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Whitney Houston performs in 1988.
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December 31, 2012 NPR Music remembers the singers, instrumentalists, songwriters and personalities who died in 2012. Explore their musical legacies.
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Charity workers dressed as Santa Claus wave to pedestrians in New York. Professional Santas say it's not an easy job, and it's not just as simple as putting on a beard.
December 22, 2012 If you have a few too many pounds around the belly, too few coins in the purse and access to a Santa suit this Christmas season, you might be thinking you could make a few extra bucks posing as Old St. Nick. Well, some professional Santas warn, it's not that easy.
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December 20, 2012 It was a strange and wonderful year for young adult fiction, says critic Maggie Stiefvater. This list rounds up five magical books for young adults and grown-ups alike.
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December 26, 2012 Want a little more kick to your cocktail? Rina Rapuano explains how to infuse your liquor with citrus, spices and more. She shares recipes from some serious spirit-makers — for Mandarin Tea Vodka, Pecan-Infused Rye and Pineapple-Habanero Tequila.
December 22, 2012 The albums that sum up our year span genres and borders. From Astro to Wadada Leo Smith, Fiona Apple to Frank Ocean, here are 50 albums that made 2012 great.
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Stasia Irons of THEESatisfaction performs at KEXP's All Songs Considered party at The Vera Project on August 20, 2012.
December 19, 2012 It's hard to keep track of new artists these days. So we asked our colleagues around the country to recommend recent discoveries from their communities. Download 10 songs that helped put these musicians on the map in 2012.
Dixon has gathered her Nativity collection from many sources around the world. She says this set is made of banana fronds and was given to her by a friend who was a missionary in Nigeria.
December 19, 2012 Margo Dixon has a longtime passion for Nativity scenes and has accumulated 1,450 sets over the years. When she retired two years ago, Dixon moved to Bethlehem, Pa., with hopes of opening a Nativity museum.
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December 19, 2012 Dealing with varied dietary restrictions may seem daunting and can add yet another complication to this glorious yet hectic season. Don't fret. Keep it simple, fresh and real with these gluten-free and vegetarian — and even some vegan — options.
December 13, 2012 2012 was a very jittery year — what with the presidential election, extreme weather events and the looming "fiscal cliff." Fresh Air critic Maureen Corrigan found that her favorite fiction and nonfiction this year directly confronted the atmospheric uncertainty of the age.
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December 13, 2012 Susan Stamberg presents the year's best books, picked by independent booksellers around the country. Selections range from gritty, free-verse fairy tales to ballerina photographs and a grim Southern story about a small town that would rather its ghosts remain at rest.
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Britain's Alt-J was this year's Mercury Prize winner, for the band's debut album An Awesome Wave. The group is also Bob Boilen's pick for Album Of The Year.
Courtesy of the artist
December 12, 2012 The host of All Songs Considered shares the 10 albums and 30 songs he most loved this year. His picks point to a new and exciting direction for music — more complex songwriting with remarkable sonic shifts and songs within songs.
December 12, 2012 Some of these novels will touch your heart; others will challenge your mind. One will make you laugh — a few might make you cry. But all of these books recommended by NPR's Lynn Neary will give you and your friends plenty to talk about.
December 12, 2012 Spiced cookies shaped like windmills or villagers mark celebrations of St. Nicholas (or Sinterklaas) — and remind food writer Emily Hilliard of childhood visits with her grandmother. These speculaas even spawned a "cookie butter" that makes a festive base for a decadent pie.
December 7, 2012 This year's installment of Hanukkah Lights showcases some of the program's most insightful moments. Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz read stories about a mother reconnecting with her daughter, a schoolboy standing up for his heritage and teenagers trying to bridge a bitter family divide.
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December 5, 2012 From post-apocalyptic character studies to speculative paleontology, reviewer Annalee Newitz says this year's best science fiction stretches boundaries and crosses genres. She also sees a strong resurgence in political themes, with a focus on civilizations on the brink of transformation or collapse.
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November 29, 2012 Critic Alan Cheuse maps out a winter wonderland of fiction and poetry — from ancient Greece to the near-future visions of Walter Mosley, a selection of the best books to give and receive this holiday season. Cheuse says these five books strike the perfect balance between lyricism and narrative.
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November 28, 2012 Think outside the bag of white flour that's ubiquitous in the kitchen this time of year. These delights are naturally flour-free yet still utterly delicious.
Clockwise from upper left: Acid Pauli, Kendrick Lamar, Samuel Yirga, Kelan Philip Cohran, Waxahatchee, Pallbearer, Matthew Dear
Courtesy of the artists
November 27, 2012 We can only scratch the surface of all the great music out there in a given year. On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton try to make up for lost ground with a look at some of the great records they missed, with some help from their colleagues.
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November 27, 2012 The only thing that these books have in common is that NPR's go-to librarian likes them a lot. Nancy Pearl's self-described "higgledy-piggledy" list includes a book of cartoons, a Civil War history, a coming-of-age story, a spy novel and more.
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