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

Book publishing: Let me tell you a story...

A new website is hoping to help authors avoid the whims of sales-obsessed publishers by pitching their ideas directly to the people who really matter: the readers. Nick Duerden speaks to its founders

Channel 4 to serve up the laughs with Fresh Meat

Television comedy was never the same after The Young Ones portrayed the anarchic antics of a group of undergraduates. Now Channel 4 is revisiting university life with a sitcom, set in a student household, from the creators of the hit series Peep Show.

Venice Diary: Wild-child Ferrara is in town – but will he be Abel to make his dates?

Abel Ferrara has gone clean. US indie cinema's bard of drug abuse, sleaze and violence has been known in the past to turn up three hours late for interviews – and then promptly fall asleep. The colourful Bronx-born director of Driller Killer, King of New York and The Funeral, is due in Venice later this week for the premiere of his new film 4:44 Last Day on Earth about a couple confronting the end of the world. The word in advance of his arrival is that his own wild days are now firmly behind him. In the press notes for the new movie, he even quotes the Dalai Lama. The publicists are so confident that he's a reformed character that they are scheduling some of his interviews for early in the morning. Whether he'll turn up or not remains to be seen.

She's on it: scriptwriter of The Hour admits some lines 'haven't worked'

Abi Morgan responds to charges of linguistic anachronism in 1950s-era BBC drama

Novelist may have been victim of psychics' $40m scam, court told

A best-selling romance novelist whose books sometimes explore themes of the paranormal may have been among the victims of a Fort Lauderdale-based fortune-telling scam.

What the...? Dickens to get unwanted statue

The design has been chosen for the United Kingdom's first-ever statue of its greatest novelist, Charles Dickens, in spite of his request, made at his funeral, that there should be no monuments in his honour.

Inside culture: Philip Hensher

We've lost the factors that created Stan Barstow

Howard Jacobson: The best fiction doesn't need a label

Much educated discussion at the moment about the composition of this year's Man Booker longlist.

Britain's Man Booker long list unveiled

The longlist for Britain's prestigious Man Booker Prize was announced Tuesday after being selected by a panel of judges headed by a former MI5 intelligence chief.

Mark Steel: My guess is the cleaners are to blame

This year's television drama awards must surely go to the news, whose current scriptwriters are outstanding. Next week Newsnight will end with James Murdoch being told his real dad isn't Rupert, it's Fidel Castro. Then the credits will roll and we'll all be desperate to see the next episode.

The Old Spring, By Richard Francis

A pub that specialises in strong shorts

Terence Blacker: Bourgeois angst? Life is too short

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now. In our great national melting pot, one section of society is being systematically excluded from what we read or see on our screens. "There is this notion that the lives of the comfortably-off middle class don't merit being treated seriously and with compassion," the novelist and screenwriter William Nicholson has said. A publisher had once rejected his work with the brutal words, "I will not publish books about women who drive 4x4s."

Inquiry into allegations against writer

Johann Hari, a columnist for The Independent, has been suspended for two months while an inquiry is conducted into claims that he embellished his articles with quotes that were made on separate occasions and that he attacked his critics online while using an alias.

The Amazing Spider-Man to be 'naturalistic'

'The Amazing Spider-Man' screenwriter Steve Kloves says he is taking the comic book character back to his roots.

Francis King

Further to your obituary of Francis King (6 July), writes Julian Machin, mention should be made of EM Forster in his life – "an extremely old man" when they were finally introduced by Joe Ackerley, causing Forster to remark, "I've wanted to meet you for so long."

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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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?