February 13, 2013 After the teary acceptance speeches, the most quotable moments from any Oscars telecast are the jokes. Comedy writer Dave Boone, a regular joke writer for Hollywood's biggest night, offers his tips on how to make 'em laugh in Movieland and beyond.
February 13, 2013 Pope Benedict XVI's resignation speech, given in Latin, has thrust the dead language into the spotlight. Writer Annalisa Quinn says that although not many people outside of the Vatican actively speak it, Latin is still very much a part of our lives.
February 13, 2013 Sen. Marco Rubio had a tough moment Tuesday night when dry mouth intruded on his response to the State of the Union. But in all honesty, the unplanned nature of any little mistake has a certain appeal.
February 13, 2013 In a new book, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography, religious scholar and author John J. Collins tells the history of the scrolls and the controversies they have prompted, and explores the questions they ask and answer about Judeo-Christian history.
February 13, 2013 Charlie LeDuff's hard-boiled memoir, Detroit: An American Autopsy, gives readers a rough image of the decaying Rust Belt metropolis. But far from being belly up, the city is finally on the rise, as a recent transplant from Detroit explains.
February 13, 2013 Also: An award for the year's most cutting book review; how it feels to hold Sylvia Plath's hair; and Donna Tartt's new book will be out this fall.
February 13, 2013 The confounding title of the self-referential novel Percival Everett by Virgil Russell signals its method, which seeks to erase lines between author and subject, reality and fiction. For Alan Cheuse, Percival Everett's (or is that Percival Everett's?) postmodern mind games spoil what might have been a fine novel.
February 13, 2013 It isn't just the fairy tale stuff of Goldilocks, or the pauper gruel of Oliver Twist. Really, porridge can be a beautiful (sweet or savory) thing, especially during the cold slog of winter.
February 12, 2013 Director and producer David France documents the struggle of HIV/AIDS activists as they fought for better care and access to new medicines in the early days of the epidemic. "There are today, 8 million people alive on those drugs that were spearheaded in this remarkable meeting of minds and hearts," France says.
February 12, 2013 A recent emergency announcement of a zombie attack turned out to be a hoax. But how would you identify the real thing? Thank goodness we have some ideas.
February 12, 2013 In a new memoir, James Lasdun describes how a former-student-turned-friend stalked and slandered him online. Give Me Everything You Have is a meditation on what it means to control your reputation on the Internet — and the book is Lasdun's attempt to fight back.
February 12, 2013 Swamplandia! author Karen Russell has a new story collection, Vampires in the Lemon Grove. Reviewer Michael Schaub says Russell puts the lie to the popular misconception that literary fiction must be boring and realistic, and fans of George Saunders will be right at home in these stories.
February 12, 2013 Domenica Ruta's new memoir chronicles her youth in a working-class Massachusetts town, the daughter of a wildly flamboyant mother, an addict and sometime dealer who thought nothing of bashing in the windshield of a woman who'd broken her brother's heart.