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Letter from the Literary editor: The Transformative Power of Books

Many of us will have booked our holidays by now and bought the sun-cream too. But what to read under the palm tree or on the beach or the staycation sofa?

Book review: Completion by Tim Walker

Given our national obsession with property prices, Tim Walker’s novel is bound to hit a nerve. His fictional couple, the Manvilles, bought their large north London home at a knock-down price in the 1990s, and it became the key to two aspects of their family life. Jerry, a successful advertising executive, undertook all the original plumbing, electrical and redecoration work; Pen devised a series of popular children’s books, The House on the Hill, whose “cheeky brat with the ridiculous schemes” is modelled on, and named after, her real-life son Conrad: 15 years on, they have done a loft conversion, and divorced.

Time to influence the debate on Europe

The EU divides opinion but whatever your views it is important to have your say — through voting in the May election and joining in the Citizens’ Dialogue events around Europe

Amanda Knox on Good Morning America

Meredith Kercher murder: Amanda Knox breaks down in first live interview after second guilty verdict, saying: 'It hit me like a train'

From Seattle to the Austrian border, the fallout from the latest verdict on Meredith Kercher’s murder has been dramatic

Stephanie Kercher (L) and Lyle Kercher, the sister and brother of murdered British student Meredith Kercher, attend a news conference in Florence

Meredith Kercher sister: Family still on 'journey for truth' after Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito found guilty of murder

Speaking after the verdict, Stephanie Kercher conceded the family may never know what truly happened on the evening of Meredith’s death

Dmytro Bulatov,a Ukrainian opposition activist, says he was kidnapped and tortured

Ukraine activist Dmytro Bulatov 'kidnapped, tortured and left to die'

He led AutoMaidan protest movement that organised motorcades outside the houses of politicians and oligarchs

Shrien Dewani is accused of killing his bride Anni on their honeymoon in South Africa

Honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani loses High Court move to block extradition

Shrien Dewani, who is accused of organising the murder of his wife Anni, has lost a High Court bid to block his extradition to South Africa until he is fit to stand trial.

The Prime Minister's authority was challenged by his own backbenchers as they demanded a tougher line on deporting foreign criminals from Britain

David Cameron beats Conservative Immigration Bill rebellion – with the help of the Opposition

More than 80 backbenchers had demanded a tougher line on deporting foreign criminals from Britain

Backbench Conservatives MPs have been criticised for supporting a proposed ban on HIV positive immigrants entering Britain

Ban on HIV positive immigrants entering the UK proposed for Immigration Bill by Tory MPs

HIV and AIDs campaigners have called the amendment "draconian"

First drone-assisted arrest in America began with a dispute over six cows

The drones were used to locate suspects after an armed stand-off developed

ASOS named 'company of the decade' at Quoted Company Awards

Online fashion giant Asos was declared “company of the decade” at the Grant Thornton-sponsored Quoted Company Awards.

‘We want to destroy’: Entire neighbourhoods demolished by Syrian army

Shocking satellite images show devastation in districts that back opposition to President Assad

Nick Clegg opposes smoking ban in cars with children

Nick Clegg opposes smoking ban in cars with children

Deputy PM said the ban would not be enforceable in practice

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

Ukraine on the brink as President Viktor Yanukovych takes sick leave amid calls for resignation

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych went on sick leave today after a bruising session of parliament, leaving a political vacuum in a country destabilised by anti-government protests and threatened with bankruptcy.

UK border control at Heathrow Airport

Immigration bill: UK terror suspects could be stripped of their citizenship

Plans by Theresa May could see terror suspects faced with being made stateless

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions