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Fangs And Fishnets For The Win: 'Goth Barbie' Is Monstrously Successful

Barbie sales have slumped. But Monster High is doing great. That's another line of dolls from Mattel — imagine even skinnier Barbies that look like they've been designed by Tim Burton. And the Monster High dolls have been a success, spawning hordes of ghoulish imitators.
NPR

Naked Or Nude? Wesselmann's Models Are A Little Bit Of Both

Female bodies sprawl across canvases in a retrospective of work by pop artist Tom Wesselmann, now on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. If the images make you blush, that's just part of a long artistic tradition.
NPR

A Dark Family Secret Hidden For Years In Alaska's 'Wilderness'

When the Pilgrim family first arrived in Alaska, they looked to be from another century. They didn't use calendar months, they called their father "Lord," and they knew how to live in the wild. But, as Tom Kizzia writes in Pilgrim's Wilderness, that rugged facade helped conceal a history of abuse.
NPR

A Bedding Innovation For People Who Hate Making Their Beds

In this installment of our Weekly Innovation series, a bedding set that promises to solve the problem of having to realign or untangle bunched up sheets in the morning. The designers of Smart Bedding say it's a daily timesaver.
NPR

Local Sake: America's Craft Brewers Look East For Inspiration

Many Americans have encountered sake as that hot, cloudy beverage served in sushi bars. But now, the good stuff is coming. High-end imports from Japan are up, and many bars now focus on sake. Best of all, perhaps, are the microbreweries popping up across the country.
NPR

Aparecium! J.K. Rowling Revealed As 'Cuckoo' Mystery Author

The Cuckoo's Calling, a debut mystery supposedly by a former British military man, was in fact written by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, working under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The novel received positive reviews when it came out earlier this year.
NPR

How Scholastic Sells Literacy To Generations Of New Readers

Scholastic began as a four-page magazine for high schoolers in 1920. Today, the publisher of Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Magic School Bus, Harry Potter and The Hunger Game, has grown into a $2 billion business, and one of the biggest children's book publishers in the world.
NPR

The Secret To Georgian Grilled Meats? Grapevines And Lots Of Wine

The Republic of Georgia is renowned for its cuisine, one of the highlights of which is shashlik, or grilled meat. The secret to seal in the juices, some say, is an ancient technique of grilling over burning grapevines to create intense, fragrant heat.
NPR

Motown, Vietnam, The Civil Rights Movement And One Iconic Song

Mark Kurlansky's Ready for a Brand New Beat chronicles the spectacular success of the 1964 Motown hit "Dancing in the Street." Reviewer Cord Jefferson says that while much of the book feels like filler, it sings when Kurlansky examines all the controversy one song created.
NPR

Christ In Context: 'Zealot' Explores The Life Of Jesus

Writer and scholar Reza Aslan converted to Christianity when he was a teenager, but found that as he grew older, he was far more interested in Jesus as a man than as a Messiah. His new book, Zealot, considers Jesus in the context of the time and place in which he lived.

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