Murder mystery in reverse: Dame Judi Dench reads The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark

Are you listening carefully? Audio books for Christmas

There are rich pickings to be harvested from this year’s crop. Jim Crace’s unforgettable Harvest (Whole Story, 7 CDs, £20.41) is a book begging to be read aloud. Had the Booker judges listened to John Keating reading it, they’d have given it the prize unanimously. The story of a pre-lapsarian village facing the end of centuries  of agrarian life is written in blunt and sturdy language that moves seamlessly between Old English accented alliteration and flights of superb iambic pentameter. “Caught between a nettle and a thorn”, the helpless narrator watches as monetary greed and a flagrant injustice destroys a community and creates an avoidable refugee crisis, whose contemporary relevance is unmistakable. It is a work of genius.

Mergermarket sell off has private-equity firms pondering bids

A host of private-equity firms are mulling bids for Mergermarket, the online bible for City rumour and gossip that is being offloaded by Financial Times-owner Pearson.

Anchorman's Ron Burgundy will release an 'autobiography' in November

Anchorman's Ron Burgundy to release 'autobiography'

Will Ferrell's most famous character promises to 'tell all' about his life so far

Another publishing star exits: Chief executive, Victoria Barnsley, leaves HarpersCollins

The boss of Rupert Murdoch's British book publishing arm, HarperCollins, dramatically departed yesterday as parent company News Corporation moved much of the UK responsibilities to its head office in New York.

Penguin Random House: An American takeover

As it gets taken over, Penguin is quitting the UK for the US, while talismanic publisher Gail Rebuck takes a back seat. But can the combine keep its top authors?

Penguin headquarters moved to New York after merger

Book publisher Penguin Random House today completed its merger in a move that will see Penguin’s headquarters move from London to New York and Random House’s UK boss, Dame Gail Rebuck, step back from the day-to-day running of the company.

Pearson braced for challenges following slip in sales to £1.2bn

Financial Times owner Pearson today admitted underlying sales fell 1% to  £1.2 billion in the first quarter, against a 3% rise a year ago, in a sign of the tough task facing new chief executive John Fallon.

Paperback review: Makers, By Chris Anderson

Everyone has the power to invent in these technological times
Penguin and Random House are set to merge

EU watchdog gives go-ahead for Penguin Random House merger

The EU's antitrust watchdog has given the green light to the proposed merger of Penguin and Random House that will create the world's largest book publisher.

Fifty Shades of Grey keeps Random House in the black

Record-breaking sales of the Fifty Shades Of Grey book trilogy have proved more important than The X Factor in holding up profits at German-owned media conglomerate Bertelsmann.

Pearson to swing the jobs axe after plunge in profits

Education giant Pearson will make major job cuts after new chief executive John Fallon today admitted annual profits slumped 59% but insisted, in the strongest terms yet, that the Financial Times is not for sale.

Thomas Pynchon joins Bowie as the second returning recluse of the week

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Skyfall: The Bond film, the third starring Daniel Craig, was shot in Glencoe, Dalness Lodge, and Rannoch Moor

Skyfall writers leaving on a high - and other literary rivalries

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Penguin: Set to join Random House

Pearson's Penguin joins Random House

Pearson agreed to combine its Penguin publishing unit with Bertelsmann's Random House to create by far the largest book publisher in Britain and the United States.

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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor