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Updated: 1 hour 15 min ago

Book News: A Q&A With Pulitzer Prize Winner Vijay Seshadri

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 6:38am

Also: Willy Blackmore writes about the several identities of his grandfather, John Farrar of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and research on reading comprehension for printed vs. digital books.

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Sometimes Getting Along Comes Down To How You Say 'Gravy'

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 6:03am

A recent study on immigrant job-seekers in the United Kingdom reminds us again of the importance of code-switching: unwritten cultural codes in conversation can have far-reaching impacts.

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Horrors Small And Large Haunt 'Birds'

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 6:03am

Something mysterious stalks a shepherdess on a remote British island in Evie Wyld's visceral new novel, All The Birds, Singing. Reviewer Annalisa Quinn calls it "a museum of sinister curiosities."

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NSA Coverage Garners Pulitzers For Post And Guardian

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 4:25pm

Winners of the 2014 Pulitzer Prizes were announced Monday. The Washington Post and The Guardian were among the notable winners, commended for together breaking the news of NSA surveillance programs.

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Sandwich Monday: The Passover Sandwich

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 3:11pm

For this week's Sandwich Monday, our non-Jewish colleagues get an introduction to the wonders of the Passover lunch. Manischewitz rules this meal.

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Conflicting Tales Of A School Shooting In 'The Library'

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 3:01pm

Steven Soderbergh's new play confronts the topic of school shootings head on, peering into the shattered lives of the survivors and the stories they tell.

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The Bitter Tundra Returns As 'Fargo' Comes To Television

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 2:12pm

It's easy to be skeptical of a TV series inspired by the brilliant film Fargo, but the FX adaptation is dark, funny, free-standing and a great big hoot.

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Last Book Club Meeting: 'Grapes Of Wrath' Turns 75. Let's Discuss.

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 1:33pm

The I-Will-If-You-Will Book Club just finished reading John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl saga. We'll be hanging out in the comments with Steinbeck expert Susan Shillinglaw to talk about the book's legacy.

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Modern Medicine May Not Be Doing Your Microbiome Any Favors

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 12:17pm

In Missing Microbes, Dr. Martin Blaser argues that the overuse of antibiotics, as well as now-common practices like C-sections, may be messing with gut microbes.

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Kristen Wiig, Alice Munro And Negative Space In Fiction

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 8:20am

A new film starring Kristen Wiig adapts an Alice Munro short story, filling in huge swaths of negative space that Munro left. But surprisingly, in telling more of the story, the film loses something.

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Book News: 'Captain Underpants' Is 2013's Most Vilified Book

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 6:18am

Also: Sue Townsend was writing another Adrian Mole novel at the time of her death; the best books coming out this week.

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Don Draper: Truth Is, You Lied

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 5:35am

Monday water cooler TV is the return of Mad Men. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans dissects the thing fans will be talking about Monday morning: what's become of Don Draper's career.

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'Grapes Of Wrath' Is 75, But Its Depictions Of Poverty Are Timeless

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 2:22am

John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl story is "about haves and have-nots," says one scholar, "and that story is getting increasingly urgent." The book was first published April 14, 1939.

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'Say Anything' At 25: Nothing Bought, Sold Or Processed

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 4:22pm

Cameron Crowe's much-loved film turns 25 this week, and unlike a lot of high-school films of its day, it's aged surprisingly well.

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What 'Life In The New Cuba' Is Really Like

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 3:59pm

American Julia Cooke documented the ways Cuba has changed since Fidel Castro ceded authority to his brother. During her travels, she says, everything she thought she knew was "blown out of the water."

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Longtime Puzzler To Certified Wordsmith, In One Fortunate Spin

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 3:59pm

Autumn Erhard, a sales representative in Orange County, Calif., landed her big break on her favorite game show, Wheel of Fortune. At 30, she became the second person to win $1 million.

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A Girl Ages From 0 To 14 Years Old, In 4 Minutes

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 2:06pm

Lotte turned 14 in October; that led her father, Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester, to make a new "time lapse edit" of the images he has collected since her birth.

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'Mad Men' Returns, Full Of Footnotes

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 8:24am

Taking apart Mad Men has become a popular hobby among many Sunday-night analysts. As it enters its seventh season, it seems more self-aware than ever.

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Book Tells Of Life As A Perennial Co-Star, Almost Famous

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 6:33am

NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Judy Greer about the pitfalls of semi-celebrity, as depicted in her new memoir, I Don't Know What You Know Me From.

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Media Should Reflect A Profane Society, Critic Says

Sun, 04/13/2014 - 6:33am

Swear words are generally a no-go in the media. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Jesse Scheidlower, president of the American Dialect Society, about why we need more obscenities in our daily lives.

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