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'Shadow': New Light On Islamic History

Islam is conventionally thought to have arisen in the Arabian desert, free from any outside influences. But a new book by historian Tom Hollander provides some surprising historical context — and an origin story quite different from the one most people know.
NPR

'Dinner': A Ritual Of Love

Host Rachel Martin talks with Jenny Rosenstrach about her book, Dinner: A Love Story, based on her popular blog of the same name. It's a cookbook and memoir that covers all the stages of a family's life as experienced through meals.
NPR

Look Up, Stargazers: June 5 Is The Transit Of Venus

The rare daytime astronomical event, in which Venus can be seen as a tiny black dot crossing the sun, won't happen again until 2117. Andrea Wulf, author of Chasing Venus, explains how 18th-century astronomers used the event to calculate the distance between the Earth and the sun.
NPR

One Man's Case For Regulating Hate Speech

In his new book, Jeremy Waldron writes that the U.S. is the only liberal democracy in the world that doesn't restrict hate speech — and that needs to change. He says, "I don't believe it's the role of law to protect people from being offended," but protecting human dignity is another matter.
NPR

'Life Behind The Lobby' Of Indian-American Motels

Chances are, if you've stayed in motels in the past decade, you've stayed in at least one owned by an Indian-American. It turns out more than half of all motels in the U.S. are Indian-American-owned. And even more remarkable, the vast majority of those owners are from one western state in India.
NPR

Why Do Humans Crave Crispy Food?

John S. Allen, a research scientist at the University of Southern California, explores our draw to crispy foods in a new book called The Omnivorous Mind: Our Evolving Relationship With Food. He speaks to host Guy Raz.

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