Arts and Entertainment

Germaine Greer planting some trees, is there a whole book in that? The answer is a resounding “yes” after reading this heartfelt, sharp and meticulously researched account of the author’s decade-long efforts to rebuild a small corner of rainforest in her home country of Australia.

The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: a 21st-Century Bestiary, By Caspar Henderson. Granta, £20

The first thing that strikes the reader on picking up Caspar Henderson's Book of Barely Imagined Beings is the care that has gone into its production. Once past the cover (embossed in gold), the foil-blocked spine and illustrated end-papers, the most innovative note is struck by the footnotes that run parallel to the main text, colour-matched to highlighted words.

Postcard from... Tablas de Daimiel

Three years ago, the drought in Spain's most important wetland – the Tablas de Daimiel in the country's vast, largely arid, central plains – was so serious that just 39 acres remained flooded. Then, when a series of underground fires broke out in steadily drying peat banks, the Tablas' ecosystem looked set to be irreversibly destroyed.

How to put on a show in your garden for Halloween

It can be quite a glum time of year in the garden– but it’s easy enough to turn it glam with a little Halloween hocus-pocus, says Emma Townshend.

The Saturday Quiz answers

1. Hilary Mantel.

Revealed: The secrets of UK's migrating painted lady butterfly population

The secrets of the UK's migrating painted lady butterfly population have been revealed by scientists who have discovered where they go in autumn.

The mascot for the 2014 World Cup

Seven-metre high inflatable armadillo mascot for the 2014 World Cup attacked by vandals

An inflatable version of Brazil's mascot for the 2014 World Cup, a smiling three-banded armadillo, has been removed after it was attacked with knives by vandals.

'Fair' green energy deal offered by mutuals

A rival to the Government's Green Deal – which offers homeowners cash incentives to make their homes more energy efficient – was launched this week.

Many species of the poison dart frog are critically endangered

Rainforest wildlife havens on brink of collapse

Outside destruction is threatening lush reserves designed to protect world's richest biodiversity

Ten Billion, Theatre Upstairs, London

Imagine that an asteroid has been discovered and there is hard, predictive evidence that it is going to impinge on the Earth on 25 March 2072 and destroy 70 per cent of the planet’s resources.

Tom Hodgkinson: Why modern travel fills me with horror

Travelling fills me with dread. When a trip is looming – and loom they do these days, because I'm often invited to speak on the benefits of doing nothing at festivals and conferences abroad – I fret. I even panic, sometimes for days before the journey. I stomp around the house grumpily. I worry about clothing. Why did I say yes? Why can't I just stay at home? Where's my passport?

The Word for Snow, Purcell Room, London

Programmes were not distributed until after the show, but you were handed a single sheet of white paper, blank except for one typed word – mine, somewhat dispiritingly, was "sock" – as you made your way into the Purcell Room for this European premiere of a short play by Don DeLillo.

François Hollande set to deliver French left majority

The triumph of the French left in the first round of parliamentary elections threatens to redraw the map of party politics in France.

Is this a drought? No, it's ESRD

When is a drought not a drought? When it's an area of environmental stress due to rainfall deficit, of course. The less-than-catchy term to describe Britain's current state was suggested yesterday by the Environment Agency as it struggles with public perceptions over what "drought" really means.

Portfolio: Jacek Kusz

For years, Jacek Kusz found his mind was elsewhere: in his past, reminiscing; or in the future, planning his next project. Until, that is, a sickly monkey changed his perspective.

Did they sex up their dossiers? Indian ministers 'caught' watching porn

India's right-wing Bharatiya Janta Party is known for its staunch conservatism and hard-line religious views. But it risks developing an image problem after two of its lawmakers were accused of viewing pornography in the Gujarat state assembly, only weeks after two BJP ministers in the south-western state of Karnataka were forced to quit after being caught watching x-rated videos on a mobile phone.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor