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Dusting Off A Gritty, Glamorous California Classic

As it turns out, Raymond Chandler isn't the only writer who can channel the dark charisma of deceptively sunny California. Author Hector Tobar recommends John Fante's Ask the Dust, a novel that captures the grit and glamor of Los Angeles' past.
NPR

Dear NHL: Hit The Puck, Not The Players

Commentator Frank Deford suggests a New Year's resolution for the National Hockey League: No more fighting.
NPR

Graphic Content: 3 Comics Based On Real Crimes

Society has a fascination with crime — we can't seem to look away from the yellow police tape. Author Duane Swierczynski recommends three thrilling crime stories told in graphic-novel form.
NPR

Loose Moose Make Anchorage A Winter Wanderland

Moose encounters are a regular part of life in Alaska, where about 1,500 roam Anchorage in the winter. They cause traffic jams, destroy trees and shrubs, and get their antlers tangled in Christmas lights. For Alaskans, it's often a love-hate relationship.
NPR

How Much Is That Purple Heart In The Window?

The story of the Purple Heart in a pawnshop window reminds us that to truly help people, you don't have to look very far.
NPR

A Passion For The Past: 2011's Best Historical Fiction

These five outstanding novels take us to unfamiliar eras and exotic locales — ancient Israel, Elizabethan England, 1920s Paris — while confirming our common humanity.
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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.
NPR

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.

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