When you're out with friends, put your cell phone away, advises New York Times advice columnist Philip Galanes. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Denzel Washington stars in Flight, the latest film from writer-producer-director Robert Zemeckis. Robert Zuckerman/Paramount Pictures hide caption

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Colm Toibin's new novel, The Testament of Mary, imagines the life of the mother of Christ in her later years. Steve Heap/iStockphoto hide caption

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After a week of recent fighting between Israel and Hamas, an Israeli soldier stands on top of a mobile artillery unit in a position near the Israel Gaza border. Ariel Schalit/Getty Images hide caption

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Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall won both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, won this year's Man Booker Prize. Francesco Guidicini/ hide caption

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Michael Feinstein (right) worked for six years as Ira Gershwin's cataloger and archivist. Simon & Schuster hide caption

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Lyle Talbot began his career as an itinerant carnival and vaudeville performer before eventually making his way to Hollywood. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan) looks back on the adventure he went on as a teenager in Life of Pi. Peter Sorel/Twentieth Century Fox hide caption

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Tony Kushner based his screenplay for Lincoln in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of the president, Team of Rivals — but he read many other histories and biographies, in addition to Lincoln's own writings. DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox hide caption

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