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by David Bianculli
Kids can be magical and maddening. The title of Jennifer Senior's book — All Joy and No Fun — contrasts the strains of day-to-day parenting with the transcendent experience of raising a child.
Franklin was a talk-show host for more than 40 years. Guests ranged from Elvis Presley, Woody Allen and Barbra Streisand. He died Jan. 24 at 88 years old. In 1988, Franklin talked with Terry Gross.
Mehdi A.G. Mohamed (left) plays Issan, the orphaned boy who lives with a family outside Timbuktu. The family decides not to leave when radical Islamists come to impose Sharia, or Islamic law.
Courtesy of Cohen Media Group
The movie, one of five Academy Award nominees for best foreign language film this year, is about radical Islamists occupying the city in Mali. Remarkably, it's often on the verge of being a comedy.
The anthology includes ancient and contemporary interpretations of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Daoism. Editor Jack Miles discusses primary texts, extremism and death.
Rachel Cusk's novel centers on a writer and mother recovering from divorce who teaches a summer course in Athens, Greece. The narrator has 10 conversations filled with holes, lies and self-deceptions.
Research into how the human brain develops helps explain why teens have trouble controlling impulses.
Leigh Wells/Ikon Images/Corbis
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.
Bradley Cooper (right) plays Chris Kyle in American Sniper. The film has become a cultural phenomenon and has spawned knee-jerk squabbling.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
The film about a Navy SEAL whose service in Iraq made him a mythic figure has become a cultural lightning rod. But the squabbles are too simple for a low-key movie striking in its lack of stridency.
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