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Fired Up: The Year's Best Science Fiction, Fantasy

Science fiction and fantasy books aren't just getting more popular, they're interbreeding with other genres to produce wild new hybrid forms — swapping DNA with literary novels, commenting on current events, morphing into historical science fiction romances, and evolving into hard-boiled detective fantasy.
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Bittersweet Anticipation: Expecting The Expected

Some spend all year waiting for the holidays. But is excitement overrated? Author Ben Dolnick describes the emotional ups and downs of impatience.
NPR

Week In Politics: Tax Break Extension

Robert Siegel speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks, of the New York Times. They discuss the two-month extension for a tax break and unemployment benefits signed into law.
NPR

When Ambrosia Salad Spells Dread

Ambrosia salad — the festive dish of green Jell-O, cherries and Cool Whip — was a regular feature on Caitlin Shetterly's husband's family Christmas table. He recently admitted he always thought it was the "grossest looking and tasting thing ever." So of course Shetterly had to check it out.
NPR

A Bowlful Of Memories About A Mama Named Sugar

With fondness and a Southern twang, Penelope Simmons remembers her mother, who was not one to hover. Your foot "could be hanging by a piece of skin," she says, "and Sug would go, 'Oh, baby, go get a Band-Aid. You'll be all right.' "
NPR

Get Into The Holiday Spirit With Scandinavian Glogg

In snowy Norway, nothing evokes Christmastime like a pot of glogg brewing on the stove. The traditional Scandinavian winter drink mixes wine, spirits and spices like clove, cardamom and cinnamon to make for a brew that smells divine and tastes even better.
NPR

Indulge Yourself: 2011's Best Celebrity Tell-Alls

Susan Jane Gilman recommends behind-the-scenes reads about the rich and famous — by a rock star, a hotel concierge, a stuntman and a Brat Packer, all offering backstage passes to their glamorous lives. Entertaining and star-studded, they make for perfect holiday escapism — with a cocktail (or two) in hand.
NPR

Appreciating The Ugliness Of The Christmas Tree

It may not look like a catalog Christmas, but family traditions are what make the holidays special. Commentator Ken Harbaugh explains why he loves decorating with his family — oddball ornaments and all.
NPR

5 Things You May Not Know About Jon Huntsman

The presidential candidate has been an ambassador, a governor and a business executive. But he also had an unusual academic career for a presidential candidate. And some of his former endeavors might surprise you.

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