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Updated: 54 min 18 sec ago

A Toast To Butter Sculpture, The Art That Melts The Hearts Of The Masses

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 9:39am

Once the province of nobles, food sculptures became the art of the people in America. Nowhere is this truer than the butter sculpture, a form that is at once familiar and impressive.

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'Keepers' Isn't One: A Critic's Highlight Reel Lacks Spark

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 9:03am

Longtime film writer Richard Schickel's unsatisfying collection of movie musings deems pleasure and intellectualism mutually exclusive.

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Going Through A Midlife Crisis? 'Summerlong' Is No Escape

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 6:03am

Dean Bakopoulos's darkly humorous novel Summerlong features a cast of Midwestern suburbanites suffocating from adulthood.

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'Project Fatherhood' Teaches Parenting Skills To Inner-City Dads

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 1:05pm

Mike Cummings and Jorja Leap are working with men in Los Angeles — many of whom are former gang members — to help them find something that was missing from their lives as they grew up: fatherhood.

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'Patience And Fortitude' And The Fight To Save NYC's Storied Public Library

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 1:05pm

In his new book, Scott Sherman describes how bottom-line business logic nearly gutted New York's preeminent public library. Maureen Corrigan calls it a "slim, smart book" full of colorful characters.

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'Death' Uncovers The Secret History Of Mr. Pickwick

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 6:03am

Stephen Jarvis's debut novel explores the creation of Charles Dickens' classic serial, back when he was an unknown writer going by the name of "Boz," and the real star was illustrator Robert Seymour.

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'The Cartel' Is A True Crime Adventure With A 'Killer' Protagonist

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 6:03am

With the "pace and feel of an exploded documentary," Don Winslow recounts a 10-year odyssey of revenge set in Mexico against the stark history of the drug wars.

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BuzzFeed's Saeed Jones Recommends Books Of Transformation For Summer

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 3:54pm

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Saeed Jones, literary editor at BuzzFeed, about his picks for summer reading. He recommends books where a character goes on some sort of journey.

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Algerian Writer Kamel Daoud Stands Camus' 'The Stranger' On Its Head

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 12:45pm

His first novel, The Meursault Investigation, Kamel Daoud retells The Stranger from an Arab perspective. John Powers says that Daoud's retelling will forever change the way you read the Camus classic.

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'Me And Earl' Director Taces Path From Scorsese's Assistant To Sundance

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 12:45pm

Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's film Me and Earl and the Dying Girl won the audience award and the grand jury prize at Sundance. He talks about how losing his dad shaped his approach to the film.

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Could The Masterpiece Be A Fake? Profit, Revenge And 'The Art Of Forgery'

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 12:45pm

The art world is "fertile ground for criminals," says art scholar Noah Charney. In his new book, The Art of Forgery he traces a tradition of fakes and forgeries that dates back to the Renaissance.

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Man Who Created The Pink Plastic Lawn Flamingo Dies

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 11:32am

Donald Featherstone modeled the lawn ornament after images he saw in National Geographic. "Things I did made people happy, and that's what life is all about," he said in 2006.

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In The Japanese Tea Ceremony, Politics Are Served With Every Cup

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 10:57am

The ritual drinking of this ancient beverage — often thought of as the epitome of Japanese restraint and formality — has long been entwined with issues of power and national identity.

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James Horner, A Giant Among Movie Music Composers, Is Feared Dead

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 9:53am

A single-engine plane registered to Horner crashed on Monday in an area 60 miles from Santa Barbara, Calif. There were no survivors.

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Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron, 'Eightball' Will Knock You Out

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 9:08am

Daniel Clowes is one of the greatest artists in modern comics, and now his seminal '90s work is out in a deluxe box set — not just Ghost World but his fascinatingly autobiographical gripe sessions.

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Carnivals, Curses And Mermaids Fall Slightly Flat In 'Speculation'

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 6:03am

Erika Swyler's generous yet somewhat disappointing debut follows a young man and a mysterious book — but despite rich language and observations, it suffers from going in too many directions at once.

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Immortalized As 'The Woman In Gold,' How A Young Jew Became A Secular Icon

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 3:48am

Gustav Klimt's 1907 portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer was seized by the Nazis. A film now tells the story of Adele's niece, who fought to recover her family's paintings more than a half century later.

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'Infinitely Polar Bear' Director Relives Childhood With Mentally Ill Parent

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 3:39pm

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Maya Forbes and her daughter Imogene Wolodarsky about their new film, Infinitely Polar Bear. Forbes wrote and directed the fictionalized take on her own childhood.

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Obama Visits Marc Maron's Garage; Cats Annoyed They Were Shut In Bedroom

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 1:03pm

Several months ago, the White House contacted the comedian to see if he'd be interested in having the president as his guest. "I just didn't think that it would ever happen," Maron says.

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Longest Thou To Go On Summer Pilgrimage? Chaucer Hath Advice

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 6:03am

Our favorite medieval advice columnist returns, dispensing knowledge on everything from avoiding sunburn to glamping to road trip etiquette. And "slushy icye thinges," the best of all summer treats.

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