One Minute With: Jonathan Harvey, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

Singer Suggs discovers family history on Wikipedia

Suggs, the Madness frontman, found details of his estranged father on his own Wikipedia page after years of searching official records.

Dickens tops chart as classic tales remain a hit with parents

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens' 1843 classic in which the stingy Ebenezer Scrooge discovers the generous Christmas spirit, is the book parents most want to pass on to their children, according to a new poll.

The Blagger's Guide To: WilL Self

So, Will, can a sesquipedalian be lost for words?

Five-minute Memoir: Natasha Soobramanien on the baked beans that cured her writer’s block

I see now that a writing retreat is productive only if removing yourself from a life so full of distraction that you need the isolation in order to focus on your work. But if you are the kind of writer who doesn't do much of a day to merit this or any other job title, two weeks on a remote Scottish island will not help you chip away at your writer's block.

Penguin said 'Fever Pitch' was chosen because it 'struck a chord with the popular imagination'

Critics sneer as hit football novel becomes 'classic'

Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby's depiction of life as an Arsenal fan, is to join the likes of The Great Gatsby and Ulysses on the Penguin Modern Classics list – to the consternation of some critics.

Arifa Akbar: It's a funny, moving read - but Hornby's just not up there with Joyce

The question being asked is what makes a modern classic, but perhaps we should be asking who decides what makes one. In this case, it's the bods at Penguin publishing who have deemed Nick Hornby's man-bible on football obsession to be up there with the best of them.

Penguin said 'Fever Pitch' was chosen because it 'struck a chord with the popular imagination'

It all kicks off as Fever Pitch gets Classic status

Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby's bestselling depiction of life and love as a fan of Arsenal Football Club, is to join the likes of 1984, The Great Gatsby and Ulysses on the Penguin Modern Classics list – to the dismay of some critics.

When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, by Peter Godwin

Peter Godwin has written three pretty-much universally acclaimed, semi-autobiographical books about Zimbabwe. While When a Crocodile Eats the Sun is one of my favourite books of all time, I have yet to read the other two because I loved this one so intensely. It demanded so much, was so colourful, so wise, so... well, edifying, that I feel as though I have to do something amazingly heroic to earn the privilege of reading his others. It's anal, I know. I apply the same cracked logic to the books of my other all-time favourite author, Thomas Mann. Godwin – like Mann – writes literary caviar.

Mary Poppins, at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics 2012
Margaret Mahy

Margaret Mahy - Award-winning children’s author

"But Abel, though a treble, was a rascal and a rebel, fond of getting into trouble when he didn't have to sing. Pushing quickly through the people, Abel clambered up the steeple with nefarious intentions and a pebble in his sling…"

UK's Public libraries are expected to close or open for a total of 150,000 fewer hours this year

Revealed: the full cost of the cull of public libraries

More than 150 libraries have been closed or put into the hands of volunteers in the past year owing to the Government spending squeeze, with a further 225 at risk as councils look for ways of finding savings, according to research released last night.

Jewell says: 'I'm proud of the fact that I've done very little - and hence have little to worry about - and I've still got somewhere'

Lisa Jewell: 'I married someone I didn’t love. I was too polite to say no'

My first book came about over a bet I had a drunken conversation with a friend about some day writing a book, and she said, "If you write me three chapters, I'll take you for dinner at your favourite restaurant." So I did [the resulting book, Ralph's Party, was the biggest-selling debut novel of 1999], and she made me send it out to agents. When one of those agents liked it and told me Penguin wanted to pay me £120,000 to write my first two books, I thought everyone had gone mad.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam