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Arts & Life

Women Astronomers Shine In 'The Glass Universe'

NPR | Dec. 04, 2016

Dava Sobel's new book is a history of the unheralded women — called computers, rather than astronomers — who worked at the Harvard College Observatory, studying, cataloging and classifying stars.

On This 'Tree Of Treasures' There's No Such Thing As An Ordinary Ornament

NPR | Dec. 03, 2016

Bonnie Mackay has written an unusual sort of memoir: Tree of Treasures is the story of her life, told through Christmas tree ornaments. She has nearly 3,000 of them, divided into 67 classifications.

Not My Job: 'Good Wife' Star Alan Cumming Gets Quizzed On Bad Wives

NPR | Dec. 03, 2016

This week, we invited Alan Cumming, actor, singer, author, director and proud son of Scotland, to play our quiz. He's now on tour performing songs from his new album, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs.

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When Private Grief Meets Public Duty: The Intimate, Hypnotic 'Jackie'

NPR | Dec. 3, 2016 7:50 a.m.

Director Pablo Larraín narrows the focus of his Jackie Kennedy biopic to a handful of days around the JFK assassination, and keeps his camera trained on Natalie Portman's expressive face.

Arts | Entertainment


NPR | Dec. 2, 2016 10:24 a.m.

Guess classic novels like Moby Dick from their actual one-star Amazon reviews. Then, see if you can tell the difference between a Choose Your Own Adventure book and a Weekly World News headline.

Arts | Entertainment

Chapter One

NPR | Dec. 2, 2016 10:24 a.m.

Nonfiction books get the blockbuster movie trailer treatment. Then, find the perfect reading snack with a mash-up game featuring book titles reimagined as foods.

Arts | Entertainment


NPR | Dec. 2, 2016 10:24 a.m.

Lauren Weedman talks about her memoir, which peeks inside her failing marriage and desire for human connection. Then, in the final round, answers are one of Modern Library's top 100 English novels.

Arts | Books

Quran Exhibition Shines A Light On The Holy Books' Dedicated Artists

NPR | Dec. 2, 2016 7:16 a.m.

The Smithsonian show isn't about the words of the Quran so much as the people who laboriously copied it, letter by letter. When they made a mistake, they fixed it with flourish — and sometimes gold.

Arts | Entertainment

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Gilmore Girls' And 'Moana'

NPR | Dec. 2, 2016 7:08 a.m.

On this week's show, we return to Stars Hollow and travel to Disney's latest gorgeous world with Daisy Rosario and super-librarian Margaret H. Willison.


Through 'The Eyes of My Mother' We See A Young Woman Grow Into A Vicious Killer

NPR | Dec. 1, 2016 2 p.m.

This elegant but unsettling horror film implicates the audience by placing us inside the head of the monster at its center, forcing us to see things in ourselves we don't wish to.


In The Dark Crime Thriller 'Old Stone,' A Taxi Driver Turns Amateur Detective

NPR | Dec. 1, 2016 2 p.m.

Writer-director Johnny Ma's mordant tale of a taxi driver forced to cover the health costs of a man he ran over "shifts from docudrama to "black-hearted thriller," says critic Mark Jenkins.


A Parisian Woman's Tightly Woven Sense Of Self Begins To Unravel In 'Things To Come'

NPR | Dec. 1, 2016 2 p.m.

In this rigorously observed French drama, Isabelle Huppert delivers a searing performance. "In Huppert," says critic Ella Taylor, "deadpan meets tumult wreaking havoc within."

Arts | Entertainment | Books

Ginger Rogers And The Case Of The Authorized Editions

NPR | Dec. 1, 2016 8:12 a.m.

Before modern fan fiction, there were the Whitman Authorized Editions — a series of mystery novels from the 1940s and 50s that "starred" real movie stars, like Ginger Rogers and Gene Tierney.

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