Student

Eleanor Doughty is dismayed at the news that some universities and colleges are offering rewards like fee reductions or laptops to students with good grades

Blyton more popular than Shakespeare, says survey

The Children's authors Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl have been named as the nation's best-loved writers – over Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, according to a poll of 2,000 people.

Page Turner: The sex scenes JK Rowling never wrote

Well, who knew? I'd heard of "slash fiction" before – an internet phenomenon where (mostly) female fans write sex scenes featuring male characters in popular culture. At Dirty Books, an event forming part of the London Literature Festival at the South Bank, we found out more. It surfaced around the time of the Lord of the Rings trilogy; apparently Frodo and Sam scenarios are very popular in slash circles. But blimey, hot trouser action between Harry Potter and Severus Snape? Are you having a laugh?

Paperbacks:Looking for Enid, by Duncan McLaren

Though anyone who is really looking for Enid Blyton would be better off reading her biography, by Barbara Stoney, this peculiar adventure does manage to capture some of her spirit.

The Hebrides: Five go wild on Gigha

With its coves and caves, this beautiful Hebridean island is the stuff of adventure stories – and its recent history has been aptly gripping. Just bring ginger beer, says Frank Partridge

Looking for Enid, By Duncan McLaren

A biography of Enid Blyton, but a peculiar one – this is as much about the biographer as it is about the biographee. McLaren, a lifelong Blyton fan, takes to the road with his girlfriend, visiting sites where Blyton lived, worked and set her books – including, of course, her country house Green Hedges where she lived with her second husband and wrote the most celebrated of her 600 books, including the Famous Five series, the Malory Towers series and the Noddy books. Each chapter ends with a curious parody of a Five Find-Outers mystery, with Fatty appearing to represent McLaren himself, and little Bets his girlfriend Kate.

Pilcrow, by Adam Mars-Jones

Heaven and hell on wheels for a child of his time

Mind how you go

Cover Stories

Books: Time, ladies and gentlemen, please

Is that Mrs Woolf, in a room of her own? And Monsieur Camus, outside? Felix Bennett invites you to the last literary party of the century

Books: File it between Camus and Blyton

All Quiet on the Orient Express by Magnus Mills Flamingo pounds 9.99

Noddy sales help Chorion post 144% rise in profits

NODDY, IT seems, is an astute businessman - or so leisure group Chorion is finding out.

Travel: Caravans: the new cool

Howard Byrom and his deeply ironic friends escaped b&b hell to create their own suburban retro chic in Cornwall
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture