Arts and Entertainment

Le Grand Meaulnes (translated as The Lost Estate in the most recent Penguin classic) was a set text for our A level French and like The Catcher in the Rye it should be read in adolescence.

Natalie Haynes: There's a time and a place for pyjamas

The thing is...

Festival themes: show me the way to the cosmodome

From fantasy to philosophy, there’s much more to today’s festivals than bands, beer and burgers, as Nick Hasted discovers

Carroll's emphatic finish masks a hesitant display

Andy Carroll is learning to live with the pressure of expectation, following his £35m transfer from Newcastle United to Liverpool in January. His well-taken goal in the 43rd minute was his first since December, and completed what will be seen as a promising second cap for the young Geordie.

Flights of fancy dress: Polly Borland's portraits marry the infantile and the fetishistic

Polly Borland has photographed Nick Cave in disguise and the Queen against a sparkly curtain. She's never cared for traditional portraiture, she tells Rob Sharp

Zigic goals helping to repay McLeish's faith

Birmingham 1 Stoke 0

David Prosser: Where are all the jobs going to come from?

Outlook Yesterday's unemployment figures are not much of a Christmas present. We have been expecting the labour market to take a turn for the worse, but most economists believed that the jobless figures would not start ticking up again until the new year. Worse, beneath the headline data there are some really worrying trends developing.

Charles Nevin: My survival secrets for the modern world

Start the Week...

Don Giovanni, Coliseum, London<br/>Spira Mirabilis, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

In his opera debut, director Rufus Norris offers a lothario implausibly making up for lost love with serial affairs

Rubik's Cube: Six sides, 54 squares. Just seconds to solve

It is 30 this year, a decade older than most challengers for the speedcubing crown. Emily Dugan watches the UK's fastest fingers

US man charged for wearing Halloween mask

A man faces charges of wearing a mask or hood in public after police arrested him on Halloween night and charged him under a rarely used old law designed to combat the Ku Klux Klan.

Cultural Life: La Roux, musician

Music: I saw Fever Ray at the Forum recently. She's Swedish and is from one of my favourite bands, The Knife. She's cripplingly shy and very rarely performs live. In order to overcome her shyness she performs in the dark using nothing but lasers and low-level lampshades on stage. I absolutely love her music. Other than that, I'm listening to a lot of old disco records, tracks like Punkin' Machine's "I Need You Tonight" and "Harmony" by Suzy Q. 'Sly & Robbie and the Taxi Gang Anniversary' is also a current favourite.

Tory MP cites sexuality in split from wife

A Government minister announced today he had separated from his wife and was "coming to terms with his homosexuality".

Money Insider: Nationwide's price rise masks a customer focus

Debit cards issued with Nationwide Building Society's FlexAccount have been a hugely popular, low-cost option for overseas travellers for many years. However, changes are afoot.

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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas