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Why Confounding Coincidences Happen Every Day

David Hand, an emeritus professor of mathematics at Imperial College in London, believes that miracles and rare events actually aren't so uncommon. Hand speaks with NPR's Rachel Martin about his new book, The Improbability Principle.
NPR

In 'Poetry,' The Story Of An African-American Military Family

Many of Marilyn Nelson's most famous poetry collections are for children. Her latest work, How I Discovered Poetry, is a memoir about her own childhood, which was spent traveling around the country in the 1950s as the daughter of an Air Force pilot.
NPR

Lessons On Addiction And Escaping The 'Death Grip From Satan'

In order to understand and to mourn the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon recommends reading The Night of the Gun by David Carr.
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Memento Of A Lost Childhood: Anne Frank's Marbles

Before her family went into hiding, Anne Frank gave away some of her toys to her neighbor, Toosje Kupers. The gift included a set of marbles, now on display at at an art gallery in Rotterdam. NPR's Scott Simon takes a moment to note the childhood gift.
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In The Wake Of Tragedy, The Possibility of Understanding

Emily Bazelon recommends a memoir about facing the danger and squalor of addiction and eventually overcoming it, while Abigail Deutsche ponders the love story at the heart of Edward St. Aubyn's novel Bad News: The one between a man and his drugs.
NPR

Love, Faith And Football In An 'Uncommon Marriage'

Tony Dungy was the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl. But he places football after matters of faith and family. Dungy and his wife Lauren tell host Michel Martin about their new book, Uncommon Marriage: Learning About Lasting Love and Overcoming Life's Obstacles Together.
NPR

Perfume's Scents Of Subversion? Sweat, Musk And Patchouli

In Scent And Subversion, Barbara Herman explains how, at the turn of the 20th century, most perfumes were still just one note, floral. Then along came a fragrance that changed everything. "With Chanel No. 5," Herman says, "Coco Chanel said, 'A woman needs to smell like a woman, and not a rose.'"
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Book Review: 'Trieste,' by Dasa Drndic

Alan Cheuse reviews Trieste, a novel by Croatian writer Dasa Drndic.
NPR

Sensory Fiction: Books That Let You Feel What The Characters Do

Apparently, just imagining what's happening on the written page isn't enough. A new wearable device uses temperature controls and lighting to mimic the experiences of a story's protagonist.
NPR

'Possessed By Genius': A Centennial Tribute To William S. Burroughs

The Beat Generation icon was a magnet for artists, musicians and wannabe hipsters. In a 1985 interview, the author credited his most groundbreaking work to the fallout from his wife's accidental death at his own hands, saying, "It was an event that ... made me into a writer." Burroughs died in 1997.

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