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Updated: 1 hour 51 min ago

Tom Brokaw Reflects On Cancer, 'Nightly News' And His 'Lucky Life'

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 1:53pm

The former NBC anchorman says his multiple myeloma diagnosis two years ago made him "more conscious of the fact that the days are more numbered." His new memoir is A Lucky Life Interrupted.

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Misadventures And Absurdist Charm Take Root In 'George Orwell's House'

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 12:40pm

In Andrew Ervin's comic novel, a disillusioned advertising executive rents the cottage once inhabited by dystopian author George Owell. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the funny book has a serious core.

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'Zombie Wars' Documents An Apocalypse Of Bad Decisions

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 9:03am

Alexander Hemon's darkly hilarious new novel follows a sad-sack Chicago teacher whose screenwriting dreams lead to catastrophe. Critic Michael Schaub calls it "crazy in the best sense of the word."

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A Rust Belt Story Retold, Through Portraits Of The Women Who Lived It

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 8:03am

LaToya Ruby Frazier's photography tells the story of the black community living in the shadow of Andrew Carnegie's first steel mill through portraits of her grandmother, her mother and herself.

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Remembering A Troubled Brother In 'Lord Fear'

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 6:03am

Lucas Mann's new memoir pieces together family memories to create a portrait of his heroin-addicted older brother, who died of an overdose. Critic Heller McAlpin calls it difficult but necessary.

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Puerto Rico Wants To Grow Your Next Cup Of Specialty Coffee

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 2:22am

More than a century ago, Puerto Rico used to produce world-class coffee. Now farmers there are trying to rebuild the industry by focusing on growing higher-quality beans, which command higher prices.

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For Artist Elaine De Kooning, Painting Was A Verb, Not A Noun

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 2:21am

One of de Kooning's friends once asked her what it was like to work in the shadow of her husband, Willem de Kooning. She replied: "I don't paint in his shadow, I paint in his light.'"

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Whitney Museum's New Building Opens Doors (And Walls) To Outside World

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 4:46pm

For decades, the museum was housed in a concrete fortress with few windows. Its new home offers striking views of the Manhattan skyline, but critics say the design draws attention away from the art.

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Picasso Painting Breaks Record For Most Expensive Artwork Sold At Auction

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 3:30pm

One of Pablo Picasso's later paintings, "Les Femmes D'Alger" ("Women of Algiers"), was sold for a whopping $179.4 million, including the Christie's Auction House fee, at auction on Monday night.

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Just How Do 'Thomas & Friends' Drive Sodor's Economy?

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 3:30pm

On the 70th anniversary of the books that spawned Thomas The Tank Engine, NPR's Elizabeth Blair considers the economic model of Thomas's home island of Sodor, and its elaborate railway system.

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'Unsettling' Lucille Ball Sculpture Will Move To New Home In N.Y.

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 2:37pm

The plan gives new life to a statue that gained dubious fame last month, when criticism of the bronze work reached a fever pitch. It's now seen as a part of comedy history.

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Making Art Out Of Bodies: Sally Mann Reflects On Life And Photography

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 1:31pm

Mann has published pictures that show her young children naked, her husband's muscular dystrophy and dead bodies decomposing. She reflects on her life and work in a new memoir called Hold Still.

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Tea Tuesdays: Matcha-maker, Matcha-maker, Make Me Some Tea

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 12:46pm

Matcha green tea is taking off in America, but the Japanese have been drinking it for eight centuries. What happens when commercialism meets tradition?

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Myth, Fantasy And Sci-Fi Dovetail In 'Archivist Wasp'

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 12:03pm

Nicole Kornher-Stace's new novel follows Wasp, an Archivist tasked with hunting ghosts to scavenge information about the past for her primitive postapocalyptic society — where all is not as it seems.

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Black Widow, Scarce Resources And High-Stakes Stories

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 11:14am

While there are certainly issues with the Black Widow story in the new Avengers film, we don't just need to get to exactly the right one female Avenger. We need more than one female Avenger.

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Black Widow, Scarce Resources And High-Stakes Stories

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 11:14am

While there are certainly issues with the Black Widow story in the new Avengers film, we don't just need to get to exactly the right one female Avenger. We need more than one female Avenger.

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The Artistry Fails In 'Trompe L'Oeil'

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 9:03am

Even talented artists have trouble creating the illusions known as "trompe l'oeil." Critic Michael Schaub says Nancy Reisman's tragic new novel of the same name never jumps into three dimensions.

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Exclusive First Read: Naomi Novik's 'Uprooted'

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 6:03am

Naomi Novik leaves behind the Napoleonic War setting of her previous books for a new stand-alone tale of a village girl, taken by a mysterious magician, who learns she's more than a match for him.

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In 'Organic Life,' The Making Of America's First Certified Organic Restaurant

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 2:40am

Nora Pouillon writes about her lifelong devotion to food in a new memoir, My Organic Life. Her restaurant has been a fixture in the Washington, D.C., food scene since 1979.

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In 'Organic Life,' The Making Of America's First Organic Restaurant

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 2:40am

Nora Pouillon writes about her lifelong devotion to food in a new memoir, My Organic Life. Her restaurant has been a fixture in the Washington, D.C., food scene since 1979.

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