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 Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics including advising your child's career path, reasons why the U.S. Postal Service is still useful, and what happens when you gossip.
The mass protests in Russia have been compared to the Arab Spring, and some predict the mobilization can lead to lasting political change. Not likely, says Kathryn Stoner-Weiss from the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law.
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.
Most of the names announced for induction to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame this week are familiar. The name Laura Nyro, however, may need some explaining. Her songs outlasted their times, and today, a range of artists call her an inspiration.
The Senate has again rejected proposals to extend the payroll tax holiday through next year, with Republicans objecting to using a "millionaires surtax" to pay for it. NPR tried to find millionaires who also object — but with little success.
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.
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