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Updated: 9 min 45 sec ago

Sometimes You Can't Pick Just 10: Maureen Corrigan's Favorite Books Of 2014

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 2:00pm

This year, Fresh Air's book critic rejects the tyranny of the decimal system and picks 12 titles published in 2014 — all with characters, scenes and voices that linger long past the last page.

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Watts Going On: The Gaudy Excess Of 'The Great Christmas Light Fight'

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 10:23am

If you've never seen hundreds of thousands of lights used to do things like animate wire-frame animals, you're going to love this bonkers piece of television.

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Book News: Apple Enters A New Round In E-Book Price-Fixing Fight

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 9:48am

Apple goes before an appeals court in a battle expected to help clarify the legal line between business agreements and outright collusion. Also: Hilary Mantel denounces her critics' "froth and bile."

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Your #NPRUglySweaters: The Joy Of Knitwear We Ought Not Wear

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 9:58pm

A bright, blinking, tinsel-covered, delightfully tacky peek inside of NPR listeners' closets — check out some of our favorite photos of your favorite Christmas attire.

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'El Deafo': How A Girl Turned Her Disability Into A Superpower

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 5:09pm

Navigating elementary school is already hard enough — try adding in a bulky metal hearing aid. Cece Bell's new young adult graphic memoir captures the experience in a poignant and humorous way.

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'#Blackmendream': Showcasing A Different Side Of Black Manhood

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 4:05pm

In Shikeith Cathey's short film, faceless strangers answer questions like "What makes you happy?" and "Do you cry?" The artist says, "These questions, as simple as they are ... they aren't discussed."

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Mead Moves Out Of The Middle Ages

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 6:46am

Mead was a favorite drink of ancient Egyptians and Vikings, and now it's making a comeback. Weekend Edition food commentator Bonny Wolf examines how the beverage has been updated for the 21st century.

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'Pippin' Performs 'The Hobbit's Final Ballad

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 6:46am

Billy Boyd was Pippin in The Lord of the Rings, but he's also a musician. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to him about writing the final song for the new Hobbit movie, The Battle of the Five Armies.

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A Holiday Comic Standard: 'Christmas Vacation' At 25

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 6:46am

With the holiday season, comes holiday movies, and this year marks the 25th anniversary of one of the best — National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

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Beware The Tippling Point, And Other Cocktail Party Tips

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 6:46am

It's the season of holiday cocktail parties and Dan Pashman of the Sporkful podcast has tips for how to be a good guest and host. For instance, if you want to enjoy drinks and appetizers, buddy up.

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This Weekend, Pick Up The Pieces With 'Gabi'

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 4:41am

In our Weekend Reads series, NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Meg Medina about Isabel Quintero's novel, Gabi, a Girl in Pieces. It's the story of a Mexican-American teenager struggling with her identity.

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Adapting 'Inherent Vice' Made Director Feel Like A Student Again

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 4:17pm

Paul Thomas Anderson is the first to make a novel by reclusive author Thomas Pynchon into a film. He says he studied the book, about a stoner detective, intensely and treated it as his Bible.

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Avant-Garde Afterlife: Space Shortage Inspires New Burial Ideas

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 2:10pm

Urban areas present a problem: how can the dead be interred both respectfully and efficiently? Proposed solutions include vending machine-like vaults, inverted skyscraper cemeteries and glowing pods.

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Not My Job: Actor Patrick Stewart Gets Quizzed On G.I. Joe

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 9:34am

We've invited Stewart to play a game called "G.I. Joe, G.I. Joe, fighting man from head to toe!" Three questions about G.I. Joe, the Hasbro company action figure first introduced 50 years ago.

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It's Ugly Christmas Sweater Season — Share Your Best (Bad) Attire

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 8:12am

The themed party trend is on us again, and holiday garb bedecked with bells, lights and way too much tinsel is selling fast. Show us your best holiday monstrosity — use the hashtag #NPRuglysweaters.

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Hanukkah History: Those Chocolate Coins Were Once Real Tips

Sat, 12/13/2014 - 4:19am

Many Jewish families celebrate the holiday by handing out gelt, chocolate coins covered in gold and silver. These days they're treats for kids. But the practice began as a way to thank labor.

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The Ethics Of Torture, Explored In A Painful Fable

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 4:17pm

This week, the Senate released a report that details the interrogation techniques used by the CIA after Sept. 11. Author Laila Lalami grapples with the questions it raises by turning to literature.

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Even If Torture Doesn't Work In The Real World, TV Has Us Convinced It Does

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 2:07pm

Interrogation experts have tried to get shows like 24 to tone down the torture. But NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says that may not be as easy as it sounds.

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Depicting An Unstable Era, 'Inherent Vice' Never Jells, But It's Addictive

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 12:28pm

The film, based on Thomas Pynchon's novel, is set in 1970 in a beach town south of Los Angeles. With wonderful actors, it's like a gorgeous stoner art object: groovy, campy, dreamlike and funny.

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Funny, Dirty, Sad: The 'Holy Trinity' For 'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 12:28pm

When writer Jill Soloway's father came out as a trans woman, Soloway says, it was a huge relief. And it helped her create the series Transparent about "boundaries, legacy, gender, family."

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