December 13, 2012 Congress isn't sitting around quietly while commercials get louder. It's actually illegal now for commercials to blast into your ears more loudly than programming. But why stop there? We've got suggested ordinances to reduce noise from construction, bagpipes, and snowblowers.
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.
December 13, 2012 On Friday, Sotheby's is putting up for auction 44 letters and 35 drawings Charles Schulz gave to a young woman he was courting. Schulz, 48, wrote Tracey Claudius, 25, poignant, funny, even innocent notes in pictures and words, often using Charlie Brown to stand in for himself.
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.
December 12, 2012 Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka was the first black African to win the Nobel Prize in literature, in 1986. He tells NPR's Michel Martin that the best part about it was the money. His latest work, Of Africa, is a study of the continent that has dominated his career.
December 12, 2012 The Spanish woman who grabbed headlines for what's purported to be the world's worst art restoration is at it again. This time, she's selling an original oil painting on eBay. So far, it's fetched bids of more than $800.
December 12, 2012 In a new book, biographer David Nasaw profiles the father of Robert, John and Teddy, and unpacks the elder Kennedy's influence on his children. "He told them over and over again, 'I'm making all this money so you don't have to make money, so that you can go into public service,' " Nasaw says.
December 12, 2012 Frank Sinatra's hometown is swiftly morphing into a commuter hub. What does that mean for the longstanding business owners? It's hard enough to survive the economy, let alone Hurricane Sandy.
December 12, 2012 Author Wendy Welch shares her favorite book about small-town life that defy stereotypes. What is your favorite work that takes a bite out of literary tradition? Tell us in the comments.
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 Oprah Winfrey says her Book Club grew out of a desire to talk to authors after finishing their books. While the original version of the club ended when Winfrey's television show went off the air in 2011, it has now been rebooted online and on the new Oprah Winfrey Network as Book Club 2.0.
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 11, 2012 Chris Sullivan's debut animated feature, Consuming Spirits, deploys multiple styles to convey a surreal, semi-autobiographical portrait of life in a small Appalachian town. Critic Ian Buckwalter praises the film's emotional rawness as a labor of love on the part of the filmmaker. (Recommended)
December 11, 2012 Our comics blogger examines the new 'Man of Steel' from a historical perspective and asks, Is Zack Snyder making Ma and Pa Kent ... interesting?