A new study from Consumer Reports finds varying levels of 4-MEI –listed as a carcinogen in California — in popular sodas. The chemical is created during the manufacturing of caramel color used to dye sodas brown. Coke has reformulated its sodas to bring down levels, but Pepsi is still transitioning.
Jenny Offill's sparse and experimental novel Dept. of Speculation is a reminder that bigger isn't always better. Through short vignettes, Offill builds a narrative about an unnamed husband and wife. It's a sly, profound glimpse into a fragile domestic sphere — and, while the form may be unusual, the book is highly readable.
Cold weather means "Mum's Rice Paprikash" for Merelyn Chalmers, a member of The Monday Morning Cooking Club. The club is dedicated to preserving recipes from Sydney's Jewish community. For our Found Recipes series, Chalmers shares the dish that she considers the ultimate comfort food.
Ann Patchett got married and divorced young. When she met the man who would eventually become her second husband she said: "I'll be true; I'll be faithful; I'll see you every day ... but I don't want to get married and I don't want to live together.'" Her new book is This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage.
Fish is an important part of a healthful diet, but it can be hard to come by for groups that feed the hungry. A brand-new scheme being launched this week in Maine aims to change that, by getting the state's many sport fishermen to donate catch that would otherwise be discarded.
Fish is an important part of a healthful diet, but it can be hard to come by for groups that feed the hungry. A brand new scheme being launched this week in Maine aims to change that, by getting the state's many sport fishermen to donate catch that would otherwise be discarded.
Joyce Carol Oates' new Carthage explores the familiar but important territory of family anguish. Oates has written more than 40 novels — critic Alan Cheuse praises her prodigious imagination, and says her latest effort is a "roller coaster, demon-twister" of a ride.
Music critic Greg Kot's new I'll Take You There chronicles the life and times of gospel star Mavis Staples and her family — from their hardscrabble beginnings in postwar Chicago to the civil rights movement and stardom. Reviewer Richard Torres praises the book's emotional honesty — but says it really needs a companion album.
Despite being the daughter of a child psychologist and self-help author, Jessica Lamb-Shapiro has spent most of her life recoiling from the self-help industry. But eventually, her curiosity got the best of her. She tells Fresh Air about self-help's high- and low-brow iterations, and the ways the industry helped her address her fears.
Richard Powers' new novel follows an avant-garde composer who's sacrificed everything in his pursuit of transcendent music — and who gets into trouble when he attempts to combine his twin obsessions of music and chemistry. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says Powers hits a high note with Orfeo.