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Why Michael Che's New Role Could Change More Than 'SNL'

Sat, 09/13/2014 - 4:40am

The Daily Show correspondent will become the first black co-anchor of Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update." NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans says his hire could help diversify comedy well beyond NBC.

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'The Dog': Dubious Dealings In Dubai

Sat, 09/13/2014 - 4:36am

There are no winners in Joseph O'Neill's new novel The Dog, just a long downward spiral into stalemate as the nameless narrator flees a bad breakup and gets mired in shady financial dealings in Dubai.

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As Independence Vote Approaches, A Spirited Novel About The Scottish Experience

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 5:22pm

Next week the people of Scotland vote on whether to become independent from the U.K. Author Marie Mutsuki Mockett recommends a book that illuminates the Scottish psyche, Iain Banks' The Crow Road.

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Woodrow Wilson Brought New Executive Style To The White House

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 1:21pm

Wilson used a groundbreaking moral argument to get the U.S. involved in World War I. A. Scott Berg's book fills in missing pieces of the president's life. Original interview broadcast Sept. 10, 2013.

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In 'The Drop,' Mob Bosses Bully Sad Characters At A Bar In Brooklyn

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 12:58pm

The film based on Dennis Lehane's short story Animal Rescue is supposed be a thriller, but the narrative doesn't have much urgency. The reason it's worth seeing? James Gandolfini is at his peak.

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An Unblinking Lens Turns Toward Lives In Poverty In 'Stray Dogs'

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 10:03am

Stray Dogs is a challenging film about poverty, unconventionally structured and shot but faithful to the emotional resonance conveyed by its very long shots.

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Getting Each Other And The Bonds Of 'The Skeleton Twins'

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 10:03am

Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig play brother and sister in a family drama that takes on the relatively neglected matter of adult siblings and their complex bond.

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How Far Can Curiosity Take You?

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 7:35am

As a kid, director James Cameron was fascinated with exploring the world around him — everything from pond water to bugs. Those childhood obsessions led him some of the deepest places underwater.

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How Do Simple Questions Lead To Big Discoveries?

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 7:35am

Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage talks about three people who inspired him to be curious: his dad, a former Earth-science teacher, and physicist Richard Feynman.

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How Do You Build A Toaster ... From Scratch?

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 7:35am

Designer Thomas Thwaites explains what compelled him to build a toaster, literally from the ground up.

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Why Did A Hollywood Film Director Journey To The Bottom Of The Ocean?

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 7:35am

Director James Cameron's blockbuster films create unreal worlds. He reveals his childhood fascinations and how they fueled the passion behind his movies.

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Are Microbes The Next Frontier?

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 7:35am

Biologist Nathan Wolfe says the unseeable world of microbes is fertile ground for new discoveries.

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Book News: Wendy Davis' Book Tour Violates Ethics Code, Opponent Says

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 6:51am

Also: E-book singles publisher Byliner is acquired by Vook; an excerpt of James Franco's new novel.

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Film Triptych 'Eleanor Rigby' Tells Three Sides Of A Breakup Story

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 2:31am

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby's three incarnations share similar scenes with subtle differences. Director Ned Benson calls his project "delusional," especially for a first-time feature filmmaker.

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Richard Kiel, Actor Who Played Jaws In Bond Films, Dies At 74

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 3:44pm

Kiel delighted moviegoers with his quiet menace and his metal teeth in the role of Jaws, the Bond villain henchman who not only survived his encounters with 007, but also lived happily ever after.

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Futuristic 'Bone Clocks' Encompasses A Strange, Rich World Of Soul-Stealers

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 1:57pm

David Mitchell's latest fantasy is an odyssey into the dark side, spanning from 1984 to 2043. It's about a teenager who runs away from her London home and becomes prey to a ghastly gang of mystics.

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As 'Boardwalk Empire' Comes To Close, Creator Reminisces About How It Started

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 1:51pm

The HBO show began its final season Sunday. Terence Winter says he wrote the Prohibition-era drama in part to work with Martin Scorsese. It was "something I couldn't possibly ... pass up," he says.

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The Ecstatic Blankness Of Poet Louise Glück

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 7:04am

Reviewer Annalisa Quinn says the poems in Glück's new collection Faithful and Virtuous Night are lovely in places, but also misty, ambiguous, and seemingly in love with their own haziness.

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Book News: Millennials Reading More Than Older Americans, Study Finds

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 6:52am

Also: writing advice from Emma Straub; the legacy of John Updike.

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'Father And Son' Is Part Homage, Part Indictment

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 6:03am

Marcos Giralt Torrente's memoir of his absentee father, the famed Spanish painter Juan Giralt, frequently resorts to lists and repetition to get across Torrente's exasperation, anger and love.

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