Extras

Whether you’re trekking to Machu Picchu or taking in the sun - and football – in Rio, take your pick from these inspirational and useful reads, chosen by Stanfords, the travel information specialists

King Creosote

Music review: King Creosote, The Slaughtered Lamb, London

King Creosote is one of the great outsiders. He occupies the margins in both the songs he sings and in the way he sends his songs out into the world. This short residency in a downstairs room in a pub in Clerkenwell coincided with the release of an album that was previously only available at his live shows, and then only in vinyl form.

The bizarre tale of the 'North Pond Hermit' takes another twist as he receives marriage proposal and an offer to bail him out of jail

Christopher Knight, who has become known as the North Pond Hermit, reportedly spent 27 years in the woods of Maine

Axa warns of house market ruin

Insurance boss claims many homes will be 'unsellable' if ministers fail to agree flood deal

Paperback review: The Green Road into the Trees, By Hugh Thomson

Hugh Thomson sets off to walk through England by ancient pathways from Dorset to Norfolk.

Travel Agenda

From pub apps and Venice in Peril to family camping festivals

Get me out of here - Caribbean, the Azores, camping in France

Now... If you're hankering for some heat, Thomas Cook has a week in the Caribbean for £939pp, departing between 13 April and 30 June. The package includes room-only at the Halcyon Cove By Rex Resorts in Antigua with Virgin Atlantic flights from Gatwick. Tcsignature.com

Rahul Gandhi's India – a beehive of buzzing thoughts

Gandhi’s problem is that he is starting from a very low base in his current bid to win public acceptability

Quiz Show by Rob Drummond

Quiz Show, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

The first memory which might be stirred by this complicated but ultimately gripping psychothriller about truth and perspective from rising star Rob Drummond is a faded one of evenings watching garishly designed quiz shows on a four-channel television in the 1980s.

Anatomies, By Hugh Aldersey-Williams

Many people have experienced the odd feeling that although we are our body's "owner-operator", as Hugh Aldersey-Williams puts it, the body is actually a strange appendage: not really us at all, more like one of our plug-ins – a car or computer. Cultures have veered wildly in their attitude to the body. Aldersey-Williams, an excellent, versatile science writer, pitches his book at just the right level of amused and curious enquiry.

The opposition candidate Henrique Capriles at an antiviolence protest on Monday

Violence - and Hugo Chavez - loom large over race for power in Venezuela

The battle to succeed El Comandante has begun

Get me out of here - Madrid, Nepal, Norway

Now... Throughout April, Kirker Holidays is offering three nights in Madrid for £549 per person. The deal includes B&B accommodation at the Vincci Centrum Hotel, tickets to the Thyssen and Prado museums, transfers and BA flights from Heathrow. Kirkerholidays.com

DVD review: Sightseers

Two cosy, cagoule-clad serial killers (played by the film's co-writers Alice Lowe and Steve Oram) pootle around the north of England in Ben Wheatley's dark comedy, tramping through drizzly abbeys and drizzly tram museums, while occasionally bashing strangers over the head with rocks.

Cotswold Outdoor's new range includes the roomy Gelert Sleeping Pod (£45), and the BioLite wood-burning camping stove (£150), which can charge USB-friendly devices (cotswoldoutdoor.com).

New Horizons: Upmarket to Tenerife

Arrivals & departures

The Big Six: Panama retreats

Tropical forest, beach-facing suites and luxury tents

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Independent Travel
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Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory