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True Originals: Biographies That Defy Expectations

Our list of this year's best biographies focuses on books about individuals who lived their lives off the beaten path. From the story of a spy turned chef to the story of the real Count of Monte Cristo, these books chronicle subjects who refused to conform to the expectations of others.
NPR

Tarantino On 'Django,' Violence And Catharsis

Quentin Tarantino's new Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx as a freed slave turned bounty hunter. The writer and director discusses the film's violence with Audie Cornish and explains why he feels American history can withstand an approach that has more in common with Reservoir Dogs than with Roots.
NPR

Is Kwanzaa Still A Thing?

Wednesday marked the start of Kwanzaa, the seven day festival celebrating African-American culture. In the 1980s and '90s, many considered Kwanzaa a mainstream holiday like Christmas and Hanukkah. But now there seems to be less fanfare. Host Michel Martin speaks with Duke University's Mark Anthony Neal about whether Kwanzaa is still a thing.
WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Dec. 28

Whether you're a little bit country, a soulful R&B type or prefer a good Broadway power number, D.C.'s got you covered this evening.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Dec. 27

Would you like some grits with that? Tonight you can enjoy dinner and a show, country style.

NPR

Let's Double Down On A Superstorm Of Malarkey: Picking 2012's Word Of The Year

The American Dialect Society is about to make a major decision: what will be the Word of the Year for 2012? Since we only live once, will it be YOLO? Or perhaps Frankenstorm, in memory of Hurricane Sandy? Language columnist Ben Zimmer says there's no clear front-runner.
NPR

'The Book Of Gin' Distills A Spirited History

From medieval medicine to18th-century English "crack", gin has come a long way. But according to Richard Barnett, author of The Book of Gin, now is "the best time in the last 500 years to be drinking" it.
NPR

'Dirt Candy': A Visual Veggie Cookbook With A Memoir Mixed In

Chef Amanda Cohen's Dirt Candy is a turducken of a book: graphic novel, cookbook and memoir in one. Cohen's East Village restaurant in New York City is focused entirely on vegetables — and with just nine tables, it's become a foodie destination.
NPR

E-Books Destroying Traditional Publishing? The Story's Not That Simple

Conventional wisdom says e-books are destroying the traditional publishing business model. But the story's not that simple. For one thing, flexible pricing allows publishers to hold what amount to one-day-only sales on any given title — which means more people will discover that book.

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