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'This Is What Happened' And 'Babylon Berlin' Deliver Thrills And Intrigue Aplenty

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:43pm

Critic John Powers says Mick Herron's latest novel sucks you in from the opening page, and a Netflix series imported from Germany is both fun and binge-able.

(Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR)

After 17 Brushes With Death, A Writer Reflects On Coming 'Back From The Brink'

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:55pm

Maggie O'Farrell recounts the multiple times she cheated death in her memoir, I Am, I Am, I Am. "We're different people afterwards," she says. "These experiences always take up residence inside us."

(Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR)

In Seoul, A Plastic Surgery Capital, Residents Frown On Ads For Cosmetic Procedure

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:39am

South Korea has the world's highest per capita rate of plastic surgery procedures. But growing pushback against ads touting facial fix-ups has prompted Seoul's public transport system to ban the ads.

(Image credit: Elise Hu/NPR)

Super Bowl Ads 2018: The Best, The Weirdest And The Most Complicated

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 8:54am

Advertisers were careful about which messages they showcased this year, and the results felt handcuffed — so cautious that they were just, well, disappointing.

(Image credit: Mountain Dew/Screenshot by NPR)

In 'The Afterlives,' Holograms And Ghosts Give Meaning To Life After Death

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 3:59am

In Thomas Pierce's novel, a loan officer dies — but only temporarily, and uneventfully. "[He's] looking for some kind of bedrock in a world that does feel so full of mirage," Pierce says.

(Image credit: Roy Scott/Getty Images/Ikon Images)

In A New Netflix Documentary, Gloria Allred Looks At Her Career And What's Next

Sun, 02/04/2018 - 4:08pm

Gloria Allred has waged legal battles on behalf of victims of sexual assault, discrimination and harassment for decades. In a new documentary, Seeing Allred, she shares her story in her own words.

(Image credit: Netflix)

In 'A More Beautiful And Terrible History,' Fuel For The Fight Ahead

Sun, 02/04/2018 - 4:08pm

Jeanne Theoharis' new book re-examines civil rights history and the way it's been manipulated. "It is used to make us feel good about ourselves, to make us feel good about our progress," she says.

(Image credit: Gene Herrick/AP)

Egyptian Archaeologists Unearth A 4,400-Year-Old Tomb

Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:58am

Unusual paintings and well-preserved artifacts were found outside Giza in the tomb of Hetpet, a priestess to the goddess of fertility. The country hopes to draw more tourists with the discovery.

(Image credit: Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP/Getty Images)

New Orleans Tries Different Carnival Music

Sun, 02/04/2018 - 7:09am

Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire pays tribute to her Haitian roots with a new Krewe du Kanaval at Mardi Gras this year. The effort is a collaboration with Preservation Hall Jazz band.

Inside The Winchester Mystery House

Sun, 02/04/2018 - 7:09am

Winchester, starring Helen Mirren, is a new and frightening paranormal tale about one of the most haunted houses in America: the Winchester mansion.

The First Men To Have The Whole World In Their Sights

Sun, 02/04/2018 - 7:09am

Christopher Potter's new history of space flight, The Earth Gazers, charts the road to the first photographs of Earth — and how it changes an astronaut to glimpse the entire planet at once.

(Image credit: NASA/Newsmakers/Getty Images)

Twisty Thrills Propel 'The Burial Society'

Sun, 02/04/2018 - 6:00am

Nina Sadowsky's day job is high-level Hollywood producer, and it shows in the cinematic drive of her new thriller. But the book's nonstop action leaves little time for details of place and character.

(Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR)

From Mormon Missionary To LGBTQ Advocate (And International Rock Star)

Sat, 02/03/2018 - 6:16pm

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Dan Reynolds, lead singer of Imagine Dragons, about his new documentary, Believer, which takes a critical look at the Mormon Church's policies toward its LGBTQ members.

(Image credit: Courtesy of HBO)

Empathetic 'Anatomy Of A Scandal' Does Justice To A Dark Subject

Sat, 02/03/2018 - 9:00am

Rape has become a standard feature in crime novels — sometimes treated with nuance, sometimes with voyeurism. Sarah Vaughan's Anatomy of a Scandal approaches it with unexpected attention and care.

(Image credit: )

Tamora Pierce Writes One For The Boys (But Just One) In 'Tempests And Slaughter'

Sat, 02/03/2018 - 7:07am

The beloved fantasy author is known for her heroic female knights and mages — but she says she wants to be fair to the boys with her new book, the story of one of her most popular male characters.

(Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR)

Not My Job: We Quiz Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Michael Rosbash On Barflies

Sat, 02/03/2018 - 6:10am

The biologist, whose groundbreaking research into circadian rhythms studied fruit flies, answers three questions about people who spend too many nights in bars.

(Image credit: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)

'This Is Not A Love Letter' Really Is A (Heartbreaking) Love Letter

Sat, 02/03/2018 - 6:00am

Kim Purcell's new novel is structured as a long, beautiful, despairing letter from a young woman to her missing boyfriend, written as she spurs her friends and neighbors into action to find him.

(Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR)

How To Understand The Philosophy Of 'Groundhog Day' And Live Life By Its Message

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 3:29pm

The director Harold Ramis didn't intend for his movie Groundhog Day to be heralded by religious thinkers as an example of how to live life, but that's exactly what happened after it was released in 1993. Salon reporter Mary Elizabeth Williams tells NPR's Mary Louise Kelly that after fighting cancer, she has come to understand the movie's universal message.

Beguiling And Brutal, 'On Body And Soul' Centers On A Slaughterhouse Romance

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 1:18pm

Two lonely people working at a slaughterhouse connect in Hungarian director Ildikó Enyedi's film. Reviewer Justin Chang says On Body and Soul is a genteel crowd pleaser that could have been edgier.

How Did Salt And Pepper Become The Soulmates Of Western Cuisine?

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 12:11pm

The two flavors are mainstays on nearly every Western dining table, but their dominance was far from inevitable. In fact, their dual reign resulted from a "weird accident of history."

(Image credit: Theo Crazzolara/Flickr)

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