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Early On, Comedian John Cleese Says, He Had Good Timing But Little Else

The co-founder of the Monty Python troupe admits he wasn't "naturally gifted" at physical comedy, and learned a lot by imitation. His new memoir, So, Anyway..., covers his boyhood and early career.
NPR

Book News: James Patterson Makes Good On $1M Promise To Indies

With a final $437,000 push, his plan to donate $1 million of his own money to support independent booksellers is complete. Also: Judy Blume is set to publish her first adult novel in 15 years.
NPR

Murakami's 'Library' Is Dark, Creamy And Grainy At The Same Time

Alan Cheuse reviews "The Strange Library" by Haruki Murakami.
NPR

Sometimes You Can't Pick Just 10: Maureen Corrigan's Favorite Books Of 2014

This year, Fresh Air's book critic rejects the tyranny of the decimal system and picks 12 titles published in 2014 — all with characters, scenes and voices that linger long past the last page.
NPR

'El Deafo': How A Girl Turned Her Disability Into A Superpower

Navigating elementary school is already hard enough — try adding in a bulky metal hearing aid. Cece Bell's new young adult graphic memoir captures the experience in a poignant and humorous way.
NPR

This Weekend, Pick Up The Pieces With 'Gabi'

In our Weekend Reads series, NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Meg Medina about Isabel Quintero's novel, Gabi, a Girl in Pieces. It's the story of a Mexican-American teenager struggling with her identity.
NPR

The Ethics Of Torture, Explored In A Painful Fable

This week, the Senate released a report that details the interrogation techniques used by the CIA after Sept. 11. Author Laila Lalami grapples with the questions it raises by turning to literature.
NPR

Book Review: 'The Convert's Song' By Sebastian Rotella

Alan Cheuse reviews "The Convert's Song" by Sebastian Rotella.
NPR

When Big Brother Is An Evil, Jewelry-Obsessed Necromancer

Lord of the Rings fans wanted to build a giant Eye of Sauron atop a skyscraper in Moscow, a place that already can make you feel you're being watched. The Orthodox church had officials scrap the plan.
NPR

Memories Of An Ironworker On The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the New York landmark, we hear from Bob Walsh, a builder who worked on the structure, and writer Gay Talese, who chronicled its construction.

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