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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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable