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Updated: 1 hour 5 min ago

There's Never A Dull Moment On This Trans-Siberian Adventure

October 20, 2014 - 4:23am

Morning Edition's David Greene has taken this 6,000-mile ride twice. He shares his experience in the cramped third-class cars — borscht and all — in his new book, Midnight in Siberia.

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'Little Dancer' Musical Imagines The Story Behind Degas' Mysterious Muse

October 20, 2014 - 4:23am

Ballerina Marie Van Goethem started modeling for Edgar Degas around 1878 and inspired his statue Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. But history lost track of her after she left the Paris Opera.

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Starring In 'Fury': The Horrors That People Are Capable Of In War

October 20, 2014 - 4:23am

The WWII drama Fury is about a U.S. sergeant and his five-man crew on a mission behind enemy lines. Kenneth Turan reviews the film, directed by David Ayer and starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf.

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Many Views Of Muhammad, As A Man And As A Prophet

October 19, 2014 - 7:01pm

In her new book, The Lives of Muhammad, Boston University professor Kecia Ali discusses the different ways that Muslim and non-Muslim biographers have depicted the prophet over the centuries.

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From Mannequin To Actor: Geena Davis' 'Ridiculous, Ridiculous' Break

October 19, 2014 - 5:32pm

Geena Davis has played unforgettable roles in movies like Beetlejuice and A League of Their Own. But before her acting debut in Tootsie, she worked at a clothing store in window displays.

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The Boston Herald's Missed 'Cartoongate' Lessons

October 19, 2014 - 5:24pm

The newspaper's heartfelt column about a political cartoon that was widely criticized as racist raises a question: Did editors learn the right lessons from the uproar?

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Waterless Worlds The New Hot Dystopia

October 19, 2014 - 5:22pm

Following years worth of news stories about climate change and drought, books and movies are starting to capture those stories, too. Worlds without water are the settings for quite a few new projects.

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Understanding Society Through 3 American Classics

October 19, 2014 - 7:43am

NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Azar Nafisi about her new book, The Republic of Imagination, a reflection on America through three of its most memorable books.

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Here's What Happens When Gandalf Talks To Schoolchildren

October 19, 2014 - 7:43am

Sir Ian McKellen made a special appearance at an English school. What special magical message did he impart? Do your homework!

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Chef Ottolenghi Makes The Case For 'Plenty More' Vegetables

October 19, 2014 - 7:43am

Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi talks with Rachel Martin about the difference between supermarket hummus and Middle Eastern hummus and why he doesn't like to call his cookbooks "vegetarian."

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After A Flurry Of Literary Awards, A Book On The 'Wonder' Of Words

October 19, 2014 - 7:03am

It's literary awards season. The Nobel, the National Book Awards shortlists, and the Man Booker Prize were all recently announced. Author Jason Sheehan recommends some reading on all this reading.

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Amid The Chaos Of Debt Collection, 'Bad Paper' Offers A Riveting Roadmap

October 19, 2014 - 5:32am

It's not often that a book can mix machetes with hedge funds. Then again, few industries are as chaotic, and compelling, as debt collection — which Jake Halpern's book reveals in alarming detail.

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9 Lives And Counting: Hello Kitty Turns 40

October 19, 2014 - 5:32am

In the time since the first simple coin purse was sold in Japan back in 1974, Hello Kitty has become a multibillion-dollar empire. A retrospective in Los Angeles celebrates the beloved cartoon cat.

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Watching 'Dear White People' At Harvard

October 18, 2014 - 5:07pm

Dear White People follows four black students at a prestigious, majority-white college, where racial tensions are threatening to bring chaos to campus. So why not catch a screening at Harvard?

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A Funny Philosopher Tackles A Tough Query: 'Does Santa Exist?'

October 18, 2014 - 5:07pm

Eric Kaplan's son had a zoo trip canceled because one mom worried about reindeer-induced questions. So Kaplan, a comedy writer and philosophy grad student, started pondering the puzzle of St. Nick.

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The Man Who Coined 'Genocide' Spent His Life Trying To Stop It

October 18, 2014 - 5:07pm

Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin coined the word in 1943, as part of his lifelong campaign to make the world acknowledge and prosecute the crime. A new documentary, Watchers of the Sky, tells his story.

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424 Steps To Happiness: A Father's Journey Beyond 'The Fall'

October 18, 2014 - 11:33am

A son with cerebral palsy inspires a new way to think about imperfection, exaltation and love in a new memoir by Brazilian novelist and screenwriter Diogo Mainardi.

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Not My Job: Actor Jeff Goldblum Plays A Game Called 'Your Fly Is Open'

October 18, 2014 - 10:47am

Goldblum starred in a 1986 movie called The Fly so we've invited him to answer three questions about zippers.

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Fracking Boom Town Wary Of Pastor's 'Overnighters'

October 18, 2014 - 7:43am

Jesse Moss tells NPR's Scott Simon about his documentary, The Overnighters. It follows a pastor in a North Dakota oil boom town whose life is upended when he opens the church to down-and-out workers.

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300,000,000 Is A Horrific, Poetic Anti-Ode To America

October 18, 2014 - 7:03am

Blake Butler's new novel, 300,000,000, is not for the squeamish. This portrait of a serial killer and the detective who hunts him will curdle the blood — and possibly the soul — of any reader.

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