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December 15, 2011 Science fiction and fantasy books aren't just getting more popular, they're interbreeding with other genres to produce wild new hybrid forms — swapping DNA with literary novels, commenting on current events, morphing into historical science fiction romances, and evolving into hard-boiled detective fantasy.
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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
December 23, 2011 NPR Music remembers the singers, instrumentalists, songwriters and producers who died in 2011. Explore the musical legacies they leave behind.
December 13, 2011 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.
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December 30, 2011 Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon, from Deceptive Cadence.
December 30, 2011 We're making our lists of the year's best reads. Find recommendations for mysteries, cookbooks, science fiction, teen lit, biographies and more.
December 23, 2011 Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon, from Deceptive Cadence.
Does this ring a bell? Match the composers with their compositions that include sleigh bells.
December 22, 2011 How well do you know your bells? Match the jingling music with the composer who wrote it.
December 22, 2011 Susan Jane Gilman recommends behind-the-scenes reads about the rich and famous — by a rock star, a hotel concierge, a stuntman and a Brat Packer, all offering backstage passes to their glamorous lives. Entertaining and star-studded, they make for perfect holiday escapism — with a cocktail (or two) in hand.
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The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.
Rhonda R. Dorsett
December 19, 2011 Every winter for more than a quarter-century, saxophonist Paul Winter has celebrated the longest night of the year with a Winter Solstice Celebration. NPR has presented the event for 22 years running, held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Upper Manhattan.
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Organist Cameron Carpenter: not your typical holiday celebrant.
Michael Hart/courtesy of the artist
December 19, 2011 From a postmodern take on caroling to a gloriously loopy 'Sleigh Ride,' videos that sing out with classical holiday cheer.
L-R: Alfredo Rodriguez, Eddie Palmieri, Barry Harris, Jason Moran.
Margot Schulman/Kennedy Center
December 16, 2011 Once a year, NPR Music celebrates the holidays with some of the most celebrated pianists in jazz. This year, the Kennedy Center welcomed Eddie Palmieri, Barry Harris, Alfredo Rodriguez and Jason Moran.
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The Head and the Heart.
December 16, 2011 The Head and the Heart is one of many new folk groups that bend tradition while keeping it alive.
December 16, 2011 Box-set fan Glenn McDonald explains how DVD sets can be the perfect gift for so many different people on your list that you might knock it all out during your next shopping trip — virtual or actual.
December 16, 2011 These five outstanding novels take us to unfamiliar eras and exotic locales — ancient Israel, Elizabethan England, 1920s Paris — while confirming our common humanity.
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December 15, 2011 This annual holiday favorite enters its third decade with a new collection of specially commissioned works inspired by the Festival of Lights. Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz read stories about a schoolboy's crisis of confidence, a young woman's unexpected tragedy, and a moment of light for exhausted Marines.
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Pickwick were among KEXP's must-hear discoveries of 2011.
Jim Bennett for KEXP
December 12, 2011 It was hard to keep up with all the great music this year. Catch up with these under-the-radar acts.
December 9, 2011 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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December 8, 2011 Since starting NPR's Backseat Book Club, Michele Norris has been swimming in "kid lit." The five stories on her year-end list will seep into your heart and leave you thinking about the characters long after you've turned the final pages.
December 5, 2011 A dozen items — including recordings, books, toys and even wine — to delight classical music lovers.
December 5, 2011 Our list spans more than a dozen genres and includes artists well-known and brand-new, but every one opened our ears to something new. These are the albums that made us hand our headphones over a cubicle wall and say, "You have to listen to this."
November 29, 2011 Critic Alan Cheuse likes his books thoughtfully plotted — and 2011 has made him a happy reader. A tiger haunts, a teen flees, ballplayers dream and vampires reign in beautifully conceived stories from new and distinguished authors.
A cute bear with a colorful past and depressing future.
Met Opera Shop
November 28, 2011 From the random to the simply bizarre, a half-dozen holiday gifts meant for music lovers that prompt us to say, "Oh, you shouldn't have. Really."
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