Fall into Autumn

I love the change of seasons, especially autumn. There is nothing like running through fallen leaves and hearing them crunch under your feet. Have you ever wondered why leaves change color in the fall or what to do with all the apples that are available during this season? Try these books to find all your…
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Top Picks: Ray Charles

To celebrate the 85th birth anniversary of American music icon Ray Charles, I’m picking my favorite Ray Charles recordings. The Genius of Ray Charles, released in 1959, was Charles’ sixth studio album. Although this album has been criticized for a number of reasons, it still has held up over the years, and Rolling Stone included…
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Classics of Mars

With the film adaptation of The Martian (one of our picks for Best of the Best 2014) coming out October 1, here's a look at classic Red Planet reads. Novels about Mars have increased by orders of magnitude since the early 1950s when Ray Bradbury published The Martian Chronicles. In Bradbury's seminal work, Man immigrates to Mars after thoroughly…
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The Muppets Get Real

If you've read US Weekly recently, you know there's trouble brewing on the set of the new reality show The Muppets. Most notably, Kermit and Piggy broke up. OMG! In even juicier gossip, Kermit is now dating a new pig, Denise, who works in marketing at ABC. I prefer to remember this frog and swine during their golden times as…
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#TBT: Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix had a short but remarkable career as a musician, and he was at the height of his career when he passed away in London from drug-related asphyxia on September 18, 1970. The Chicago Tribune's "Last Days of a Pop Idol" provides details about his final days. Hendrix had accomplished much during the previous…
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Tweeeeeeee!

Do you enjoy ukulele music, the films of Wes Anderson or stick figure drawings? Have you ever made your own terrarium or scoured garage sales for knickknacks which look like they were owned by your great-grandmother? Then congratulations, you belong to the world of twee. But before you feel too proud of yourself, you're not the only…
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Musicals Based on Books

While Broadway these days often seems to be stuck in a rut, the Off-Broadway scene has given birth to some new works that are injecting the scene with new energy. These brainy, youthful, exuberant musicals are all based on books that, at first glance, would seem to be very unlikely subjects for a hit show, yet that's ultimately…
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It’s Oktoberfest: Celebrate with German Food and Beer!

The world's largest beer festival is celebrated in Munich from late September through the first weekend of October. Here are a few titles to help you mark this glorious occasion. Julia Skowronek's Biergarten Cookbook has great recipes for roast pork, cheese spaetzle, dumplings, and traditional Bavarian desserts and cakes. For newbies who prefer a modern and…
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