Arts and Entertainment

Some authors vanish in plain sight, recalled by their most successful work, which comes to define an entire career. A friend of mine has written mytho-logies, Victoriana, crime and magical realism, but publishers are unable to mention her without inserting the title of her greatest success into her name, in the way that pantomime stars are bracketed by their TV shows. Typecasting is a problem that afflicts most successful writers.

Comment: Podium: How the East was won for Britain

From a lecture by the expert on Javanese art given at the British Museum

Best Sellers: Paperbacks

1 About A Boy Nick Hornby/Indigo pounds 6.99

BEST-SELLERS: BOOKS

Hardbacks

Wired Up: Travel India

The biggest advantage that travel guidebooks have over the Internet these days is that they're portable. However, if you're on-line and need to know what's what, the Web wins hands down. Take India for example, perhaps the most exotic of all destinations.

Books: Best Sellers

Hardbacks

Travel: Passport

Getting lost is part of the fun for serious travellers, though it could hurt their chances of romance

There's No Escape

When the first `Lonely Planet' guide was published 26 years ago, travelling was a very different story. Andrew Stalbow on how the trail became a trial

Property: Hot Spot - Cardiff, Barry And Penarth: Posh and poor down on the waterfront

THE HARBOURS in Cardiff and Barry used to work for a living. Soon, they will mostly devote themselves to leisure pursuits.

Focus: So many books, so little time

While booksellers are doing roaring business, many much-praised works are destined only for shelving, or showing off on the Tube

Travel: Turn your gap year into a real winner

Calling all gap-year students - a total of pounds 3,000 is up for grabs (so long as you don't mind travelling with a gnome) plus 100 travel guide and phrase books from Lonely Planet

Travel: Brochures

IF YOU can't judge a book by its cover, you certainly can a travel brochure: the Trips Worldwide brochure for Mexico, Central America and the Alternative Caribbean is vivid proof of this. With its scaly-textured purple cover and smiley lizard logo, this brochure looks promisingly unconventional, if not "dramatically different", as the cover proclaims. The new-agey illustrations of tropical fish and Mayan temples look as if a somewhat exhilarated art student has been let loose with a pack of children's crayons, but the result is surprisingly refreshing. There are the obligatory picture-postcard snaps of beautiful beaches and grinning locals, but on the whole, the design does not rely on them. Rather than being aimed at backpackers, as I at first thought, these tailor-made holidays are aimed at people "just like you", according to the inside front cover. The list of "just like you" types which follows is curious: teachers, naturalists, honeymooners, young people, octogenarians and... lottery winners. A two-week minimum tour is recommended in the "Trip Planner" pull-out section, which also contains all the nitty-gritty details - prices, itineraries, etc. This is a fine idea (if it hadn't been printed in an illegible lurid orange) as it leaves the main brochure unfettered. The result is an inspiring travel guide book-style read.

WEB SITES OF THE WEEK

Fancy a new start Down Under? This is the Australian government's official immigration page, giving advice on how to apply for residency in Oz. It's not particularly user-friendly. but it is comprehensive, allowing you to download application forms.

Rural bliss in N16

Media couple Rob and Clare Steiner have swapped their achingly chic white apartment on the urban front line for the lived-in look, complete with labrador, in that famous oasis of bucolic peace, Stoke Newington. James Sherwood reports. Photographs by Mykel Nicolaou
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform