The first half of this book consists of fragments of autobiography that Mark Twain dictated to his secretary from March 1st, 1907, to December 26th(...)

Pauline Curley was the first Irish female athlete to finish the Dublin Marathon on the October Bank Holiday Monday. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

The main difficulty in standing at the finish line of the Dublin Marathon is that every one of the 15,000 runners who begin passing by has their own s(...)

 Aran Islander photographed in 1955. Photograph: George Pickow/Three Lions/Getty Images

Purist Irish-language practitioners who frown on phrases such as “mo bhicycle” and “mo mhobile fón” are a “pain in the neck”, according to a Californi(...)

Robert Pinsky: “There is a very active vital life of poetry in the US, quite contrary to the stereotype that all Americans are vulgar yahoos who don’t care about art.” Photograph: Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe/ Getty Images

The term “poet-in-residence” suggests a leisurely period of domicile: a year at a university, perhaps, or a season in some crumbling mansion by the(...)

Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee in Slow West

Still young and nimble, John Maclean has already had two successful careers. Oddly, neither was in the field that first held his attention. The(...)

Exercising in the supermarket is a step too far for most of us.Photograph: Thinkstock

Ali Vincent shed 112lb on her way to becoming the first female winner of the US show, The Biggest Loser. This is someone who knows how to lose (...)

Police perimeter tape at one of the scenes of the multiple shooting which took place on Thursday night in Tyrone, Missouri. Photograph: Michael Thomas/EPA

A man shot and killed seven people in a house-to-house shooting spree in a sparsely populated part of Missouri before shooting himself, the state High(...)

Billionaire John C Malone, the biggest landowner in the US has now set his sites on creating an Irish property portfolio. Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images

American billionaire John Malone says he buys land because, reprising the Mark Twain adage, they are not making it anymore. But it’s mostly because(...)

‘Reading is a choice. Not only in the obvious sense of taking up a book, or taking up one book and not another, but when reading the book at hand. It’s assessing the facts of the case (even the fictional ones) and seeing some as more relevant to a satisfying reading than others.’

George O’Brien is Professor Emeritus of English at Georgetown University, Washington DC. He is author of three memoirs, The Village of Longing, Dan(...)

Keith Pascoe: a violinist who comes at his subject at times from an almost proprietorial perspective

The National Concert Hall’s education, community and outreach department has begun a new strand of talks and interviews. Pre-concert talks and inte(...)