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'Beautiful Ruins,' Both Human And Architectural

Jess Walter's latest novel spans decades and traverses the Atlantic to create a kaleidoscopic collection of "beautiful ruins." Characters include a hotelier, a young script reader and real-life movie star Richard Burton. NPR's Maureen Corrigan says the book is a "literary miracle."
NPR

Chanticleer: A Botanical Distraction From Daily Life

The Chanticleer estate in Wayne, Pa., is 37 enchanting acres open to the public. "It's music, it's ballet, it's cinema," writes one garden critic, "the garden as an art form."
NPR

After War And Fame, Dad Is Author's Challenge

Jarhead author Anthony Swofford's second memoir recounts a war much closer to home — a private one waged with his father in the years following the success of his book.
NPR

The Movie Whoopi Goldberg's 'Seen A Million Times'

Comedian and actress Whoopi Goldberg could watch Robert Mulligan's classic drama To Kill a Mockingbird over and over again. "The performances are spectacular," she says.
NPR

A Future President Finds Himself In New Obama Bio

In Barack Obama: The Story, journalist David Maraniss chronicles the president's "classic search for home." Maraniss says Obama's young life was defined by his experience of being an outsider — a feeling that stayed with him well into early adulthood.
NPR

Want A Winner? These Books Made The Critics' Cut

Lynn Neary talks to three critics about the books you absolutely shouldn't miss this summer. Critic Laura Miller of Salon.com, says it's a particularly rich literary summer because in election years, publishers release their juiciest books before the fall.
NPR

Like Good Bourbon, Magazine Is A Sip Of The South

Up-and-coming Garden & Gun showcases fine Southern living in a way backers say had been lacking. The magazine also holds events so readers can live out the "G&G experience," which critics say is more elitist than representative of the South as a whole.
NPR

The Stage On Which Juliet First Called Out For Romeo

Archaeologists have found the remains of the Curtain Theatre, where Shakespeare first staged some of his most famous plays. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Chris Thomas, who dug up the theater.
NPR

Hit Me Baby One More Time

Every answer is a word, phrase or name starting with the letter "B," ending in "Y" and having "A" and "B" inside, in that order, although not necessarily consecutively. For example, the answer to "assistant to a baseball team" would be either "batboy" or "ballboy."

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