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

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003