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Triumph Of The Bookworms: Two Novels To Cure Your Winter Blues

Alena, a reworking of Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca, takes place in the contemporary art world, while The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles is a "delicious French romp." Critic Maureen Corrigan says both novels are "exquisite vehicles of escape fiction."
NPR

Tim Gunn: On And Off The Runway, 'Life Is A Big Collaboration'

"Make it work," the fashion guru tells designers on Project Runway. But life hasn't always "worked" for Gunn. He talks with Terry Gross about being bullied, being gay in the '60s and '70s, and how his mother thinks he should "dress more like Mitt Romney."
NPR

Electronic Tongues Are The Beer Snobs Of The Future

Researchers in Barcelona have developed an electronic tongue that really knows the difference between a pilsner and a bock. It's still a prototype, but its creators say it could some day replace human taste testers.
NPR

An Olympic Preview, From The Canon Of Russian Literature

Southern Russia, the venue for the coming Winter Olympics, is a wild land known for its breathtaking beauty and centuries of conflict. It has long inspired Russian writers; here are three classic books on the region.
NPR

An Oscar Nominee, But Unwelcome At Home In Cairo

Jehane Noujaim's documentary The Square, which chronicles three years of political turmoil in Egypt, is the first film from that country to be nominated for an Academy Award. But the filmmaker has struggled to show the film in its home country.
NPR

100 Years Ago, Writer William S. Burroughs Was Born

He was a central figure of the Beat Generation whose influence extended beyond literature to rock music and visual arts. He lived all over the world but spent his last years in Lawrence, Kansas — he liked the quiet there and the opportunity to fish and hunt.
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A Widow's Quiet Life Leaves Room For Sex, Guns And Literature

Not much happens in An Unnecessary Woman, Lebanese-American author Rabih Alameddine's novel about an elderly recluse who spends her time reading and translating. But what does happen shows a life in all its mundane, unconventional brilliance.
NPR

Sweet Tooth Gone Bad: Why 22 Teaspoons Of Sugar Per Day Is Risky

Americans who got a quarter of their daily calories from sugar were twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who limited their intake to much lower levels, fresh research finds. Unfortunately, most of us have a sugar habit that puts us in the danger zone.
NPR

Are We Having Fun Yet? New Book Explores The Paradox Of Parenting

Kids can be magical and maddening. The title of Jennifer Senior's book — All Joy and No Fun — contrasts the strains of day-to-day parenting with the transcendent experience of raising a child.
NPR

'Borgen' Is Denmark's 'West Wing' (But Even Better)

Critic John Powers says that Borgen, a Danish TV series about a woman who unexpectedly becomes Denmark's prime minister is "irresistibly bingeable." The third and final season has just been released on DVD.

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