Phoenix

House of Holes, By Nicholson Baker

When Nicholson Baker stopped writing about sex after Vox and The Fermata, I thought he'd lost his nerve; now he has returned to it with House of Holes, I fear he's lost his mind. What was so impressive about Baker's previous sexually explicit work (only part of a wide-ranging oeuvre) was that the transgression took place within a thought-out narrative structure. Vox, written entirely in dialogue, contained long male and female fantasies exchanged on a phone-line as they progressed towards mutual satisfaction (the book gained notoriety when Monica Lewinsky made a gift of it to Bill Clinton). The Fermata was a bawdy take on Wells's The Time Machine, featuring a narrator, Arno Stine, who stopped time to undress women without their consent - which he slowly realised was a bad idea.

Simon Bond: Cartoonist and illustrator best known for his book

Though he had worked as a stand-up comedian, as a dealer in antiquarian prints and paintings, and as a writer and publisher, Simon Bond was best known as a cartoonist and illustrator, notably creating the international bestseller, 101 Uses of a Dead Cat.

Nerveless Laugher springs forth as world-class talent

Double world junior champion Jack Laugher hopes he can one day enjoy his time in the spotlight currently occupied by Tom Daley after an eighth-placed finish in the 3 metre springboard final on his World Championships debut yesterday that belied his 16 years.

Phoenix battered by dust storm

A massive dust storm descended on the Phoenix area in Arizona, drastically reducing visibility and delaying flights as strong winds uprooted trees and left thousands of residents without power.

Fifty mile wide dust storm engulfs Phoenix

A massive dust storm has descended on the Phoenix area, drastically reducing visibility and delaying flights as strong winds toppled trees and caused power cuts for thousands of residents in the valley.

History in the making at Reading Festival

It’s a big year for the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Not only is it 50 years this summer since Harold Pendleton, founder of the Marquee Club in London, launched the events’ precursor, the National Jazz Festival, but it’s also the 40th anniversary of the Reading site’s initiation. To celebrate four decades of revelry at Richfield Avenue we’ve taken a look back at some of the defining moments of this most beloved of festivals.

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Words are still a struggle, but the picture says it all

Five months after US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords nearly died after being shot in the head by a gunman whose bullets killed six others, the first pictures of her released since the massacre show the smile of a woman recovering remarkably well.

The Big Six: Cool campsites in the US

As well as being a cattle ranch, Paws Up caters for 28 luxurious timber houses that sleep between four and eight. Guests can better appreciate the wilderness from the two dozen luxury tents, scattered in woodland or on the banks of the Blackfoot river. Inside are proper beds and en suite bathrooms, safari-style décor (antler light fittings, dark wood furniture and rattan mats), and each opens on to a private deck.