Forgotten author No 44: Luis van Rooten

Once again the shops are flooded with books based on TV shows, war-time hobbies and compendia of schoolboy knowledge played for ironic laughs. Who would have thought there was money to be made from clipping children's pastimes out of Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia? Christmas wasn't always a cue to make money from old rope, though. In the past, there have been some inspired comic volumes, and it's a pleasure to see that Luis Ricardo Carlos Fernand d'Antin y Zuloaga van Rooten's masterpiece is back in bookstores this December.

Weekend Work: Time to sow lawn seed

Yeats extends the scale of greatness

Fourth Gold Cup victory elevates horse and trainer to unique place in firmament

Michael Church: Ian Bostridge up a blind alley

It sounded a neat idea, as Ian Bostridge outlined it in the Guardian. The Threepenny Opera’s perennial relevance - particularly marked, as capitalist binge leads to universal bust - makes it worth looking at anew: singing Lieder with Dorothea Roschmann and Angelika Kirchschlager prompted him to wonder "how wonderful it would be" to hear them tackling Brecht-Weill

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Tindall lights up dry match

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Brave Inca rediscovers old fire

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Day Like Those: No Esther Rantzen sniggering at rudely shaped vegetables now...

I could tell that Matthew was distracted when I phoned him in London. I wanted to give him the news that I had been asked to be a steward at the flower show in the village in Dorset where we have our cottage.

Armando Ianucci: Television still depends on a good story well told

In television, what happens, happens, and no matter what people say and do to make it happen differently, it doesn't. That's it. No one has the ability to draw a line under anything, no matter how much money and effort they put into trying.

Skills shortage in IT leads to rise in pay and jobs despite slowdown

Despite the economic downturn, IT departments still need more staff, and salaries for mid-level technicians are rising as the perennial skills shortage continues to bite.

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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

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Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

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Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

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Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

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General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

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