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Booksellers' Picks: Catch The Year's Freshest Reads

Susan Stamberg gathers recommendations for the season's best books from independent booksellers Lucia Silva, Rona Brinlee and Daniel Goldin. This winter, their top picks range in subject from toasters to typeface, odd bookmarks to old Volkswagens, department stores to pasta design.
NPR

A Livin' Thing: After Decades, A Couple Reconnects

Jim and MaryAnn Fletcher met when they were just children, in the first grade. Later they became high school sweethearts. But then they split up — until they found each other again, more than 20 years later.
NPR

'Occupy': Geoff Nunberg's 2011 Word Of The Year

Fresh Air's resident linguist explains how the magic of metonymy gave "occupy" its symbolism — and how the word implies a culture that made a bunch of protests feel like a movement.
NPR

Disappointing 'Redneck' TV Shortchanges The American South

Commentator Eric Deggans looks at a depressing trend in television that presents the American South through a single, durable stereotype: the so-called "redneck."
NPR

For Some Marching Bands, Hazing Means Brutality

A story about violent hazing in the marching bands at historically black colleges and universities — HBCUs — detailed a problem, but no changes were made. So extreme has been the band torture at some schools that victims have had to be hospitalized.
NPR

Pepper-Spraying The Holidays: Time And The Ethic Of Consumption

As we head into the holiday season this might be a good moment to reflect on the roots of our collective consumer delusion.
NPR

The Magic Of Music And A Little Room To Groove

Be it barefoot in the living room or in ballet shoes at Lincoln Center, there's nothing like the human impulse to dance. Author Alan Heathcock reflects on the timeless joys of sharing a dance floor with the ones you love.
NPR

Victorian Humor At Its Silliest, Cheesiest Best

Can the mishaps of three seriously misguided Victorian gentlemen still provoke laughter? More than 120 years after its first edition, author Julia Stuart says Jerome K. Jerome's classic caper, Three Men in a Boat, is still a delightful read.

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