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Updated: 21 min 54 sec ago

Fidget Spinner Emerges As Must-Have Toy Of The Year

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 3:33pm

Toys R Us has literally scrambled the jets trying to meet the demand of this year's break-out toy, handheld whirligig known as a "fidget spinner." Unlike other toy explosions like the Tickle Me Elmo or the Furby, the fidget spinner seemed to have hit without warning and without a brand. NPR's Planet Money set out to try and figure out where this thing came from and why it seemed to appear out of nowhere.

Remastering The Mythos: Questions For Ruthanna Emrys

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 9:00am

When Ruthanna Emrys first read H.P. Lovecraft's classic tale "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," her sympathies were squarely with the monsters — and that sympathy was the seed of her new book, Winter Tide.

(Image credit: )

Boudin: A Story Of Sausage, Slavery And Rebellion In The Caribbean

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 6:00am

This bloody fare was brought to the French territory of Guadeloupe by colonists, who set off deep racial tensions that still exist. But the messy sausage-making process also unites family and friends.

(Image credit: Melissa Banigan )

'The Pearl Thief' Is Part Murder Mystery, Part Coming-Of-Age Tale

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 6:00am

In this prequel to Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein creates a charming, compelling heroine who, along with a diverse supporting cast, must solve the mystery of a disappearance on her parents' estate.

(Image credit: )

'I Belonged Nowhere': A Story Of Displacement, From A Novelist Who Knows

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 4:05am

Salt Houses traces several generations of a displaced Palestinian family. Author Hala Alyan says she experienced firsthand the "intergenerational trauma that went along with losing a homeland."

(Image credit: Beowulf Sheehan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Hip-Hop Artists Rap Beloved Children's Book 'Llama Llama Red Pajama'

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 3:31pm

Llama Llama Red Pajama is a beloved children's book. It's also now, thanks to a Los Angeles morning DJ, source material for hip-hop artists.

LA's 14th Factory Offers A Warehouse Full Of Art And 'Otherworldly' Experiences

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 3:31pm

Artist Simon Birch sunk everything he had into creating the immersive (and enormous) pop-up art space. He says, "It's not like a traditional museum. ... It's the exhibition I'd want to go to."

(Image credit: Courtesy of the 14th Factory)

A Salute To Filmmaker Jonathan Demme's Early TV Work

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 1:18pm

In 1982, Demme directed Who Am I This Time?, an hour-long comedy-drama for the PBS anthology series American Playhouse. TV critic David Bianculli says the show deserves to be remembered and watched.

A 'Forgotten History' Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 11:47am

Author Richard Rothstein says the housing programs begun under the New Deal were tantamount to a "state-sponsored system of segregation," in which people of color were purposely excluded from suburbs.

(Image credit: Paul Sancya/Associated Press)

At 'The Dinner Party,' Stories That Walk The Line Between Tragedy And Comedy

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 6:00am

The 11 stories in Joshua Ferris' new collection have all been published before, but they provide a fine showcase for his sly wit, proceeding from the ordinary to the uncomfortable and even bizarre.

(Image credit: Ariel Zambelich/NPR)

Many Working Women Won't See Themselves In 'Women Who Work'

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 4:00am

Ivanka Trump's new book — named after her brand's marketing campaign — is packed with anodyne advice borrowed from others, and a striking lack of awareness about economic and racial realities.

(Image credit: Emily Bogle/NPR)

A Guide To Ivanka Trump's Manual For 'Women Who Work'

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 4:00am

Trump's new book is billed as a resource for women trying to reach their dream professional lives, but it is fairly short and nonspecific about how to get there.

(Image credit: Emily Bogle/NPR)

'Black-ish' Star Yara Shahidi, An Unofficial Ambassador For Gen Z

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 11:01pm

Yara Shahidi is not all like the character she plays on ABC's Black-ish. But the actor and her character have hit a lot of the same milestones at the same time.

(Image credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images)

For Richard Ford, Memoir Is A Chance To 'Tell The Unthinkable'

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 12:29pm

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist revisits the lives and deaths of his parents in his new memoir, Between Them. "As much as they loved me, an only child, they loved each other more," he says.

'Anything Is Possible' Explores The Unquiet Depths Of Ordinary Lives

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 12:29pm

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout explores class humiliation and loneliness in her new book. Critic Maureen Corrigan says Anything Is Possible is the work of a writer who is on her game.

(Image credit: Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

A Dangerous Trip Into The 'Spill Zone:' Questions For Scott Westerfeld

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 9:00am

Scott Westerfeld's new graphic novel was inspired by photos of Chernobyl; it's the story of two sisters living on the outskirts of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. after a mysterious incident destroys the city.

(Image credit: First Second Books)

The Tony Nominations: 'The Great Comet,' 'Dolly,' And 'A Doll's House'

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 8:54am

The Tony nominations are out, and unlike last year, there's no founding-fathers-shaped giant absorbing the oxygen.

(Image credit: Julieta Cervantes/AP)

Eerie 'Fen' Is Full Of Dazzling, Hard-To-Explain Stories

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 6:11am

Daisy Johnson's story collection is set in the marshlands of eastern England — now mostly, catastrophically drained. It's beautifully creepy, hard to explain but easy to read over and over again.

(Image credit: Emily Bogle/NPR)

Why White Evangelicals Are 'Splintering' Politically

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 4:00am

A new book traces the history of white evangelicals in the U.S., from the group's rebellious 19th century roots to its role as political force. We asked the author about where the movement is headed.

(Image credit: Nell Redmond/AP)

As Audiences Enjoy 'Peak TV,' Strike Threat Puts Spotlight On The Writers

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 4:34pm

Hollywood writers are set to strike Tuesday when their current contract with studios, networks and producers ends. At issue is healthcare and a changed TV landscape with shorter seasons and less pay.

(Image credit: Reed Saxon/AP)

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