Life and Style A double espresso after revision might be the best way of preparing for an exam, new research suggests

Scientists find first clear evidence of caffeine’s memory-boosting effect, and shown that it lasts for at least 24 hours

House of Holes, By Nicholson Baker

When Nicholson Baker stopped writing about sex after Vox and The Fermata, I thought he'd lost his nerve; now he has returned to it with House of Holes, I fear he's lost his mind. What was so impressive about Baker's previous sexually explicit work (only part of a wide-ranging oeuvre) was that the transgression took place within a thought-out narrative structure. Vox, written entirely in dialogue, contained long male and female fantasies exchanged on a phone-line as they progressed towards mutual satisfaction (the book gained notoriety when Monica Lewinsky made a gift of it to Bill Clinton). The Fermata was a bawdy take on Wells's The Time Machine, featuring a narrator, Arno Stine, who stopped time to undress women without their consent - which he slowly realised was a bad idea.

Records broken in Fastnet Race

Records smashed, boats smashed, but people safe in the 44th Rolex Fastnet Race. The 2007 record of 44 hours and 18 minutes was chopped by one hour and thirty-nine minutes as British Olympic medal winner Ian Walker brought Abu Dhabi’s Volvo race entry Azzam over the finish line just in time for breakfast.

Crew pulled from sea as Fastnet yacht capsizes

Twenty-one crew members on board a racing yacht were dramatically rescued last night after it capsized off the Irish coast.

The Wire's star from the streets admits real-life drug dealing

It was a role that her legion of fans wish she had never taken, but Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, the American actress who was catapulted from a harsh street life to fame by the series The Wire, has pleaded guilty to having joined a shady ensemble that was caught earlier this year distributing heroin and marijuana on the streets of her native Baltimore.

DVD: The Shadow Line (15)

Hugo Blick writes and directs this meditation on the divide between good and evil via the investigation – from both sides of the law – into the death of drug baron Harvey Wratten soon after his extraordinary release by royal pardon from prison.

Former police informants were behind 'stop snitching' campaign

The authors of a campaign encouraging people not to "snitch" in murder cases and serious shootings are today revealed as former police informants desperate to use their experiences to force reform of witness protection schemes.

Album: Randy Newman, The Randy Newman Songbook Vol 2 (Nonesuch)

There used to be an ad campaign claiming that "Nobody sings Dylan like Dylan", a boast that applies equally to Randy Newman.

The Reading List: Cycling

Safety

Bicycle by Helen Pidd £14.99

As The Independent continues its Save Our Cyclists campaign, it's worth mugging up on ways to make cycling safer than it is. Helen Pidd's practical guide for the ordinary or would-be cyclist offers lessons in everything from staying upright to pedalling in high heels.

Public urged not to 'snitch' over child's shooting

Police have said they will not investigate the posting of "no snitching" leaflets through the doors of properties near the shop in south London where a 5-year-old girl was shot.

Dylan Jones: 'Nina Simone didn't enjoy recording 'Baltimore' but it was one of her strongest albums'

One wonders how big a city has to be, or how small a town, to have a song written about it. By now most US state capitals must have had a song written about them and even the most inconsequential conurbations have been celebrated by alt.country's finest minds.

'The Wire' dealer and a real-life drugs bust

Felicia Pearson's criminal past won her a part in the gritty Baltimore drama. Now she's in trouble with the law again

Susan Crosland: Biographer, novelist and journalist who wrote an acclaimed account of the life of her husband Tony Crosland

Susan Crosland had a long career as a journalist and later as a biographer and novelist.

Anne Tyler's Baltimore: Where Charm City meets 'The Wire'

One way of describing Baltimore among the great cities of the north-eastern US seaboard is by making clear what the place isn't. It has none of New York's size and cultural flash. It doesn't have Boston's conceits, or Philadelphia's chip on the shoulder. It is mercifully free of the self-importance of Washington DC, 40 miles and half a universe away to the southwest. On the other hand, it has everything – including its own resident muse.

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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor