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.

A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar, By Suzanne Johnson

A tale of quirky women who operate outside the mainstream

Simon Calder: Lazing on a sunny afternoon, Greek style

The man who pays his way

Islandhopping: Hanko in southern Finland, where the coastline is dotted with 179,000 islands

My life in travel: Griff Rhys Jones, comedian, actor, writer and presenter

'I'm likely to be travelling in India with my head in a book about Patagonia'

Simon Calder: Foreign Office seeks to enlighten travelling fans

Think twice about drinking in Poland: "You can be taken to a drying-out clinic, where you'll be medically assessed and not released until sober. You will be required to pay the cost of any overnight stay."

Destination Italy: Write about 'a close encounter' to win

Writing competition update: Win a trip for two to Italy – plus have your travel story published in <i>The IoS</i>

The Independent on Sunday has once again joined forces with Bradt Travel Guides (bradtguides.com) to offer readers the chance to win our travel-writing competition, with a top prize this year of a holiday for two to Abruzzo in Italy and publication of the winning entry in the travel section of the paper.

Venetian Navigators, By Andrea di Robilant

To boldy go where no man has gone before (possibly)

The British Library has released an audio collection of the work of 20th-century travel writers, from Laurie Lee to Freya Stark; price £16. Go to bl.uk/shop

Tips and deals of the week

The collection

Author Louis de Bernières

'I've been through absolute hell'

The author Louis de Bernières tells Emily Jupp about the pain of a crumbling relationship and the threat of losing his children

Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria, By Noo Saro-Wiwa

"My father's murder severed my personal links with Nigeria," writes Noo Saro-Wiwa in the prologue of her travelogue. Looking for Transwonderland is set in Nigeria, a country that venerated her father, Ken, for his 1980s TV comedy series, Basi & Company, and then executed him less than a decade later for his politics: a campaign against Shell's despoliation of the oil-rich delta. "In the ten years after my father's death, I returned only twice for very brief visits to attend his official funeral in 2000, and his actual burial in 2005."

The guidebook: Insight Guides’ Select series has four new editions: Marrakech, Paris, Chicago and Shanghai, all bound in patterned linen. £9.99 each. Go to Insightguides.com

Tips and deals of the week: Insight Guides, Milli Millu and Radisson Edwardian

The Guidebook

Insight Guides' Select series has four new editions: Marrakech, Paris, Chicago and Shanghai, all bound in patterned linen. £9.99 each.

Go to Insightguides.com

<p><b>Overcrowded, overpriced and overrated: welcome to Britain</b><br/>'Down-in-the-dumps Dover has seen better days and its derelict, post-war architecture and shabby town centre... is a sad introduction to Blighty'</p>

The 12 most-read 2011 articles in Travel

From Spanish airport strikes to naked German spas, Steve Anderson runs down the most popular articles published in 2011, as well as a few editors' favourites

Album: Various artists, The Rough Guide to World Lullabies (World Music Network)

This makes for a very pleasant hour: lullabies are the most universal of art forms, and the wishes expressed by these mothers are both multifarious and significant.

Inside travel: Guidebooks

<b>Andrew Steed</b> reflects on how guidebooks and maps have changed since he started selling them

The 50 Best European beach breaks

Whether it's Britain's bays, stunning Sweden or the magical Med, Enjoli Liston selects the top spots by the sea

The 10 best travel books

Lonely Planets and Rough Guides are always pretty handy, but to really capture the romance of roaming, seek out these travelogues...

Career Services

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
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn