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Straight from the heart: the lockdown-inspired love letter boomNot since pre-internet days has there been such a resurgence in romantic letter writing. Elle Hunt hears the stories behind the handwritten dispatches – and whether the senders lived happily ever after IRL A fine romance: more than two in five Britons wrote letters during lockdown. Photograph: A Dragan/Getty Images
There’s a Latinx-owned brand for everything — you just have to know where to look.
A blast of back pain leaves me floored, but luckily my son is on hand with his fire engineI’m in sudden and extreme pain – which reminds my son of his favourite story book To the rescue: my son conscripts the emergency services. Photograph: Neal And Molly Jansen/Alamy
The Magician by Colm Tóibín review – a difficult Mann to knowThis dramatisation of Thomas Mann’s private and public life never quite convinces as biography or fiction ‘A public intellectual at a time of global tumult’: Thomas Mann in 1916. Photograph: ullstein bild/Getty Images
‘Elite v plebs’: the Oxford rivalries of boys who would never grow up to be menA feud at Balliol College ended for ever when all five involved died in the first world war. Now the tale is to be told on the London stage Balliol College, Oxford, was home to the elite Annandale Society, which was made up of Old Etonians. Photograph: Graham Turner/The Guardian
Bring a little colour back to indoor plantsLet’s reintroduce the delight of dainty flowers and elegant blooms to our houseplants Bright idea: the Deinostigma tamiana, or chirita, produces a never-ending show of pretty little flowers. Photograph: Getty Images
The allure of fantasy friends. Imaginary friends have one huge plus – they never let you down
Move over David Walliams … the hunt is on to diversify children’s booksSchemes provide mentors and funding to help aspiring writers on low incomes enter market dominated by white celebrities ‘Publishers reinforce the narrative of “one or two black people can come through this door at a time”’: British-Nigerian children’s writer Dapo Adeola. Photograph: Waterstones/PA
Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen review – spiritual successor to The CorrectionsThe pastor’s family at the heart of Franzen’s sixth novel – a bravura examination of the mores of liberal America in 1971 – are his most sympathetic creation to date Chicago, Illinois: Crossroads looks at the American cult of extreme individualism through the eyes of Illinois teenagers. Photograph: D Guest Smith/Alamy
Uncontrolled Spread review: Trump’s first FDA chief on the Covid disasterScott Gottlieb has written a fine account of what went wrong and what we must do better next time Don Ajoko, a chaplain at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, recites the anointing of the sick sacrament over a Covid patient. Photograph: David Grunfeld/AP
Sustainable is the new black: top editors launch new-wave fashion titles. Glossy magazines get a makeover with focus on vintage clothing, creativity and recycling
Shimmer in silver makeup – but keep it modernWith glowy and glossy skin to match, silver eyeshadow works well. Plus, a super relaxing Roman bath ‘Apply an imaginative smattering of the shimmery stuff with lashings of mascara and liner.’ Photograph: Kovacs Alex/Getty Images
Tracey Ullman: ‘I couldn’t tell a joke to save my life. I want to be taken seriously’. The actor and comedian, on Desert Island Discs, tells of her push for non-comic roles and how she stole a note from Kirsty MacColl
Absence makes the plot grow wilder. After a period of time away, the allotment has been left to its own devices – and it’s wonderful
I was seeing a man for a few months. Why am I so heartbroken?. It may not be logical that your heart is broken but it’s important to let the feelings out
Observer killer sudoku
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the Global Citizen Live concert in Central Park.
Stop what you're doing: These Coach Outlet deals are unbelievable — and they won't last for long.
J.Lo even makes rehearsal into a fashion show. 👑
From Australia to the Tonys: Moulin Rouge! The Musical poised to make historyDays after finally reopening on Broadway, the adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s film is up for a whopping 14 awards – after a very ‘intense’ journey ‘We’ve never been able to step back and relax at all,’ says Moulin Rouge! The Musical producer Carmen Pavlovic. Photograph: Matthew Murphy/Global Creatures