Arts and Entertainment

Where are you now and what can you see?

I’m at the BBC recording Front Row and apparently I’m looking at a brass bust of Henry Wood. The statue is in the foyer.

News Corp results disappoint market

News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate, disappointed the Australian market after posting lower than expected results for the year to June, But the company softened the blow by announcing a good performance of some of its key UK and US operations and its intentions to buy back some of its preferred limited voting stock. One analyst said the results were "very disappointing".

The Major Years: a memoir in the making

Yesterday morning on the Today programme they were discussing why it is that political biographies sell so badly. It seems that new books on Tony Blair and William Hague are currently on the worst-seller list, and Julian Critchley and Tony Howard were being asked to explain why.

Peace breaks out in Middle Earth

It Has been a four-year-long feud for hobbit devotee David Day. His guide to the elves, dwarves and magic of Middle Earth is to be published this week after he took on his very own fire-breathing dragon - in the guise of the Tolkien estate - and finally won.

Making history

The Gunpowder Plot by Antonia Fraser (Weidenfeld, pounds 12.99) The Jacobean Catholic laity had been suspected of treason for so long that they decided to commit it. Fraser's even-handed account, informed by her upbringing, makes clear that a plot was encouraged by agents provocateurs and discouraged by the Jesuits, who still died for it.

Books: The don with voluminous prose

Robert Hanks finds little sense in an erudite history of silly verse

Audiobooks

Books

Letter: No sale

Sir: Your report "Lobbyist offers his memoirs for sale" (13 February) is wholly inaccurate insofar as your references to HarperCollins are concerned. HarperCollins decided not to publish Ian Greer's book because we could not see any commercial justification for doing so. In short, we did not think it would make money.

OBITUARIES : Tristan Hawkins

Tristan Hawkins wrote by day and went home to write by night.

Enduring spell of a trilogy that leaves the critics cold

The story goes that, when JRR Tolkien read a newly-composed passage of The Lord of the Rings to his fellow Christian writers in the Oxford of the 1950s, his friend and colleague C S Lewis muttered: "Not another fucking elf." Sceptics still feel much the same.

Preface to 1997

Boyd Tonkin looks ahead to the new year's lead reads

Books: The books you listen to

Brush up on your Conrad, next year's most fashionable classic author, with a reading of The Secret Agent (HarperCollins, 3hrs, pounds 7.99), his tale of revolutionary terrorism inspired by the bombing of Greenwich Observatory in 1894. Joss Ackland's voice is mesmerising.

Happy endings hard to find for destitute writers

Book world: Once-successful novelists and biographers look to literary charities as publishers cut advances by up to a third

Write-off and costs send News plunging

News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch's master company, saw third- quarter profits plunge 69 per cent to $59m (pounds 39m), and blamed higher costs at satellite broadcaster Star TV and a $152m write-off following the sale of HarperCollins's educational publishing arm to Pearson.

Maxwell seeks ban on 'inside story' book

JOHN WILLCOCK
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Career Services

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
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn