Homage to the Iliad lingers in literature even today, but most retellings do not live up to the grandeur of their ancient ancestor. Author Dawn Tripp recommends a rare find that does measure up — the haunting Homeric novel Ransom, by David Malouf.
NPR's go-to librarian would like you to meet some friends of hers — from six novels and one work of history. As you read, these artfully developed characters will become more and more real. Pearl says that when the stories ended, she was left longing for the people she'd met between the pages.
Here's a little Christmas secret: Dusting desserts with powdered sugar makes them look more expensive. Chef Nigella Lawson talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about her tricks for economical holiday hosting.
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