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Not all sun and sea: a beach on the Italian island of Elba. Photo: Getty
Tracey Thorn: Real life always intrudes on holidays. That’s how it should be
By Tracey Thorn - 29 July 10:42

It’s taken me years to face up to the fact that, as Neil Finn so eloquently put it, everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you. Your own emotional weather. 

Go team: John Craven (left) and the other presenters of Countryfile
Vintage cheddar: Countryfile – John Craven’s 25th Anniversary on BBC1
By Rachel Cooke - 29 July 10:14

While I understand the impulse to watch a show about otters and dry stone walling, I can’t understand the success of Countryfile at all. It’s so awful: so cheesy and laboured.

Photo: Getty
Whack down the alpaca poo
By Antonia Quirke - 25 July 12:57

The radio column.

Beastings is set in the Lake District. Photo: Getty
Lakeland Gothic: Beastings by Benjamin Myers
By Tim Martin - 25 July 12:48

A grim chase narrative, set in the Lake District at the turn of the 20th century, in which two characters known as the Priest and the Poacher pursue a speechless runaway and her stolen baby across the unforgiving landscape.

A lesbian couple at Tokyo Pride. Photo: Getty
Lesbian by choice: Eleanor Margolis reviews Julie Bindel's Straight Expectations
By Eleanor Margolis - 25 July 12:43

What Does It Mean to Be Gay Today? asks Julie Bindel in the subtitle of her new book. For me, it means enduring endless dull and pukey nights out on the scene, says Eleanor Margolis.

A Nazi book-burning. Photo: Getty
Don’t read this book: A history of literary censorship
By Leo Robson - 25 July 12:35

Leo Robson reviews three new works concerned with banned literature.

Snowpiercer.
It's some kind of miracle that Snowpiercer was ever released - and it was worth the wait
By Ryan Gilbey - 25 July 12:34

Despite its occasional longeurs and lapses of logic, post-global-freeze thriller Snowpiercer is an intoxicating mishmash of stunts and ideas which deserves to be seen in UK cinemas.

A fan dressed as Captain America at the 2014 World Cup. Photo: Getty
Reluctant Goliath: how America became a superpower
By John Bew - 25 July 10:06

John Bew reviews The Deluge: the Great War and the Remaking of Global Order by Adam Tooze.

A military base. Photo: Getty
Dave Eggers, the world’s most earnest kidnapper, chains up his readers
By Claire Lowdon - 25 July 10:02

Claire Lowdon reviews Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers. 

Discovering Tutankhamun: How “Tutmania” drowned out Egypt’s reaction to the great discovery
By Anoosh Chakelian - 24 July 15:58

A new exhibition telling the story of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb at the Ashmolean is briliant on “Tutmania”, but fails to explore the Egyptians’ attitudes. 

Animal rescue: but in this case it was dog that saved master, says John Dolan. Photo: Marcus Peel
How one man escaped homelessness through drawing – and his bull terrier muse
By Sophie McBain - 24 July 13:50

John Dolan spent almost two decades in the “revolving door” between homelessness and prison. That changed when he adopted George in 2009. 

Award winning director Sofia Coppola at the Cannes Film Festival, May 14, 2014. Photo: Antonin Thuillier, Getty Images
The unspoken glass ceiling of the film industry
By Beth Lambert - 24 July 12:57

A new report uncovers the gender imbalance in the film industry, made worse by the issue of class.

The show is over: Christopher Bailey on the catwalk following his Burberry a/w 2014 menswear show in London. Photo: Getty
Ed Smith: Megabucks executive pay isn’t a reward for excellence – it’s a corporate contagion
By Ed Smith - 24 July 10:00

American banker J P Morgan argued that a company’s top brass should never earn more than 20 times what those at the bottom do. Such a ratio now sounds laughably idealistic.

Sonmi (Doona Bae) and Hae-Joo Chang (Jim Sturgess) in the film version of Cloud Atlas
The Great English Novel is dead. Long live the unruly, upstart fiction that’s flourishing online
By Laurie Penny - 24 July 10:00

The reason I’m so excited David Mitchell is writing on Twitter is that he’s one of the few authors who really understands how the medium, as well as the message, makes the story.

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