Book review: Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, By Robin Sloan

A hip meditation on the future of print: Dan Brown in Silicon Valley

The small Welsh town of Blaenavon

Businessman behind ambitious plan to turn Welsh town into literary hotspot jailed in US for string of sex offences

James Hanna sentenced to two separate 60-year jail terms for producing child pornography and rape

Judge a book by its cover version

The Bookshop Band are Britain's only literary band. “We've just written a song inspired by Damian Barr's Maggie & Me,” says Ben Please. The Avon trio are fresh from a UK tour of independent bookshops and last month played Glastonbury. Authors who've had their books immortalised in song love it: “Rachel Joyce brought her family to see us when we played at a shop near her home,” says Please.

Between the Covers 28/07/2013

Your weekly guide to what's really going on in the world of books

The Cuckoo's Calling' is displayed on a shelf at a book store in London. The crime novel has sold out after Harry Potter author JK Rowling was revealed as the book's author

JK Rowling's unmasking boosts sales of The Cuckoo's Calling

Just a few days after JK Rowling was unmasked as the author behind crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling sales of the book have more than tripled.

Prickly customer: The Mexican agave plant, a source of fermented beverages, including tequila, for centuries

Drink it in: Raise a toast to a growing band of home-brewers

When it's too hot to walk as far as the corner shop for a beverage, there's only one thing to do: make it yourself at home.

Has your child racked up a sky-high iPad bill? Parents, take some responsibility

Only an irresponsible parent allows unlimited iPad access. Children are not allowed to put items in supermarket trolleys without permission - the principle is identical.

Robin van Persie of Manchester United signs autographs after a first team training session at Kogarah

Manchester United excite fans in Australia - with 17,000 buying tickets to watch a training session

The Premier League champions are to play an A-League All Star XI on Saturday

JK Rowling offered her latest work under a pseudonym to other publishers but was rejected

Bookshops clamour for copies of JK Rowling's secret book The Cuckoo's Calling

The book only sold 1,500 copies under Rowling's pseudonym, Robert Galbraith

The provisions made by Waitrose to check conditons with producers were insufficient

Is a Waitrose addiction really the wisest idea for a student?

It has a reputation for being an expensive way to shop. But is it worth it?

Book cover for Annabel Pitcher's 'Ketchup Clouds'

Matt-touch book covers: a feast for your fingers

Are you a fondler? Or do you keep your hands to yourself in a bookshop? The question is seen as a vital one for publishers keen to preserve the traditional paper book. Why? Because a tactile, finger-friendly cover can often mean the difference between a strong seller and one that bombs at the tills, or so the thinking goes.

Review: Firefly, By Janette Jenkins

Noël’s voice rings true in elegiac prose

The Cuadrilla shale fracking facility in Preston, Lancashire

Fracking ‘sticks in your mind because it is such a horrible word’: Malton has mixed feelings about its new prospects

On the British Geological Survey map published today, Malton in North Yorkshire is slap bang in the middle of a large blue shaded area.

Julia Donaldson, creator of ‘The Gruffalo’, is backing the campaign

Best-selling authors including Julia Donaldson and Joanne Harris vow to promote independent bookshops

Top-selling authors including The Gruffalo writer Julia Donaldson, Joanne Harris and Kate Morton are planning on altering their websites to link to independent bookshops following complaints that they only promote Amazon and chain retailers.

Best-selling author Iain Banks

Tributes paid to 'Wasp Factory' author Iain Banks after he dies from cancer: 'He's dead, I'm crying in an empty house'

Bestselling crime writer Ian Rankin has led tributes to his late friend Ian Banks, author of The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road, who died yesterday aged 59 just two months after announcing he had terminal cancer.

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas