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In The Deft, Insightful 'Lady Bird,' A Girl Grows Up — And Grows Wiser

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 4:01pm

Greta Gerwig's directorial debut, a semi-autobiographical examination of her adolescence, vividly captures the stirrings of empathy that transform a selfish teen into a clear-eyed adult.

(Image credit: A24)

In 'Last Flag Flying,' The Horror of War Is Brought Home — Literally

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 4:00pm

In this Richard Linklater dramedy, three Vietnam War veterans "embark on an endlessly digressive road trip at once uproarious and rife with detours of the soul."

(Image credit: Wilson Webb/Amazon)

'Thor: Ragnarok' Is Hela Good

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 4:00pm

The comic sensibility of director Taika Waititi — and a lush, airbrushed-van visual aesthetic — make this the funniest and prettiest Marvel film yet.

(Image credit: Marvel)

'Thor: Ragnarok' Pokes Fun At Itself While Being The Best Thor Film Yet

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 3:07pm

Marvel's hammer-throwing superhero is back in Thor: Ragnarok. NPR's Bob Mondello says there are whole worlds at stake in the latest film, and Thor gets some help from the Hulk and his sibling-rival, Loki.

Sadr City Attack On U.S. Troops Retold In 'The Long Road Home'

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 3:07pm

Martha Raddatz' 2007 book chronicling the ambush has been turned into an 8-part National Geographic series. 'I think it's been healing for a lot of the guys. It's been healing for me, too,' she says.

(Image credit: Van Redin/National Geographic)

Jann Wenner, 'Rolling Stone,' And The Decline Of Rock 'N' Roll

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 1:53pm

Joe Hagan's Sticky Fingers, compiled from unfettered access to Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, steadfastly avoids hagiography. It can't avoid a sad ending.

(Image credit: Robert Altman/Courtesy of Knopf)

A Trio Of Veterans Embark On A Road Trip Together In 'Last Flag Flying'

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 1:49pm

Director Richard Linklater salutes the courage of our troops while casting a hard eye at the government machinery that sends them into battle. Justin Chang calls Last Flag Flying an elegiac comedy.

'Big Chicken' Connects Poultry Farming To Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 1:23pm

In her new book, health journalist Maryn McKenna explores how many of the chickens consumed in the U.S. have been fed antibiotics, which can lead to serious infections in humans.

(Image credit: Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Writing On The Terrifying Beauty Of The Human Future

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 11:13am

Author Kim Stanley Robinson deserves a place as a true visionary: He has done more than just write good science-fiction — he's mapped out new territory in what it means to be human, says Adam Frank.

(Image credit: SFX Magazine/Getty Images)

Empathy And Detachment Mix In 'The King Is Always Above The People'

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 6:00am

Daniel Alarcón's new story collection is an empathetic look at isolation, whether due to migration, loneliness or poverty. His mix of kindness and distance makes the stories land like a gut punch.

(Image credit: Christina Ascani/NPR)

'Full Frontal' Writer Ashley Nicole Black On Comedy's Cultural Divides

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 4:01am

Black was four years into a Ph.D. program when she decided to pursue a career in comedy. She's now a writer and correspondent on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

(Image credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for TBS)

'Guerrilla Tacos': Street Food With A High-End Pedigree

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 3:23am

Wes Avila is leading a new wave of LA chefs: children of immigrants, classically trained in French cuisine, who blur the lines between high and low. His acclaimed food truck now has a cookbook.

(Image credit: Dylan James Ho and Jeni Afuso/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press)

Columnist Lindy West Sees 'Straight Line' From Trolls Who Targeted Her To Trump

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 3:30pm

The New York Times columnist knows what it's like to encounter a barrage of hate from Internet trolls. She says she heard many of their messages repeated by Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.

(Image credit: Jenny Jimenez/Courtesy of Hachette )

Fears Of A Black Market After Calif. Bans Some Commercial Breeding

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:35pm

Pet stores in California will only be able to sell dogs, cats, and rabbits rescued from shelters — but that doesn't mean the so-called "puppy mills" are going away.

(Image credit: Gloria Hillard for NPR)

'Friends Divided' Digs Into The Bumpy Bonds Between 2 Presidents

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 6:00am

Gordon S. Wood's engaging new dual biography of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams aims to discover why Jefferson is so much more well-loved than his lifelong (though sometimes estranged) friend.

(Image credit: Christina Ascani/NPR)

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