Voices

Judging by the national mood, I would urge David Cameron to go to the polls now; the mood is good out there

The Atmospheric Railway, By Shena Mackay

This collection of 13 short stories, named after an experimental railway which ran for some months in the 1860s at Crystal Palace Gardens in London, takes the reader on richly imagined, metaphorical journeys through the minutiae and small mysteries of individual lives.

Leading article: We can't resist market forces

In a world that is changing so fast, there is consolation to be found in identifying the things that stay the same. One of these, a survey has found, is the attraction of the English market town. Lloyds TSB has established that house-buyers are prepared to pay a £30,000 premium to live in one, compared with other locations in the same county.

Armed police clear drug gangs from Rio favela

Police searched homes and secured the perimeter yesterday of a Rio de Janeiro shantytown that has long been a stronghold for drug gangs and a symbol of their ability to rule vast areas of the seaside city with impunity.

Adrift (12A)

Starring: Laura Neiva, Vincent Cassel, Débora Bloch

Holloway still hopes to keep Gilks beside the seaside

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway is determined to retain the services of his goalkeeper Matt Gilks. Holloway knows, however, he could be fighting a losing battle with the player out of contract come next summer.

Italian town set to ban 'skimpy' skirts

Just how mini can a miniskirt be? If the mayor of a small Italian town has his way, law enforcement officials, and not fashion gurus, will be the ones to decide.

A Fair Maiden, By Joyce Carol Oates

On a walk one afternoon, 16-year-old Katya Spivak, a nanny in the town of Bayhead Harbor, New Jersey, is approached by Henry Kidder, an elderly illustrator; he offers her money to pose for a series of portraits and she agrees, only vaguely aware of his more sinister intentions.

Tips and deals of the week: 24/10/2010

Take a festive break in Dublin for £163

Throughout December, Irish Ferries is offering three nights at the three-star Mount Herbert Hotel for £163 per person, a saving of £42. The deal, based on two sharing, includes return car ferry crossings, free parking in Dublin and B&B.

Go to irishferries.com/holidays

Book Of A Lifetime: The Pursuit Of The Millennium, By Norman Cohn

One year, my mother inherited £500. This was a princely sum. My parents put the money towards a tiny, flint-faced cottage on the Kent coast. Their hope, a regular injection of sea air into the lungs of our urban childhood. And indeed religiously, every holiday and half-term, we would wind our way down (fewer motorways then) to the seaside town of Hythe.

Howard Jacobson: The end of the pier is too big a loss to bear

A pier never feels entirely English. Isn’t that what we love – its foreignness, its riskiness?

Book Of A Lifetime: Berg, By Ann Quin

I first came to read Ann Quin's mesmerising 'Berg' by accident in 2001. I was browsing a favourite bookshop in Brighton, looking for rare editions of Blaise Cendrars. When I asked the bookseller if he stocked anything by Cendrars he simply shook his head and held up a Calder edition of Quin's 'Berg'. "Have you ever read Ann Quin?" he asked me. "No, who's Ann Quin?" I answered.

I'm in charge, says Clegg, as PM goes to the seaside

A year ago it would have been considered a pipe-dream for all but the most incurable of Liberal Democrat romantics. Their leader will return from his Spanish holiday tomorrow to take charge of Britain for the next fortnight.

Design beside the seaside: Get the fresh coastal look without the sailing clichés

Combine white-painted furniture, striped linen and the right vintage accessories

Bodies of married couple found

The bodies of a married couple were discovered at their seaside flat after neighbours were alerted by their two young sons. It is believed the mother had been strangled by her husband before he killed himself.

'Doughnut' ride man in propeller horror

A man was seriously injured after being thrown from a rubber ring pulled by a speedboat and struck by the vessel's propeller.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness