Famous Parents and Their Children

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It's hard having a famous parent. Even as you're living in the shadow of someone much more accomplished than yourself, you still have to contend with all the same public pressures of your illustrious ancestor. It doesn't help that people love talking about the strains of your relationship. As a great example, Galileo's Daughter, despite the title, is less […]

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Everything’s Coming Up Sondheim!

Broadway sign

As a casual observer, one might say that I am more than a little obsessed with musical theatre. And while I in no way possess the expertise of some people I know, I can confidently say that Stephen Sondheim has made one of the (if not THE) most enormous contribution to musical theatre of the […]

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His and Hers

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According to Jonathan Eig, there are four people primarily responsible for the birth control pill: incendiary feminist Margaret Sanger, iconoclast medical researcher Gregory "Goody" Pincus, devoted philanthropist Katherine McCormick, and Catholic OB/GYN John Rock. Eig weaves their stories together in The Birth of the Pill. Pincus runs his medical institute on a wing and a prayer, […]

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Lives in Science

Lives in Science

It's easy to think of scientists as loners absorbed in their own thoughts. Sometimes they are. Their real lives, however, can be just as interesting as the wonderful ideas spilling out of their heads. It's great fun to watch big ideas bounce from mind to mind over the course of centuries. James Gleick's Isaac Newton is a short, accessible […]

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Tough Broads II

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As winter closes in at the time of this writing, I highly recommend Nevada Barr and her Anna Pigeon mysteries for some gritty armchair adventure. Anna Pigeon is a National Park Services employee (she advances through the ranks as the series progresses) who tends to stumble on suspicious deaths in the great outdoors. Barr is a master of […]

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Margaret Atwood Turns 75

Source: Writers’ Trust of Canada, Wikimedia Commons

I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most. With no signs of slowing down, Canadian novelist, poet and essayist Margaret Atwood turns 75 on November 18. We’re celebrating her illustrious career that already spans five decades. Perhaps best known for The Handmaid's Tale, a dystopian novel set in the near […]

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Adult Angst In Suburbia

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After being forcibly retired from his advertising job, Wallace Webster spends his days and nights puttering around his Texas Gulf Coast housing development, Forgetful Bay. Odd things happen, such as a woman dancing in her slip in a driveway not her own and some mysterious deaths. However, these occurrences seem more like a backdrop to the low-key […]

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Serial: A Podcast

headphones

Have you been listening to the Serial podcast? If you’re a fan of true crime or hard-hitting journalism this is a must for you. The premise: Journalist and This American Life producer, Sarah Koenig, hosts this nonfiction podcast unraveling the story of a fifteen-year-old murder case.  Each week Koenig delves into details of the case. […]

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Rabies, Cancer and Syphilis

Rabies, Cancer and Syphilis

Once, I went to the emergency room because I thought I had chest pains. It turned out to be a very expensive nothing, but hypochondria has its benefits. For one thing, it encouraged me to read all sorts of fun books about horrifying diseases. Rabid deals with rabies, an illness that has scared us for centuries. The book […]

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Happy Birthday, Bridget Jones!

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Gaah! Guess who's having a birthday on November 9? Helen Fielding's plucky gal isn't telling how many candles are on the cake this year, but you can count on this: Bridget Jones is sure to be celebrating with a glass of Chardonnay and her closest friends. Believe it or not, it's been nearly 20 years since our self-deprecating Singleton stumbled […]

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