Film's most iconic superspy is back in his 23rd movie, Skyfall, and the franchise's 50th-anniversary release doesn't disappoint, says NPR's Bob Mondello: With director Sam Mendes' sleek vision and a superb supporting cast, Skyfall may be one of the best Bond films to date. (Recommended)
Barbara Kingsolver's new novel starts when millions of monarch butterflies alight on a mountain in eastern Tennessee. Yet, as author Brian Kimberling describes, the beautiful winged visitors in the novel reveal both humankind's effect on nature and the nature of humankind.
With an eye on an international audience, this Shanghai-set adaptation of the 18th-century French novel focuses most of its energy on being visually appealing. Critic Mark Jenkins says the setting of the film isn't entirely justified — but it does serve as a glossily seductive distraction.
Three separate narratives place three women named Anne in the same Korean beach town, where she'll face many of the same thematic issues. As Sam Stander explains, the film serves as a delightfully disorienting case study in human interaction. (Recommended)
It's not morbid! Cookbook authors the Brass Sisters want you to ask your elders for recipes this holiday season, before it's too late and they're gone. And also, try their Aunt Ida's tasty Poppy Seed Cookies.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum describes the tactics the Soviets used after World War II to take over and transform much of Eastern Europe. Her book Iron Curtain was recently nominated for the National Book Award.
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