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

Did Van Gogh die in an unfortunate brush with fate?

Art historians say it was suicide – but a new book claims he met his demise in a shooting accident

Lost notes of Bram Stoker found in attic

Bram Stoker bore a startling resemblance to one of his most famous characters, Jonathan Harker, the troubled solicitor at the centre of the 1897 horror novel Dracula, according to previously unseen notebooks belonging to the author.

War of words: Why major authors plan challenger to Booker

A group of prize-winning writers and literary heavyweights wants to return to what it says the prize used to be about. By Arifa Akbar

War of words: major authors launch rival to 'low-brow' Booker

Literature Prize will reward artistry over accessibility – and be open to American writers

The Poet Laureate, the ode to an Achilles and a pair of Beckham's boots

When the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy struck a deal with David Beckham – she would send him a handwritten poem about his ankle injury if he sent her a pair of his football boots in return – she expected a package to turn up six months ago.

Scientology's 'real-life Hogwarts' school charges $42,000 a year

Make jokes about Thetans and Xenu if you must. Have a good laugh at John Travolta's film Battlefield Earth if you absolutely have to. But don't expect to poke fun at L Ron Hubbard's legacy without getting an almighty roasting from the Church of Scientology's PR department.

Six Of The Best: Poetic Pilgrimages

As a new memorial to Wilfred Owen opens in France, Simone Kane goes in the footsteps of some of the past century's most famous poets

Oil On Water, By Helon Habila

Rufus is a keen cub reporter cutting his teeth at a newspaper in Port Harcourt, when he is sent on an assignment to find and interview the kidnapped wife of a British oil engineer.

Stewart back on the board

Martha Stewart, the American home decorating and cooking guru, is back on the board of the company that bears her name, five years after being convicted of insider trading. Her ban on being a director expired this week.

Have we fallen out of love with chick lit?

It was once the frothy genre that spelt big profits for publishers. But the latest sales figures read like a horror story

Independent columnist apologises for plagiarism

Johann Hari, the writer and columnist for The Independent, has admitted plagiarism allegations and will attend a journalism training course before being allowed to rejoin the newspaper.

Little sympathy as Dahl clan seeks a shedload of cash for author's hut

The family of Roald Dahl has been forced to backtrack on a fundraising campaign designed to rescue the hut in which the author wrote his tales.

You can pay to move your own shed, Roald Dahl fans tell writer's family

His children's books have sold 60 million copies, generating a merchandise industry and Hollywood adaptations. But an appeal for £500,000 to restore Roald Dahl's garden shed has proved a plot twist too fantastical.

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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform