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Updated: 1 hour 57 min ago

In These New Comics, Getting Your Wish Isn't Always Great

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 9:03am

Mainstream superhero comics have a streak of teenage wish-fulfillment: Great power and great responsibility. But a new wave of comics is exploring how complicated it can be when wishes are granted.

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Creepy, Brilliant 'Touch' Will Possess You

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 6:03am

Claire North's new novel imagines a world where "ghosts" can leave their own bodies at death and jump to whoever's close enough to touch. Scary, but "reader, I loved it," says reviewer Amal El-Mohtar.

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Never Seen And Sometimes Barely Heard, Loopers Fill In Hollywood's Soundtrack

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 2:22am

In movies, crowd noise, hospital waiting room chatter and bar room brawl sounds are created by voice actors called loopers. "If it's done right, you shouldn't even notice it," one sound mixer says.

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David Remnick Looks Back On Tough Decisions As 'The New Yorker' Turns 90

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 1:45pm

Remnick, who became editor in 1998, talks about his early days at the magazine and his biggest regret: He says he'd "dearly love to have another crack" at covering the weapons of mass destruction.

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A Writer Expresses His 'Discontent' With Civilization

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 9:03am

Mohsin Hamid's new collection plays on the title of Sigmund Freud's classic Civilization and Its Discontents, but critic Michael Schaub says these essays are both more personal and wider ranging.

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'Tales Of The Marvellous' Is Indeed Very Strange

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 6:03am

These are not your father's fairy tales, but reviewer Genevieve Valentine says readers prepared to devote some time will find rich rewards in this newly-translated volume of 10th-century Arab stories.

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Hollywood Food Stylists Know: You Can't Film Styrofoam Cake And Eat It, Too

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 3:35am

Melissa McSorley's job is to make food look good — and last — on camera. Sometimes that means cooking 800 Cubano sandwiches, other times it means scooping butter instead of ice cream.

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Popular Mexican Actress Lorena Rojas Dies

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 5:52pm

She acted in telenovelas, but also made a name for herself in film and on stage.

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Swiss Village + West Virginia + Mardi Gras Feast = Fasnacht

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 2:54pm

Isolated in the West Virginia wilderness, the tiny town of Helvetia clings to its distinctly Swiss character and foodways. It all culminates with a pre-Lenten festival where food takes center stage.

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Exclusive First Read: Anna Lyndsey's 'Girl In The Dark'

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 2:03pm

Anna Lyndsey — a pseudonym — was an ordinary civil servant when she developed a rare disorder: A severe sensitivity to light. She deftly chronicles her shadowy new normal in Girl in the Dark.

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In Richard Price's New Novel, Haunted Cops And Cases They Couldn't Close

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 12:07pm

Price says that in every precinct there's one cop who just can't let go of a case. "They all reminded me of Ahab ... looking for their whales," he says. Price's latest is called The Whites.

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Making Peace With Peace: Snow Days And Seasons

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 11:45am

Forced into a day off, our minds turn to breakfast, television, and the need for quiet.

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Fat Tuesday Nordic-Style Means Big, Sweet Buns

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 10:32am

Few of the rollicking traditions of Catholic Mardi Gras remain in heavily Lutheran Scandinavia. But the Nordic countries and their culinary outposts in the U.S. still celebrate with the yeasty treats.

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'Find Me' Gets Lost Along The Way

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 9:03am

Reviewer Jason Heller says Laura Van Den Berg's first novel has a stellar setup — mysterious young woman, post-disease-apocalypse — but drifts listlessly, never quite living up to its premise.

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Black Slugs And 'Black Holes,' An Artful Portrait Of Depression

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 6:03am

Jasmine Warga's debut young adult novel My Heart and Other Black Holes follows two teens who make a suicide pact, in a carefully layered character study that sometimes stumbles on the details.

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Watch This: The Akils On Black Film And TV You Can't Miss

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 2:32am

The husband and wife team of Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil have created some of the most iconic African American characters on television. Their must-see list of shows and movies.

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King, Tyrant, Beheaded Traitor: The Many Trials Of Charles I

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 2:31am

The British monarch ruled at a time of civil war — and was blamed for much of the bloodshed. In Killers of the King, Charles Spencer tells the story of the men who signed the king's death warrant.

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Book Review: 'The Evening Chorus'

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 3:00pm

Alan Cheuse reviews The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphries.

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Philip Levine Reads 'What Work Is'

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 3:00pm

Former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Levine died on Saturday at the age of 87. In Levine's memory, we air his reading of the poem "What Work Is."

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One Playwright's 'Obligation' To Confront Race And Identity In The U.S.

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 3:00pm

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins has written a trilogy of provocative and fantastical explorations of race. His latest, based on a 1859 melodrama, pokes fun at conventions while raising difficult questions.

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