones: 'We tried to write a sitcom together - I was hopeless, but we had the jolliest of times'

How We Met: Christopher Luscombe & Griff Rhys Jones

'We tried to write a sitcom together – I was hopeless, but we had the jolliest of times'

Simon English: If the bankers are loathed, they are the ones to blame

A * old joke for a new year: why should you get immediately furious at your bank? Because it saves time later. People have been complaining about banks for as long as they have existed. It seems unlikely 2012 will be the year it stops. Of all the institutions created by man, banks seem the hardest to control, the least answerable to any kind of democratic process. Even bankers find this to be so.

Fretwork/Wilkinson/Courtenay, Kings Place, London

Winter solstice: the longest, darkest night of the year. How better to spend it than with a top soprano, a theatrical knight, and six viols, and where better than in the soft blue gloom of Kings Place? All came with promising baggage: the Fretwork ensemble had just released a remarkable viol-arrangement of Bach's 'Goldberg Variations'; Clare Wilkinson had dazzled us a few days previously with her a cappella exploits with I Fagiolini; and Sir Tom Courtenay – well, we knew where he was coming from. Fretwork would provide instrumental music, Courtenay would give us poems.

US writer not surprised to win 'bad sex' award

A reimagining of the Oedipus myth in the 20th century has won the annual Literary Review's Bad Sex in Fiction Award.

Mongrel Island, Soho Theatre, London

"Work is more fun than fun," Noel Coward once declared. As far as we know, though, Noel never had to drudge from nine to five in an office processing the timesheets of care-workers. That happens to be the fate of Marie, the twentysomething harried and likeable central character in Mongrel Island, Ed Harris's accomplished, if slightly trying play.

Between The Covers: 22/05/2011

Your guide to what's really going on in the world of books
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness