December 4, 2012 It's holiday box-set season, and Fresh Air critic David Bianculli shares some favorites for the TV-lover on your list. "Giving someone a gift of a TV show," he says, "is somehow very personal. You're giving something that you love, and that, in many cases, will occupy many hours ... of their time."
December 3, 2012 In his new novel, The Testament of Mary, Irish author Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life 20 years after the crucifixion, as she wonders what she might have done differently to ease her son's suffering. "I felt that I was Mary," he says. "I was her consciousness, watching the thing happening."
December 1, 2012 Robert Zemeckis' film tells the story of a pilot who crash-lands a plane while drunk and high. Friends and songwriters Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale just released a new album of duets. Also, Hilary Mantel has just won her second Man Booker Prize, this time for her novel Bring Up The Bodies — the sequel to Wolf Hall.
November 30, 2012 Thorn has recorded a holiday album, Tinsel and Lights, that critic Ken Tucker says might just work for warmer weather, as well. Tucker praises Thorn's voice as "bolstered by a firm intelligence," and says she avoids the fatty treacle that often weighs down Christmas albums.
November 29, 2012 In the Robert Zemeckis film starring Denzel Washington, a pilot with a secret substance-abuse problem successfully crash-lands an airplane while high on drugs and alcohol. He must then ask himself some tough questions about whether his act of heroism is undermined by his addiction.
November 28, 2012 Robert Malley, a program director for the International Crisis Group, analyzes the complexity of the situation in the Middle East, a region where conflicts interconnect and expand upon one another. "These alliances," says Malley, "are not clear cut ... they are alliances of convenience."
November 27, 2012 In his new book, journalist Gregory Johnsen charts the rise of Yemen as a haven for al-Qaida and explores the recent history of radical Islam in the Arabian Peninsula. The death of Osama bin Laden, he says, had more of an effect on the U.S. psyche than it did on people in Yemen.
November 26, 2012 Hilary Mantel is the first woman to win the Man Booker Prize twice, first for her 2009 novel, Wolf Hall, and now for that book's 2012 sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. The novels are part of a historical fiction trilogy about Tudor England and the events surrounding the reign of King Henry VIII.