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Updated: 1 hour 29 min ago

'Seven Good Years' Remembers Tiny Moments Writ Exquisitely Large

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 9:03am

In his new collection Etgar Keret recounts bittersweet and often humorous vignettes of life in the seven years between the birth of his son and the death of his father.

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Appetite For War: What Napoleon And His Men Ate On The March

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 7:27am

Napoleon is credited with the phrase "an army marches on its stomach," but he likely never said it. Now 200 years after his legendary defeat, it's worth recalling his disregard for feeding his army.

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'The Projects' Explores The Evolution Of Chicago's Public Housing System

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 3:05pm

The face of public housing is changing in the U.S. In one of the biggest experiments, Chicago's Housing Authority has torn down most of its high-rise public housing units. For decades, they were home to thousands of residents who persevered even when the developments became overrun with crime and poverty. Now the American Theater Company is presenting The Projects, a documentary play about the hope, danger and changes that have occurred in public housing as told by current and former residents, gang members and scholars.

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'The Tribe' Says A Lot About Violence, Sex And Love — Without A Single Word

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 1:34pm

Movie critic Bob Mondello says The Tribe is about big things — love, violence — and made entirely in sign language without any subtitles, voiceovers, or translations of any sort.

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HBO's New Sunday Lineup Is Full Of Pleasant Surprises

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 12:06pm

Ballers feels like the football equivalent of the hip-hop world of Empire, and The Brink is reminiscent of Dr. Strangelove, but has its own modern take on the nonsense of war.

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Judd Apatow: A Comedy-Obsessed Kid Becomes 'Champion Of The Goofball'

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 12:06pm

When Apatow was a teen he landed interviews with an impressive roster of comics for his high school radio show. Sick in the Head is a collection of those conversations, and more recent ones as well.

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Too Much 'Word,' Not Enough 'Nerd' In This Scrabble Story

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 9:15am

Professional Scrabble fan John D. Williams' new memoir is chock full of interesting tidbits (like lists of important words with Q, X and J) but gets bogged down in tedious biographical detail.

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'Modern Romance:' Love In The Age Of Demography

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 6:03am

Aziz Ansari did a lot of demographic research — yes, you read that right — for his new book, and the result is an uneasy but occasionally entertaining hybrid of hard data and too-sparse comedy.

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'3 ½ Minutes' Chronicles Florida Murder Over Loud Rap Music

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 4:04am

A new documentary revisits Florida's loud music murder case. Michael Dunn, a white man, shot 10 bullets into a car with four unarmed young black men during an argument at a Jacksonville gas station.

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In 1846, 'The Jolly Flatboatmen' Did A Different Sort Of River Dance

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 3:43am

The painting by George Caleb Bingham became popular for its depiction of the 19th-century American experience. Now, it's the star of a new show at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Amazon's 'Catastrophe' Isn't One — Unlike Some TV Rom-Coms

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 3:20pm

Amazon on Friday debuts Catastrophe, a comedy about an American man and Irish woman united by an unexpected pregnancy. NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans says it's a wonderful, fresh vision of romance on TV.

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What Etgar Keret Learned From His Father About Storytelling And Survival

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 12:29pm

The Seven Good Years spans the time between the birth of his son and the death of his father. Keret says his father, who was a Holocaust survivor, taught him to "look reality straight in the face."

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'Modern Romance' And The Emerging Audiobook

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 10:16am

Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance is a good example of an audiobook that finds new ways to play with format and style in a way that builds a separate performance rather than just reading aloud.

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Merry Bloomsday! For Communion With Joyce, Raise A Sacramental Guinness

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 9:34am

To honor the day that James Joyce's character Leopold Bloom wandered the streets in Ulysses, fans the world over have found fitting ways to celebrate — boisterously, and often reverent with obscenity.

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Who's That Batgirl? 'Burnside' Charms Despite Stumbles

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 9:03am

Barbara Gordon gets a perky makeover in the new Batgirl Vol. 1. Critic Etelka Lehoczky says the series is a clever exploration of identity in the digital age, but suffers from occasional cluelessness.

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Why Scream For Gelato Instead Of Ice Cream? Here's The Scoop

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 8:01am

Ice cream's velvety Italian cousin is becoming one of America's favorite frozen desserts. It has less fat, but somehow tastes creamier and holds flavors better. So what's gelato's secret?

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We're All Looking For A Home 'In The Country'

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 6:03am

Many of the characters in Mia Alvar's debut story collection are outcasts looking for love and a home — but critic Michael Schaub says it's hard to condense this impressive book into just one theme.

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Kate Atkinson Tells Book Club How She Crafts Characters At All Life Stages

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 4:07am

In A God in Ruins, Atkinson jumps forward and backward in time, telling the story of characters as children, parents and grandparents. "We don't just live in this moment," she says.

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From Dating Exhaustion To ... Flo Rida? Aziz Ansari Surveys 'Modern Romance'

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 3:28pm

The comic teamed up with a sociologist to write an overview of dating and relationships. His book explains online dating's paradox of choice and how we're all like a song by hip-hop artist Flo Rida.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch Edition: 'Jurassic World'

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 2:48pm

The new super-mega-blockbuster dinosaur movie has fun dino stuff, a great performance from a guy in glasses, and two main characters who are severely underwritten.

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