October 13, 2012 NPR's longest-serving reference librarian, Kee Malesky, is the author of a new book, Learn Something New Every Day: 365 Facts to Fulfill Your Life. Malesky offers facts for each day of the year, from the landing on the moon to the invention of sliced bread.
October 12, 2012 Publicist-turned-filmmaker Ava DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere follows an inmate's wife's struggle to start over. It's part of a larger, indie film movement that aims to expand the audience for black cinema by telling stories that are "emotionally resonant [to] all."
October 12, 2012 The Backseat Book Club returns from summer vacation with Anna Sewell's classic novel, Black Beauty. NPR's Michele Norris will talk with writer Jane Smiley who, in addition to winning a Pulitzer prize for adult literature, has written kids books starring horses.
October 12, 2012 Ben Affleck's Argo, which is based on the declassified story of the CIA's mission to save six American diplomats trapped in Iran in 1979, is gripping, compelling and, at times, hilarious. But, as critic David Edelstein explains, the best parts of the "true" story are the parts that aren't true at all.
October 12, 2012 In Jo Nesbo's Phantom, Harry Hole investigates Oslo's most virulent street drug. It debuts at No. 6.
October 11, 2012 Eric Lartigau's French psychological drama follows an aspiring photographer who assumes another man's identity. While the plot may lend itself to the tropes of a thriller, critic Mark Jenkins says it is more focused on the quiet, internal mechanisms of the protagonist's mind.
October 11, 2012 Martin McDonagh's first film since In Bruges is a whimsically brutal comic thriller with — to name just three — an Amish throat-slasher, a dynamite-packing Buddhist and a serial killer who's fond of white bunny rabbits.
October 11, 2012 Simon and the Oaks is a Swedish drama with the Holocaust lurking in the background. Christophe Barratier's family film War of the Buttons plays out in Vichy France. Critic Ella Taylor considers two stories that acknowledge Nazi complicity but don't quite come to terms with it.
October 11, 2012 Documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee tries to bridge a gap between himself and his son by revisiting their past relationship — along with his own life as a young photographer in France. Critic Ian Buckwalter says the filmmaker's intimate work is often "the stuff of quiet revelation."
October 11, 2012 Despite its gifted cast, which includes Bridesmaids favorite Chris O'Dowd and Party Down star Lizzy Caplan, 3, 2, 1 ... Frankie Go Boom is anything but dynamic. Critic Joel Arnold says the nasty tone of the script saps its comedic potential.
October 11, 2012 James Ponsoldt's drama depicts the subtleties of a young alcoholic's struggle to regain control of her life. Critic Scott Tobias says Mary Elizabeth Winstead's performance shows that the path to recovery can be almost as painful as alcoholism itself.
October 11, 2012 Ben Affleck's new film chronicles the CIA's rescue of six U.S. Embassy workers held hostage during the 1979 Iranian revolution. Critic Bob Mondello says the fine balance struck between Argo's snappy script and heart-stopping thrills makes the film worthy of Oscar buzz. (Recommended)