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Andres Neuman: "Traveler of the Century"

In the fictional, 19th century town of Wandernburg, Germany, a mysterious traveler stops for the night on his way from Berlin to Dessau. Expecting to stay for a few days, Hans is drawn in by the cast of eclectic characters he finds: an old organ grinder with a penchant for interpreting dreams, a priest who keeps a diary of his parishioners’ sins, and a beautiful, young freethinker who’s engaged to a local aristocrat. The forbidden love story of Hans and Sophie defies social expectations, and unfolds against the backdrop of a rapidly transforming old Europe.

Excerpted from "Traveler of the Century" by Andrés Neuman, published in May 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Copyright 2009 by Santillana Ediciones Generales. Translation copyright 2012 by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia. All rights reserevd:

NPR

Is It All Greek To You? Thank Medieval Monks, And The Bard, For The Phrase

Ben Zimmer, language columnist at The Wall Street Journal, explains the origin of the phrase "it's all Greek to me" — and shares a few variants from other languages.
NPR

Do Try This At Home: 3 Korean Banchan (Side Dishes) In One Pot

If you've ever eaten at a Korean restaurant, you're used to the endless side dishes that come out with the meal. They're called banchan, and they're remarkably simple to make for yourself.
WAMU 88.5

Cutting Local Taxes in The District

The D.C. Council has taken steps to accelerate tax cuts for all income earners. They're part of a broader overhaul of the city's tax levels, but some council members argued there wasn't enough time for a rigorous debate about the new schedule. We explore the debate over cutting taxes for D.C. residents and how it affects the city's ability to pay for critical local services.

NPR

Reddit CEO Says Miscommunication Led To Blackout Protest

A user revolt briefly shut down the social site last week after a key employee was dismissed. Interim CEO Ellen Pao says the company has "apologized for not communicating better" with site moderators.

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