Ann Cleeves' book of a lifetime: 'Le Grand Meaulnes'

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.

Nearing the end: January is the beginning of the end for third years, but is that so bad?

They say that in relationships there come several itching points. These are moot: could be two years or five; some even say 18 months. If I’m in a relationship with university – heartbreak, check; crying, check – then we’ve reached one of these hurdles. And the cut-off is not a year or even two, it’s in weeks. Let me introduce the 12-week itch.

Nicolas Anelka appears to make the 'la quenelle' gesture after scoring the first goal for West Brom in the 3-3 draw against West Ham

Kick It Out call for action against Nicolas Anelka following controversial 'quenelle' gesture

The West Brom striker made the gesture, which some view as anti-Semitic, against West Ham

Snapchat apologises for influx of spam - blames increased popularity

Latest bad news from the astonishingly popular app follows a New Years Day hack that publicized data belonging to 4.6m users

Cristiano Ronaldo fights back tears after winning the Fifa Ballon d'Or award

Cristiano Ronaldo admits Rio Ferdinand attempted to persuade him into a Manchester United return following Ballon d'Or success

Ronaldo has confirmed that he seriously considered a return to Old Trafford when his future was uncertain last summer before he signed a new £76m contract

<b>Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden v England, November, selected by Sam Wallace</b><br/>
It would have been hard enough to pull off if he was facing goal with the ball sitting up nicely for him to hit. To lob Joe Hart with an overhead kick executed with his back to goal did rather put the ribbons on it.

Fifa Ballon d'Or: Zlatan Ibrahimovic wins award for 2013 goal of the year (for goal scored against England in 2012)

The goal was one of four scored against England by the Sweden international

John Button celebrates with his son Jenson after he claimed the 2009 Formula 1 drivers' world championship

F1: Father of McLaren driver Jenson Button dies

John Button was often in attendance to watch his son race

Norovirus is common in winter but causes extra problems in hospitals

Stay away, urges norovirus hospital

Visitors have been urged to stay away from a hospital to contain the spread of the winter vomiting bug, norovirus.

Book review: 'Boxer Handsome' by Anna Whitwham

This promising debut novel about boxing shows both its violence and its value

The father of an 11-month-old baby filled out a daycare questionnaire with hilarious answers

Dad fills out funny daycare questionnaire in the voice of his 11-month-old daughter

The baby girl's aspirations apparently include walking and becoming a Dr of theoretical physical cosmology

Gerald Abrahams dons his placard

Lonely landscaper tries alternative approach to dating

In a bid to start his year off successfully, 39-year old landscaper Gerald Abrahams walked the streets of London with a sandwich board displaying the texts: “Hot brunette wanted for 2014!”, “Dates or romance”, “Must like dogs and landscapers” accompanied by his email address.

God's Cadets: Joining the Salvation Army, BBC4 - TV review

You might assume that the participants in the BBC4 documentary God's Cadets: Joining the Salvation Army would all be classic "lark" types, but there was a greater variety of personality than expected in this 90-minute film. It followed the pious, but not pompous "cadets" who had given up their lives to enter into two years of intensive officer training at the William Booth College in south London.

Theo Walcott is stretchered off the pitch during the match against Tottenham Hotspur

Theo Walcott can return 'better and stronger' says Arsenal team-mate Carl Jenkinson

The forward has been ruled out for six months

The Thing About December, by Donal Ryan - book review: an innocent in Ireland is mauled by the Celtic Tiger

Donal Ryan's first novel, The Spinning Heart, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the 2012 Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. Not a bad start to a literary career, the only downside being that he inadvertently set himself a tough challenge to live up to with that tricky second novel. That he has done so, and with aplomb, is testament to this brightest of new writing talents.

People only have a handful of really close friends even though their wider social network may include hundreds of casual contacts

Despite social networks like Facebook and Twitter, most people will only ever have a handful of good friends

Study finds that people tend to drop old friends when new ones are made - keeping our inner circle constant

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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen