Arts and Entertainment

The idea of The Great American Novel feels like an albatross around the neck of that country’s literature. Sooner or later every white middle-class male writer with any kind of reputation feels obliged to have a stab at it, usually with limited success. Eventually they think it’s time to pack away all the fun stuff like storytelling, energy and plot, and make some big state-of-the-nation address, telling people exactly how things stand in the good ol’ US of A. Interestingly, America’s women writers don’t tend to feel the obligation to grandstand so strongly, and their novels are usually all the better for that.

On a roll: a decadent bath

A dream stay in the Inca heartland

Room Service: Palacio Nazarenas, Cusco

India considers cash handouts to the poor

India's ruling party wants to send direct payments to nation's poor

India's ruling Congress party presented an idea Tuesday that it hopes will win it the next elections: cash handouts sent directly into the bank accounts of poor people, replacing a corrupt and inefficient web of subsidies and rations that often fail to reach the intended beneficiaries.

Leg heavily strapped, Dylan Hartley watches England training yesterday with Courtney Lawes

England left wondering: Where did all the hookers go?

With the number one No 2, Dylan Hartley, on the endangered list and with no one obvious ready to step up, Chris Hewett runs a short rule over Lancaster's options

How to put on a show in your garden for Halloween

It can be quite a glum time of year in the garden– but it’s easy enough to turn it glam with a little Halloween hocus-pocus, says Emma Townshend.

Tim Walker: Storyteller, Somerset House, London

A flying saucer chased by a foxhunt and tables laid for a party and suspended in trees are some of the fashion photographer Tim Walker's more extravagant gestures.

1. Longwear Lipglass in Forever Rose £15, MAC, available nationwide

Coming up roses

Your garden might have gone to sleep but your beauty regime doesn't need to, says Harriet Walker

City break: Wild flowers grow alongside the High Line, which runs through Manhattan's West Side

Friends in high places: How New York's High Line founders raised $100m

The pair of civic-minded New Yorkers transformed a disused train track rising some 30ft above Manhattan's bustling streets into a horticultural sanctuary.

Grand scheme: Ann-Marie Powell's low-maintenance garden ready for entertaining

No job too small: Anyone can create a sleek haven with Ann-Marie Powell's detailed plans

"So lately," says Rob, gazing into the middle distance, "I've been thinking that the problem is that perhaps it needs to have a sort of centrepiece. Like a giant rock." My neighbours and I are having a gin and tonic. There has been some discussion about whether gin and tonic is permitted under their strenuous pre-holiday dietary regime, but caution has been thrown to the wind. So here we are on the terrace, sipping our drinks, sitting in the sunshine, and everything is almost perfect. Almost.

Alice Jones: Who wants a work space to look like home?

FreeView from the editors at i

Saints release Brett Sharman after Mo Farah tweet

Brett Sharman, who posted an offensive tweet about the double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah on Twitter, has been released by Northampton.

Five-Minute Memoir: Jonathan Trigell recalls a childhood attack on his dad's beloved beans

When I was a boy, I loved books and I hated beans. My dad adored beans. Especially his beans: runners, grown on bamboo poles, that should have made excellent wigwam structures, but instead would provide endless months of hairy, stringy, mottled, tooth-clogging torture; or so it seemed to me.

Weekend work: Time to raid the garden centre

What to do

Servicemen killed in Afghanistan repatriated

The families of three British servicemen killed in Afghanistan stood together in their grief today as they watched their loved ones' bodies repatriated to the UK.

The 10 Best children's book sets

Keep boredom at bay on long journeys or dull afternoons this summer with pages and pages of fiction, fantasy and fun

The 10 Best scented candles

Whether you prefer florals or spice, light one of these and cast the perfect glow

Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
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Sergio Romero saves Wesley Sneijder's penalty
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Scoreboard at the end of the semi-final World Cup match between Brazil and Germany at The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte
Sport
'Saddest man in Brazil' takes defeat with good grace, handing replica trophy to German fans
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Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
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Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
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people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
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The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
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Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

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