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Updated: 33 min 6 sec ago

You Would Think 'Adultery' Would Be A Little More Tantalizing

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:03am

Critic Heller McAlpin says readers picking up Paulo Coelho's new Adultery in search of deep philosophical insight on marital infidelity and a lack of cliches might be better off with Madame Bovary.

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Did You Hear The One About The Stand-Up Comedian And The Podcast?

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 4:33am

It used to be that a TV appearance was the key to success for comedians. In the past five years stand-up comedy has seen a global revival thanks to the Internet, and in particular, thanks to podcasts.

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A Native American Story That Leaves 'Feathers Or Leather' Cliches Behind

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 2:37am

Filmmakers Alex and Andrew Smith knew American Indian writer James Welch — he was a family friend. But as non-Native Americans, they had concerns about adapting his iconic novel, Winter in the Blood.

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Haruki Murakami Paints A 'Colorless' Character In A Vividly Imagined World

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 4:03pm

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, about a young man looking for closure, offers Haruki Murakami's trademark blend of fantasy and reality. Some moments fall flat, but many others are intoxicating.

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Seeking Proof For Why We Feel Terrible After Too Many Drinks

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 2:35pm

Author Adam Rogers says there are lots of myths about what causes hangovers. His new book, Proof: The Science of Booze, explores these and other scientific mysteries of alcohol's effect on the body.

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Sandwich Monday: The Roman-Style Burger

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 2:04pm

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a burger, Roman-Style. At M Burger, that means two grilled cheese sandwiches replace the bun.

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'Sweetness #9' Satirizes Food Wars And Artificial America

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 1:46pm

The novel is about a flavor chemist who tests a sweetener on lab rats and monkeys and finds side effects the company covers up. Author Stephan Eirik Clark says he was inspired by Fast Food Nation.

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4 More Things NBC Must Do To Save 'Meet The Press'

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:12am

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans offers four suggestions beyond replacing host David Gregory for revitalizing NBC's Sunday politics show, based on his own experience as a CNN guest host.

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Playlist: You Can Do It!

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 9:59am

A little encouragement from the TED Radio Hour.

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Broken Teeth And Fake-umentaries: Another Shark Week Gone By

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 9:31am

Alastair Bland looks at the dangers to real sharks and the hazards of pseudo-documentaries as another Shark Week draws to a close.

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Thoughts Of Fall Butt Into Lazy Day Of Summer

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 4:25am

For our look at summer poetry, we turn to Charlotte Boulay, a Philadelphia-based poet, with "The End of Summer." She offers a poem that, on its surface, is about an idyllic activity: taking a nap.

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On 'Wizard Wars,' Contestants Must Make Magic From The Mundane

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 4:01pm

SyFy's new show has up-and-coming magicians compete for cash by creating illusions out of ordinary objects. Angela Funovits is a mentalist, a dermatologist — and one of the show's expert "wizards."

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Medical Examiner: 'Staying Alive Is Mostly Common Sense'

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 2:11pm

Forget what CSI told you about the job: it's less about solving crimes and more about accidents. Judy Melinek hopes to paint a more accurate picture of the profession in her new book, Working Stiff.

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'Working Stiff' Shows The Real Life Of A Death Investigator

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 11:26am

Medical Examiner Judy Melinek's new book gives the gruesome details and emotional stories of the bodies she dissects. Death is just another part of her job.

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At Life's Last Threshold, Choir Brings Comfort

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 9:55am

At a hospice in Nashville, volunteers sing hymns and lullabies to the dying. They're part of a national organization that uses music to soothe life's final passage.

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Chemical Dump Poisons A Texas Town In 'Friendswood'

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 6:58am

NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to Rene Steinke about her new book, Friendswood. The novel follows four characters who must deal with the legacy of a toxic leak in their small Texas town.

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Race Change Surgery Is Reality In 'Your Face In Mine'

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 6:58am

What if you could undergo racial reassignment surgery and switch races? That's the premise of a new novel, Your Face in Mine. NPR's Linda Wertheimer speaks with author Jess Row.

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A Tumultuous Journey Along This 'Narrow Road'

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 6:03am

Richard Flanagan's new novel follows a Tasmanian-born doctor, captured by the Japanese during WWII, who ends up caring for prisoners of war working on the notorious Thailand-Burma Death Railway.

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Falling In Love With Language — Through The Power Of Hymns

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 4:27am

Critic Juan Vidal has an appreciation of the hymn — its rhythm, sonorous language, discipline and structure. "No matter where you stand on heaven and hell," he writes, "there is power in a hymn."

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Falling In Love With Language — Through The Power Of Hymns

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 4:27am

Critic Juan Vidal has an appreciation of the hymn — its rhythm, sonorous language, discipline and structure. "No matter where you stand on heaven and hell," he writes, "there is power in a hymn."

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