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Updated: 9 hours 27 min ago

Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains

11 hours 25 min ago

New research shows that teenagers' brains aren't fully insulated, so the signals travel slowly when they need to make decisions. Neuroscientist Frances Jensen, who wrote The Teenage Brain, explains.

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'How To Grow Up' Needs To Grow Up

18 hours 25 min ago

Poet, novelist, memoirist and queer icon Michelle Tea makes a rare misstep in How to Grow Up, an essay collection that reviewer Michael Schaub calls "a well-intentioned, exasperating mess of a book."

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After Father's Death, A Writer Learns How 'The Japanese Say Goodbye'

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 2:34pm

Lost in a deep depression, Marie Mutsuki Mockett visited a temple owned by her mother's family near Fukushima. There, she found traditions and ways of thought that helped her work through her grief.

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'Mr. Mac' Paints Flowers In A Darkening World

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 5:03am

Esther Freud's new novel Mr. Mac and Me traces an unlikely friendship between a lonely boy and a struggling artist. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says the book has both technical prowess and grace.

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'Ghettoside' Explores Why Murders Are Invisible In Los Angeles

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 11:14am

In her new book, journalist Jill Leovy studies the epidemic of unsolved murders in African-American neighborhoods and the relationships between police and victims' relatives, witnesses and suspects.

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These 13 'Almost Famous Women' Stirred Up Trouble, Or Trouble Found Them

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 11:14am

Megan Mayhew Bergman's stories about historical women are littered with bad-girl paraphernalia, like smashed-up motorcycles and morphine needles. In this collection, their lives are richly imagined.

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In 'Fatherland,' A Daughter Outlines Her Dad's Radicalization

Sun, 01/25/2015 - 3:12pm

Falling in love with your handsome pen pal, moving overseas to marry him, then finding out he's part of a terrorist organization: That's the Bunjevac family story, told in a new graphic memoir.

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In Winter, Keeping Warm With Beloved Books

Sun, 01/25/2015 - 5:03am

Critic Juan Vidal says winter is a time for turning inward and warding off the chill with your favorite books, the ones you return to over and over again when the days get shorter and snow closes in.

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For A Taste Of Grimdark, Visit The 'Land Fit For Heroes'

Sun, 01/25/2015 - 5:03am

Richard K. Morgan's epic sword-and-planet (and alien technology) Land Fit for Heroes series is a good introduction to grimdark, a subgenre that aims to show the gritty underside of fantasy fiction.

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In 'Dear Father,' A Poet Disrupts The 'Cycle Of Pain'

Sun, 01/25/2015 - 4:29am

J. Ivy says his father grew up in pain and passed that pain on to the next generation. In his new book, he says that forgiveness is an ongoing act — and you must constantly remember to forgive again.

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'Driving The King' A Story Long In The Works

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 3:02pm

Driving The King is a fictionalized account of the adventures of Nat King Cole and his bodyguard driver. Author Ravi Howard says the idea was planted long ago.

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Huckabee Serves Up 'God, Guns' And A Dose Of Controversy

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 3:02pm

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee sees America as divided into "Bubble-ville" and "Bubba-ville," a cultural split he describes in his new book, Gods, Guns, Grits, and Gravy.

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Why A Black Man's Murder Often Goes Unpunished In Los Angeles

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 6:42am

From witnesses to reluctant gang members, Jill Leovy says, "everybody's terrified." Her book, Ghettoside, uses the story of one murder to explore the city's low arrest rate when black men are killed.

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Two Outcasts Form An Artistic Bond In 'Mr. Mac And Me'

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 5:59am

Painter's daughter Esther Freud weaves her own experiences into the story of a lonely little boy in a British seacoast town, who befriends the great Art Nouveau designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

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Do You Have To Read 'Frog'? No, But You Might Want To

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 5:03am

Reviewer Jason Sheehan says Mo Yan's Frog is not without issues, but still offers a thoughtful tale of a dark era in modern Chinese history, touched with humor and occasional magic.

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When Pop Broke Up With Jazz

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 2:35pm

For the first half of the 20th century, Tin Pan Alley songwriters like Irving Berlin and the Gershwins dominated pop music. By the the 1950s, tastes had changed, and the music changed with them.

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NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of January 22, 2015

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 2:03pm

After obsessively observing a "perfect couple" every day on her commute, Rachel Watson sees something dark that forces her to get involved. Paula Hawkin's The Girl on the Train debuts at No. 2.

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In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid?

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:20am

Scientists think an asteroid killed the dinosaurs. In today's extinction, humans are the culprit. Originally broadcast Feb. 12, 2014.

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Debate: Is Amazon The Reader's Friend?

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 2:01pm

Two teams of editors and writers, including best-selling author Scott Turow, face off over Amazon's influence over the publishing industry, in the latest debate from Intelligence Squared U.S.

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Delicious Short Stories, Ripe On The Vine In 'Honeydew'

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 10:03am

Reviewer Alan Cheuse has rapturous praise for Edith Pearlman's new story collection: "The first thing I wanted to do after finishing was, well, I wanted to go right back and start from the beginning."

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