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From Gladiator Duels To Caesar's Last Words: The Myths Of Ancient Rome 
  Mon, 30 Nov 2015 13:42:00 -0500 
    Historian Mary Beard says many of our popular notions about the empire are based on culture — like the play Julius Caesar or the film Gladiator — rather than fact. Her new book is called SPQR.

No Meekness Here: Meet Rosa Parks, 'Lifelong Freedom Fighter' 
  Sun, 29 Nov 2015 19:41:00 -0500 
    As the 60th anniversary of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott approaches, author Jeanne Theoharis says it's time to let go of the image of Rosa Parks as an unassuming accidental activist.

A Star-Crossed 'Scientific Fact': The Story Of Vulcan, Planet That Never Was 
  Sun, 29 Nov 2015 17:11:00 -0500 
    For decades, astronomers believed there was another planet in our solar system, tucked just out of sight. Then Albert Einstein figured out it wasn't there. Author Thomas Levenson explains.

'Not Without My Daughter' Subject Grows Up, Tells Her Own Story 
  Sun, 29 Nov 2015 07:47:41 -0500 
    "Not Without My Daughter" told the story of an American mother and daughter fleeing Iran. Now that young girl is telling her own story in her memoir, "My Name is Mahtob."

Barcelona's Women Make 'The Whispering City' Shine 
  Sun, 29 Nov 2015 06:33:14 -0500 
    Two academics from Germany, writing as Sara Moliner, have recreated a sepia-toned 1950s Barcelona in this new mystery novel. Critic Bethanne Patrick says City's strength is in its variety of women.

How Do We Get To Love At 'First Bite'? 
  Sat, 28 Nov 2015 08:00:56 -0500 
    It's the season of food, and British food writer Bee Wilson has a book on how our food tastes are formed. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with her about her new book, "First Bite: How We Learn to Eat."

French Bulldog At Heart Of New Children's Book 'Naughty Mabel' 
  Sat, 28 Nov 2015 08:00:00 -0500 
    Mabel is a naughty French bulldog at the center of a new children's book by Nathan Lane and Devlin Elliott. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Lane about his inspiration for the fictional dog.

Slices Of Life Fill 'Our Expanding Universe' 
  Sat, 28 Nov 2015 07:03:59 -0500 
    Box Office Poison artist Alex Robinson is back with a new group of likeable, everyday people, mulling over their desire (or lack thereof) for children and family in an episodic, free-floating comic.

'Welcome To Where We From': Chicago Through The Eyes Of A Poet 
  Fri, 27 Nov 2015 16:31:24 -0500 
    NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Chicago poet Nate Marshall, who reflects on this week in Chicago and read his poem "Out South."

From A Weirdo Nerd To A Guy Who Plays One On TV 
  Fri, 27 Nov 2015 16:31:24 -0500 
    NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with the actor Rainn Wilson about his new memoir, The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy.

'The Seventh Bride' Faces Horror — And Still Gets The Biscuits Made 
  Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:03:59 -0500 
    Ursula Vernon (writing as T. Kingfisher) delivers a fleet, stripped-down fairy tale with echoes of Bluebeard and Peter Beagle. Critic Tasha Robinson praises Vernon's tough-minded, distinctive women

'All American Boys': A Young Adult Book About A Police Beating And A Hard Choice 
  Wed, 25 Nov 2015 09:45:17 -0500 
    A new young adult book tells the story of a police beating from two perspectives: the black boy who was beaten, and a white boy who witnessed it.

'Tales From The Loop' Doesn't Forget The Robots (Or The Dinosaurs) 
  Wed, 25 Nov 2015 07:03:59 -0500 
    Illustrator Simon Stålenhag has put together a compilation of short stories to accompany his haunting, gorgeous paintings of an alternate Sweden full of aliens and strange technology. And dinosaurs.

Philosopher At Play: The Twisty Epiphanies Of 'Memory Theater' 
  Tue, 24 Nov 2015 07:03:00 -0500 
    Simon Critchley, a British philosopher, has penned an offbeat essay — or is it an autobiographical novel? A memoir thick with fictions? Whatever it is, Memory Theater makes for a delightful read.

Here Are The 2015 Medal Of Freedom Winners, In Their Own Voices 
  Mon, 23 Nov 2015 17:12:00 -0500 
    Athletes, artists and activists crowd the list of winners of the nation's highest civilian honor. Before they get their medals Tuesday, get to know them — in sight and sound.
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"Learning is acquired by reading books; but the much more necessary learning, the knowledge of the world, is only to be acquired by reading man, and studying all the various editions of them."

—Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield (1694-1773) [4th Earl of Chesterfield] English politician, writer