Comedy writer Maria Semple's latest, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, follows 15-year-old Bee as she tracks down her mother, Bernadette, who disappeared on the eve of a family trip to Antarctica. Bernadette is an epistolary novel that paints an acidly funny portrait of life in Seattle.
As the party conventions approach, elaborate theatrics on the part of presidential candidates are at the forefront. NPR critic Bob Mondello takes a look at the ways campaigns frame their candidates to make them stand out like Broadway stars.
Melissa Block talks with Alfie Dennen, who has been curating a database of the world's public art for seven years — both commissioned works and street art. His non-profit Big Art Mob project is about to launch and includes a map-based website and mobile apps.
More than three-quarters of the nation's public libraries lend books electronically, a fact that's not widely known among the reading public. Some publishers worry that e-book borrowers don't buy books. But a recent study suggests that among those who read books electronically, 41 percent of those who borrow them from the library purchased their most recent e-book. Guest host Frank Sesno and his guests discuss the current and future role of e-books at our nation's libraries.
In this week's New Yorker, the journalist details how the electoral climate since the Citizens United ruling in 2010 has negatively affected the Obama campaign's appeal to Democratic donors. Mayer tells Fresh Air that Obama has to make a "terrible choice between his principles and politics."
2012's big movies feature several themes: a band of heroes trying to save the day, time travel comedies, and a hero's return home, among others. Film buff Murray Horwitz suggests alternative movies to watch at home if you like those themes, but don't want to stand in long lines at the box office.
The author's new memoir, Winter Journal, is a history of his body — scars, panic attacks and near-death experiences. He tells Fresh Air how he got a reputation as a dirty fighter, why he doesn't drive and how hard it was to see his mother's dead body.
The seasons are showing up sooner, and girls are developing earlier. We get financial information earlier, and McDonald's just announced it's serving breakfast earlier. What effect will all this earliness ultimately have on our culture? It's too early to tell.
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