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Updated: 27 min 53 sec ago

Working Out With Hefty Proustian Epics

Sat, 05/31/2014 - 6:40am

It's time to get in shape for the summer reading season. NPR's Scott Simon talks to writer Sally Franson to hear how readers can do a pre-beach workout while sitting still.

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Old Family Laundry Gets Unpacked In 'The Vacationers'

Sat, 05/31/2014 - 6:40am

With summer approaching, it's time to think about the season's great beach reads. Emma Straub has written a new novel, The Vacationers, that will get you in the mood. NPR's Scott Simon speaks to the young author.

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Timothy Spall's New Role As Leading Man

Sat, 05/31/2014 - 6:40am

Spall just won best actor at this year's Cannes Film Festival, but he is still relatively unknown. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with reviewer Rajinder Dudrah about Spall's surprising career.

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Harry Potter And The Forbidden Books

Sat, 05/31/2014 - 6:03am

In author Jessica Khoury's hometown, there were 144 churches and one bar, and the Harry Potter books were a forbidden, corrupting temptation. But Khoury longed to read them — and eventually, she did.

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In Confronting Poverty, 'Harvest Of Shame' Reaped Praise And Criticism

Sat, 05/31/2014 - 4:22am

The 1960 documentary examined the plight of America's migrant farmworkers. It was praised as groundbreaking, but others called it an "exaggerated portrait" and even some migrants took issue with it.

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Not My Job: No Longer 'Clueless,' Alicia Silverstone Gets Quizzed On Parenting

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 4:18pm

If you were a teenager around 1995, prepare to feel old: Silverstone, who played peppy, pampered Cher Horowitz, is now a mother and has written a book about parenting called The Kind Mama.

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Bustin' Into June With Sweet, Silly Poetry

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 4:03pm

Today we're anticipating the month of June — and the start of summer fun — with the poetic stylings of one of history's most creative duos: Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.

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Punk Is Alive And Living In Three Swedish Girls

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 4:03pm

Mark Jenkins reviews We Are The Best! -- the story of three girls who start their own band. While too enamored of their aimlessness at times, the film finds the lively heart of their punk-forged bond.

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Ralph Ellison: No Longer The 'Invisible Man' 100 Years After His Birth

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 3:46pm

Ellison's exploration of race and identity won the National Book Award in 1953 and has been called one of the best novels of the 20th century.

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James McAvoy As A Creep? In 'Filth,' The Anti-Typecasting Works

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 3:36pm

The indie drama Filth, McAvoy makes a departure from his usual good-guy roles and plays Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson — a bipolar, bigoted, junkie cop.

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With Possible Theme Park, 'Hunger Games' May Live Beyond Final Film

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 3:14pm

The movie studio Lionsgate is exploring the possibility of a theme park based on The Hunger Games films and books.

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Book Review: 'I Am The Beggar Of The World'

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 3:14pm

Poet Tess Taylor reviews I Am the Beggar of the World, a new poetry collection that offers a rare glimpse into Afghan lives.

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A Satire Of Literary Prizes Reveals A World Of Insanity

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 3:14pm

Edward St. Aubyn is no stranger to losing out on awards. In 2006 his novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker. But in 2011 he didn't even make the longlist. Now he's getting his revenge.

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How A Food Stylist Made Squirrel And Earthworm Look Appetizing

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 1:40pm

Environmentalists say we should eat up invasive species like squirrel and nutria. Problem is, they don't usually look very tasty. A photo project tries to alter our perception of creepy critters.

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Richard III: Not The Hunchback We Thought He Was?

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 12:08pm

Scientists say 3-D skeletal modeling shows the English monarch had a common form of scoliosis. The physical condition of King Richard III has been a subject of debate for centuries.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Recycling Franchises And Judging Books By Their Covers

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 10:03am

The scheduled return of Sailor Moon inspires the gang to discuss the way franchises keep coming back around for new generations. Then it's on to book and album covers — and what's making us happy.

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'Maleficent' Tells The Fairy Tale From The Wicked One's Perspective

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 8:52am

Maleficent shifts the spotlight away from the sweet, beautiful heroine and rehabilitates the most maligned figure in the fairy tale canon. Recommended

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'Maleficent' Tells The Fairy Tale From The Wicked One's Perspective

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 8:52am

Maleficent shifts the spotlight away from the sweet, beautiful heroine and rehabilitates the most maligned figure in the fairy tale canon. Recommended

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'Night Moves' Leaves Too Much In The Dark

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 4:03pm

In Kelly Reichardt's ultimately unsatisfying new film, three environmentalists plot to load boat with explosives and blow up a nearby dam in an act of consciousness-raising eco-terrorism.

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MacFarlane's 'Million Ways To Die In The West' Is An Assault Of Its Own

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 4:03pm

Seth MacFarlane writes, directs and stars in this Western about a sheep farmer who falls in love with an outlaw's wife. But jokes that weren't funny the first time aren't funny the sixth time either.

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