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Is there still a bit of Tony Blair left inside Ed Miliband? The question bugged me as I listened to the Labour leader doing what he does best – giving a speech to a predominantly sympathetic audience – in London today.

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules, By Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg (Translated by Rod Bradbury) - Paperback review

These days, one expects any novel out of Sweden to be a crime novel, and so this one is – but with a difference.

Book review: Music in the Castle of Heaven: a portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach, By John Eliot Gardiner

A great interpreter restores to life the mysterious musician who has always inspired him

Album: Mozart, The Last Symphonies: Orchestre des Champs-Elysées/Herreweghe phi

Something very exciting happens in Philippe Herreweghe’s recording of Mozart’s last three symphonies.

Album review: Keller Quartett, Ligeti String Quartets, Barber Adagio (ECM New Series)

The Keller Quartett are a Hungarian group, here showcasing two of their countryman György Ligeti's astringent string quartets of the Fifties and Sixties, separated by the calm lacuna of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, from the Thirties.

Google Doodle celebrates English furniture designer Thomas Chippendale

18th Century cabinet maker honoured with Doodle

John Eliot Gardiner, Bach Cantatas 28 (Soli Deo Gloria)

Album review: John Eliot Gardiner, Bach Cantatas 28 (Soli Deo Gloria)

It's rather apt that John Eliot Gardiner's marathon cycle of Bach cantatas should finally be completed with those written for Ascension Day, recorded at St Giles Cripplegate 12 years after the original “pilgrimage” recordings of 2000. The four cantatas feature mostly new soloists but sustain the series' high standards.

Sports fans: Americans at play in Love of Winter

Charles Darwent on art: George Bellows was knock-out – but he was always playing catch-up

The star of the Ashcan School was influenced by the Impressionists. Yet for all the surface charm, his work shows a fear of what lies beneath

Van Cliburn: Piano virtuoso who helped thaw US-Soviet relations

New York reserves its tickertape parades for returning heroes – and in 1958 America had no greater hero than a young concert pianist from Texas named Van Cliburn. That spring he had travelled to Moscow to take part in the inaugural International Tchaikovsky Competition, an event intended to showcase Russian superiority in classical music. And, against every rational probability of that Cold War era, Cliburn won.

Ways of Going Home, By Alejandro Zambra. Granta, £12.99

Alejandro Zambra's first novel, Bonsai, brought the young Chilean poet international fame. It was followed by The Private Lives of Trees, which retained interest in the author. In this, his third and longest – but still very short – novel, translated by Megan McDowell, Zambra uses the ploy of describing the author at work on his new book which, needless to say, is the one we are reading. Zambra adopted similar metafictional devices in its two predecessors.

Album: John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir Bach Cantatas for Christmas (Soli Deo Gloria)

The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage undertaken in 2000 by John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir, performing all of Bach's cantatas on the appropriate days in churches across Europe and America, is one of the great musical achievements of recent times.

The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, By Aimee Bender

Paperback reviews of the week

The Weekend's Viewing: The Thick of It, Sat, BBC2
Homeland, Sun, Channel 4

An hour of The Thick of It and not an oath that didn't come fenced by quotation marks.

Simon Patterson: Under Cartel, Haunch of Venison, London

Patterson was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1996 for The Great Bear, a reworking of the London Tube map that substituted all the station names for that of celebrities, Old Masters and Chinese dissidents.

Frank Zappa was one of rock's crossover musicians

Rock 'n' Roll in Four Movements, Radio 4, Thursday
BBC Proms, Radio 3, daily

Concerto for hairies and orchestra

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London