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Brian Jay Jones: "Jim Henson: The Biography"

Most people know Jim Henson as the man behind Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, and Ernie from "Sesame Street." But the creator of the Muppets was also a savvy businessman with a complicated personal life. Guest host Susan Page talks with biographer Brian Jay Jones and Henson's colleague, Dave Goelz, on Henson's life and legacy.


Book News: Sushmita Banerjee, Indian Author Who Fled Taliban, Shot Dead

Also: Rush Limbaugh is coming out with a childrens' book; T.C. Boyle on writing; Batwoman authors plan to quit the series.

What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' Of Your Cat's Behavior

Kitties don't play — they hunt. And their aloof appearance has evolutionary roots. In a new book, anthrozoologist John Bradshaw explains cats' mysterious nature and looks at how the cat's relationship with humans has changed over the years.

Lions, Leaders And Lingerie: 5 Great Reads From Syria

Do recent events have you wishing for more insight into Syria? critic Marcela Valdes — with some help from experts on the region — recommends five great reads. From the diaries of a threatened novelist to a study of Syrian lingerie, these books reveal new facets of a complex country.

Wild Things Hanging From Spruce Trees

There was a spruce tree in Stanley's garden, and when September rolled around, a family of garden snakes used it to sunbathe. They'd squiggle out on a branch, flop down and warm themselves in the sunshine — sometimes dangling in braided pairs. Stanley, envious, decided to join in ... and here's what happened next.

Book News: Did A Missing Testicle Make J.D. Salinger A Recluse?

Also: Ladbrokes breaks down the favorites to win the Nobel Prize; Edward Albee on character; poet Natasha Trethewey on meeting Seamus Heaney.

Tina Brown: Women Are Terrifyingly Vulnerable In Many Places

For our regular feature "Word of Mouth," Renee Montagne talks with Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and founder of the annual Women in the World summit. She has three must-reads on women whose lives were changed by kidnapping and captivity.

'Winter's Bone' Author Revisits A Tragedy In His Ozarks Hometown

For nearly a century, Daniel Woodrell's hometown of West Plains, Mo., has been haunted by a dance hall explosion that killed dozens of the town's young people in 1928. Woodrell explores the disaster — and his Ozarks roots — in his new novel The Maid's Version.

From McDermott, An Extraordinary Story Of An Ordinary 'Someone'

Alice McDermott's characters can often be described as average, and Marie, the heroine of her latest novel, is no exception. But critic Maureen Corrigan says the power of McDermott's writing is that she can make even Marie's run-of-the-mill life one for the record books.

Book News: Malala, Girl Shot By Taliban, Calls Books 'Weapons That Defeat Terrorism'

Also: Lemony Snicket on poetry and playground slides; tiny secret paintings on the sides of books; Lorin Stein on John Hollander.