Arts and Entertainment For music lovers: John Cusack with his vinyl collection in 'High Fidelity'

As a former couple go to court in a bid to carve up their record collection, Tom Hodgkinson rejoices in the fact that our love affair with vinyl is far from over

Lost Hobbit images get first showing

Unseen drawings by J R R Tolkien published this week throw new light on an old classic

The Sound of Fear, Radio 4, Tuesday<br/>One to One, Radio 4, Tuesday

Is that a voice from beyond? Or Lyse Doucet?

1Q84: Book One and Book Two, By Haruki Murakami, trs Jay Rubin

Everything under the two moons

My Father's Fortune, By Michael Frayn

A son takes stock of riches beyond measure

The Lost Diaries, By Craig Brown

Better spaghetti, passing wind, and Madonna's sex

The Sun King, By Nancy Mitford

An age of Regal pomp and dodgy plumbing

Howard Jacobson: Forget Kevin, it's the book we need to talk about

And so, with a dignified nod to anyone who cares to notice, I straighten my bow tie, wipe away a tear, put on my bravest face and leave the stage.

Letters: Libya after Gaddafi

The end of Gaddafi's regime bodes ill for Libya

National Novel Writing Month: Write your novel online

A writer writes, or so the popular dictum has it. In reality, a writer is far more likely to procrastinate – to watch TV, go for a walk, take up macramé – than they are to actually knuckle down to it. This is why an initiative called National Novel Writing Month – or NaNoWriMo for acronym enthusiasts – exists: an online support group that encourages wannabe novelists, over the course of one frantic month, to actually put pen to paper, finger to keyboard.

1Q84, By Haruki Murakami

How odd, but apt, that an author who writes so often and so well about the lure of cults should himself have become the idol of a worldwide sect of votaries. Near the end of the first of the three volumes that make up Haruki Murakami's 1Q84, a policewoman who has investigated a secretive commune reports that "Doctrine-wise, it's kind of deconstructionist". Initiates absorb "a jumble of images of religion" that takes in "new-age spiritualism, fashionable academicism, a return to nature, anti-capitalism, occultism, and stuff". Overall, their creed "has a bunch of flavours, but no substantial core". Ayumi, a traffic cop who likes to pick up strangers in the company of the novel's heroine and enjoy "all-night sex feasts", adds: "In McLuhanesque terms, the medium is the message. Some people may find that cool."

Book Of A Lifetime: Coming Through Slaughter, By Michael Ondaatje

My book of a lifetime? Easy. 'Coming Through Slaughter' by Michael Ondaatje. I discovered it just as the cement was setting around the idea of making the dream, writing, an actual career (to the horror of my coal-miner father, who, when hearing of my vaultingly ridiculous ambition, responded - "waste of time, books".) Ondaatje's slim, early tome was introduced by a university lecturer, a failed and depleted writer himself, and it entered my world like a depth charge of possibility. I've carried my battered Picador paperback around for decades; the pages, now, are almost greasy from being thumbed, flipped, dog-eared and scribbled upon.

Inadmissible Evidence, Donmar Warehouse, London

Having been the voice of the "Angry Young Man" in 1956 with Look Back in Anger, John Osborne became the megaphone of the male mid-life crisis eight years later with Inadmissible Evidence. The play is a devastating account of the meltdown of 39-year-old solicitor Bill Maitland. It opens with a Kafkaesque dream in which Maitland is in the dock for having published the "wicked, bawdy and scandalous object" that is his mediocre life. It then turns into a waking nightmare where the division between the outer reality of the office and the inside of Maitland's head is disturbingly blurred. Clients, colleagues, wife, mistress and daughter turn away from him, so that by the end, he's an almost Beckett-like image of a man left alone in the fading light with no hope.

Brendon Burns: Gervais <i>can</i> be forgiven for what he said

For some reason people think they have the right not to be offended, which is an incredibly self-absorbed stance. When one person is horrified by a joke, another person is laughing their arse off. And the person laughing their arse off would never tell the horrified person they're not entitled to their reaction.

Arifa Akbar: It's a case of choosing the right author in the wrong year

By going for the only literary heavyweight on the list, the decision rung a false note

The sense of a happy ending &ndash; Barnes wins the Booker

He's made the shortlist three times before, but finally the novelist has taken the prize

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain