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Diablo Cody Explores The Ugly Side Of Pretty In 'Young Adult'

Writer Diablo Cody, who won an Oscar for Juno, is back with Young Adult, a dark comedy about a woman who can't let go of her high school self.
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Iowa Gov. Branstad On GOP White House Contest: 'It's A Wide Open Race'

Iowa's popular Gov. Terry Branstad hasn't endorsed any of the Republican presidential candidates crisscrossing his state yet. Still, Branstad will eventually be endorsing someone after the Jan. 3 caucuses. As he told All Things Considered co-host Melissa Block Thursday: "I want to work to help unite the party behind the winner of the nomination process."
NPR

Not So Fast Newt: Gingrich As Polling Phenomenon

We do know that it's a lot easier to tell a pollster you're for somebody than it is to vote for that somebody. The former is theory, the latter is fact. People know when they are going to vote and they get ready. No one knows when or even whether they're going to be polled.
NPR

Year-End Wrap-Up: The 10 Best Novels Of 2011

2011 was a terrific year for fiction — both from first-time novelists and much-decorated veterans. Maureen Corrigan's recommendations range from Karen Russell's dazzling debut, to David Foster Wallace's posthumously published novel, to what may be the Sept. 11 novel.
NPR

Look, Ma, I'm In The End Zone!

Frank Deford asks, is it time to seek a restraining order against football's end zone follies? The seemingly endless victory celebrations now seem to follow just about any big play.
NPR

Fakin' It: Three Books On Masquerading Identities

Impostors can be scheming, even villainous, but their stories tempt us with an attractive possibility — the chance to wear a mask. Writer David Anthony suggests three tales about nefarious characters that let us indulge in our fascination with the art of manipulating outward appearances.
NPR

High-Tech Cars Smother Their Drivers

Commentator Andrei Codrescu adds his own predictive hyperbole to promises of a car he heard advertised. He says the new features that do everything for you will smother us with ease — and reduce us to actual cars.
NPR

An Ancient Tale Of War, An Ode To Epic Mythology

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.

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