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The 10 Best meditation apps

Meditating is proven to reduce stress, help us keep calm and sleep better too. Want to master the  art? There are a range of apps that help you live a more ‘mindful’ life, wherever you happen to be. Here’s our pick of the best.

Goldblatt's work records three years in the lives of her elderly parents

Photography book review: Still Here, By Lydia Goldblatt

In Still Here, Lydia Goldblatt immerses her intimate photographs in sublime extremes of light and shade, tracing the fleeting shadow of personal existence on to enduring human narratives.

Improve your office with some easy steps

Why not try leading group meditation or introducing sensory objects?

The Russell Brand effect: the mystery explained

Putting to one side for a second that Brand is extremely clever and funny, why do women find this scruffy, skinny, messy-haired effeminate so irresistible?

The American actress Elizabeth McGovern, star of Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey's Elizabeth McGovern says she is 'too angry' to be a real-life Lady Cora

The star, whose grandfather was a Buddhist, says a quiet life was not for her

Crime and Punishment at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

Theatre review: Crime and Punishment, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

The squalor unfolds before us like a wound, the stage stripped back and opened up to the red brick and rusted heating duct bones of the backstage area, the ten-strong ensemble cavorting around the fringes of the action at all times, populating the dive bars and crumbling tenements of 19 century St Petersburg with life and music and threat. At the heart of it all waits destitute former law student Raskolnikov, seemingly without hope or options as he ponders killing his merciless pawnbroker on the other side of the damp-flaked door before him.

Book review: Four Fields, By Tim Dee

From the Fens to Chernobyl, this tour of turf shows the skills of a gifted, if sombre, naturalist

Review: The Professor of Truth, By James Robertson. Hamish Hamilton, £16.99

Twenty-one years ago, Alan Tealing’s wife and daughter were killed in the bombing of a transatlantic flight over Scotland. Tealing, a lecturer in English literature at a Scottish university, has dedicated the years since to “The Case” – “the gathering and sifting of information, the analysis of so-called facts and challenging of so-called evidence”.

Study claims ‘inner peace’ can help pupils to cope with exams

After taking part, 80 per cent of the children said they continued to use the techniques

Winging it: Peter Wedd as Lohengrin is propelled across the water by Thomas Rowlands as Gottfried

Classical review: Lohengrin - Love means never having to say who you really are

Love is seldom simple in Wagner's operas. There is always a curse or a price, some impossible condition to be met, some sacrifice to be made. In Lohengrin ("the favourite opera of all sensitive ladies", according to one 19th-century critic), sensitive Elsa stands falsely accused of the murder of her brother, Gottfried. The dreamboat hero who arrives to defend Elsa's honour is quick to say those three little words that she longs to hear, and quick to march her to the altar to the lily-scented strains of Wagner's wedding anthem, with the proviso that she should never ask his name. Alas, Elsa has three little words of her own to say, burning like chili pepper on her sensitive tongue: who are you?

Asunder, By Chloe Aridjis

This unusual novel of art, solitude and imagination breaks the rules but creates a vision of its own

Delon Armitage, left, and Jonny Wilkinson, right, lift the Heineken Cup

Jonny Wilkinson keeps a door open to late call-up to the British and Irish Lions

Flawless display of kicking from England legend leads Toulon to maiden Heineken Cup

The Enigma of the Return, By Dany Laferrière, trans. David Homel

A magnificent meditation on loss and political exile as a great Haitian writer returns home

Above All Things, By Tanis Rideout

The story of George Mallory, the dashing mountaineer and Bloomsbury-set member who disappeared attempting the summit of Mount Everest in 1924, would seem to write itself.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick