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Updated: 23 min 49 sec ago

Funny If It Weren't So True: A Farce About 'The Importance Of Beauty'

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 12:59pm

Amanda Filipacchi's novel is about a costume designer who wears a fat suit after a suitor commits suicide. It's structured as a mash-up of an old Friends episode, a fairy tale and a murder mystery.

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David Axelrod Recounts His Years As Obama's Adviser And 'Believer'

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 12:59pm

In his new book, the veteran political consultant tells stories about his years at Obama's side. After one debate, Axelrod says, Obama "made clear how he felt about me at that moment, and he bolted."

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'Stop Telling Women To Smile': Denouncing 'Jackals' And Catcalling In Mexico

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 11:40am

Sexual harassment is rampant in Mexico City. The artist behind "Stop Telling Women to Smile" is asking women to talk back.

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Cozy 'Blue Thread' Is Unabashedly Domestic

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 6:03am

Anne Tyler's 20th novel will feel comfortably familiar to her fans — A Spool of Blue Thread is the long-haul story of an ordinary Baltimore family thrown into disarray by illness and sudden tragedy.

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If Apple Made iMilk And Nike Sold Fruit: Designer Groceries As Art

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 5:04pm

A designer has reimagined a host of everyday edibles as high-end grocery items. It's a project that explores how branding influences our purchases — and where the ethical boundaries lie for designers.

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Filmmaker Takes A Stand Against Extremism In Oscar-Nominated 'Timbuktu'

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 5:04pm

Abderrahmane Sissako's film was inspired by the seizure of the Malian city by Islamist fighters in 2012. It has won international accolades with its lyrical beauty and critique of religious extremism.

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With New Rules In Place, Netflix Expands To Cuba

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 1:42pm

Starting today, Cubans with an Internet connection and access to international payment methods will have access to a wide array of movies and shows. There are huge hurdles, though.

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From 'Batman' To 'Birdman,' Michael Keaton Knows Suits And Superheroes

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 1:23pm

Keaton says his 1989 bat suit was downright claustrophobic, but he somehow made it work. In the existential comedy Birdman, Keaton plays a washed up, insecure actor looking for a second shot at fame.

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A Grammy Wrap-Up, With Soft Music And Extra Beck

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 1:10pm

Linda Holmes and Stephen Thompson look back at the 2015 Grammys telecast and conclude that it could have used a little more joy.

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Graphic Novelist Adrian Tomine Takes On The Notorious Long Duk Dong

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 10:44am

The cartoonist shared how the cartoonish Sixteen Candles character affected him IRL.

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From Soy Sauce To Bullet Trains: Famed Japanese Designer Dies At 85

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 9:07am

Decades after Kenji Ekuan created Kikkoman's iconic soy sauce bottles with their red caps, he designed Japan's bullet train, in a career driven by a desire to make good design accessible to everyone.

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An Early Peek At Pratchett In 'Dragons At Crumbling Castle'

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 7:53am

Before Terry Pratchett created the Discworld, he was a young reporter with a sideline in charming little comic stories about dragons and dust motes, now collected in Dragons at Crumbling Castle.

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Korean Dictator, All-American Dad: One Actor's 'Very Unique Year'

Sun, 02/08/2015 - 5:27pm

When Randall Park realized how important the sitcom Fresh Off The Boat was going to be, he got cold feet — until the real-life Eddie Huang talked him down. Then came the storm over The Interview.

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100 Years Later, What's The Legacy Of 'Birth Of A Nation'?

Sun, 02/08/2015 - 4:56pm

D.W. Griffith's film premiered in Los Angeles a century ago Sunday. In many ways, the movie — three hours of racist propaganda — was the beginning of Hollywood.

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Live-Blogging The Grammy Awards

Sun, 02/08/2015 - 4:18pm

Linda Holmes and Stephen Thompson get together for the seventh time to live blog the Grammy Awards.

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Obama's 'Body Man' Looks Back On His Presidential Education

Sun, 02/08/2015 - 3:54pm

Reggie Love went from playing sports at Duke to working as Barack Obama's personal assistant. His new memoir, Power Forward, describes what he learned on the campaign trail and in the White House.

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Stories That Must Be Told In 'My Documents'

Sun, 02/08/2015 - 9:10am

Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra's new story collection shows off his exacting eye, comic timing and powers of description; critic Juan Vidal says the narratives flow like a glass of cool water.

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Two Is Company, Three Is A Crowd

Sun, 02/08/2015 - 7:01am

For each familiar two-word phrase, use the first three letters of the first word and the first three letters of the second word to start two other words that have opposite meanings of each other.

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Christian Grey Began His Fictional Career As A Vampire

Sun, 02/08/2015 - 6:34am

Fifty Shades of Grey started out as fan fiction for the young adult series, Twilight, and morphed into a racy tale about a kinky billionaire.

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Black And Female In Jim Crow Era, A Reporter In Kansas City's 'Vine'

Sun, 02/08/2015 - 6:34am

NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with LaShonda Katrice Barnett about her new novel, Jam! On the Vine. It follows a black journalist in Kansas City in the aftermath of the Civil War.

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