Paperbacks: Accabadora By Michela Murgia

Set in 1950s rural Sardinia, Murgia's prize-winning novel is steeped in the atmosphere of another time and place.

Scott Brown must try to stop Andrea Pirlo running the game

Scott Brown out to nullify his hero Andrea Pirlo as Celtic land tough Juventus test

Celtic midfielder Scott Brown admits he will face a formidable opponent when he lines up against Andrea Pirlo in the Champions League but he will not stand back and admire the Juventus midfielder.

Forensic Benitez has vision required to be answer to all of Abramovich’s prayers

Benitez led Valencia, a side that seemed to have no right to European silverware, to win the Uefa Cup

'Blame me for this defeat,' said underfire Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo said that he had to shoulder the blame for Chelsea's 3-0 defeat to Juventus last night that leaves the club on the brink of elimination at the Champions League group stage next month.

Pardew has expressed his astonishment at Chelsea counterpart Roberto di Matteo's departure just six months after winning the Champions League.

Alan Pardew 'astonished' by sacking of Roberto Di Matteo

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has expressed his astonishment at Chelsea counterpart Roberto di Matteo's departure just six months after winning the Champions League.

Get me out of here: Canaries, Italy, Cotswolds

Now... Escape to the Canaries for a dose of last-minute winter sun. Departing on 9 December, Sovereign Luxury Travel has a week's stay at the Hotel Jardin Tecina in Tenerife for £599pp, including breakfast, Thomson Airways flights from Gatwick and private transfers. Sovereign.com

Four UK cities make Europe's top 10 destinations list

Four UK cities are among Europe's top 10 fastest-growing tourist destinations.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo

Why Chelsea could be singing the Champions League blues

Chelsea's dramatic victory over Shakhtar Donetsk, sealed with a last minute goal by Victor Moses, places their Champions League fate in their own hands.

Victor Moses scored in the 94th minute to secure victory for Chelsea

Chelsea on brink of Champions League promised land after Victor Moses' intervention

Substitute secures late victory over stubborn Shakhtar but Terry is unhappy after being left on the bench

Pininfarina and a Ferrari Testarossa

Sergio Pininfarina: Car designer hailed for his classic Ferrari marques

The name of Pininfarina is indelibly associated with the Ferrari supercar marque. The design house, which was led by Sergio Pininfarina for 40 years, created many legendary Ferrari designs, including the 250 GT Coupé (1958), the Daytona (1968) and the Testarossa (1984). His personal favourite was the 1965 Dino Berlinetta Speciale, the last model on which he worked with his father.

Two decades of agony – England’s penalty shootout woes since 1990

Football hooliganism used to be known as the English disease, but after their sixth penalty shootout exit in 22 years, it appears an inability to score from 12 yards is the real national sickness.  

Erika Bok plays the farmer's daughter in this Beckett-like two-hander

The Turin Horse, Bela Tarr, 146 mins (15)

A stubborn horse presages doom in this distillation of Bela Tarr's ascetic aesthetic (hint: not much happens, and little is said)

The Invincibles: Teams that went through an entire season unbeaten

Should Juventus avoid defeat at home to Atalanta this weekend, they will join a select group of European teams to navigate an entire season without losing a single match.

Bosses sentenced to 16 years for Italian asbestos deaths

An Italian court has handed two company executives 16-year jail terms for the asbestos-related deaths of more than 3,000 people.

On top of the world: 'Mappa 1994' by Alighiero Boetti, whose work influenced artists such as Damien Hirst

A shaman and showman who had it all mapped out

Arifa Akbar looks forward to Tate Modern's retrospective of the Italian artist Alighiero Boetti

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'