October 27, 2013 Women and Children First has weathered more than three decades of competition from chain stores and online booksellers to become one of the largest feminist bookstores in the U.S. Now, the Chicago store is among the few of its kind left standing — and it's on the hunt for new ownership.
October 27, 2013 Leading Oscar contenders are under fire as award season approaches. Journalist Scott Feinberg recently wrote in The Hollywood Reporter about the trash-talking that spreads before the Oscars to take down perceived front-runners. He talks to NPR's Arun Rath about a campaign against Captain Phillips and why such efforts often backfire.
October 27, 2013 You may blame a love of Snickers for those too-tight jeans, but in the early 20th century, the accusations were more serious: Candy was blamed for moral and physical decay. In Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure, Samira Kawash traces our love-hate relationship with sweets.
October 27, 2013 The Leonard Bernstein Letters, edited by Nigel Simeone, compiles correspondence to and from the legendary composer and conductor. The letters — from serious to silly — offer a detailed look at both the distinguished career and the adventurous personal life of a singular American genius.
October 27, 2013 Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle and several mystery series, first read Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars in college. It's hardly a staid Latin history book — in fact, it's Brown's favorite guilty pleasure. An academic-looking cover hides a raunchy, violent, thrilling book, she says, full of "around-the-clock degradation."
October 27, 2013 The Lee family, long-known for selling insurance in New York's Chinatown, once helped produce, distribute and screen Chinese-language films — business ventures that descendants only recently discovered when putting together a new exhibit at the Museum of Chinese in America.
October 26, 2013 The 1970s were a tumultuous time in the city's history, but it was also a time of great change for the Latino community, then mostly Puerto Rican. Photojournalist-activist Bolivar Arellano made a point of documenting the "good." Those who have studied his work say he captured the nuance that outsiders often missed.
October 26, 2013 Wallace is known to generations of TV fans for distinctly different roles on The Bob Newhart Show, as Carol Kester, and as school-weary teacher Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons.
October 26, 2013 Andy Ricker spent years eating in roadside restaurants, noodle stands and home kitchens across Thailand before opening his first restaurant, Pok Pok, in Portland, Ore. But he avoids using words like "traditional" and "authentic" when talking about this food. He'd rather call it "accurate."
October 26, 2013 Author Simon Singh's new book teases out the mathematical references hidden in The Simpsons. Singh tells NPR's Scott Simon that the show's writing team includes several trained mathematicians — and that the logical bends and breaks of writing comedy can be very appealing to the mathematically minded.
October 26, 2013 We usually associate fish sauce with Southeast Asian cooking. But it turns out the briny condiment also has deep roots in Europe, dating back to the Roman Empire. What caused its decline? Historians say it boils down to taxes, and pirates.
October 26, 2013 J. Michael Lennon's mammoth new Norman Mailer: A Double Life draws on 25 years of access to its subject. Reviewer Alan Cheuse — himself a Mailer fan — says the biography is a "satisfying experience" that reads almost as if it came directly from the writer himself.