At first glance, a novel in which the main character eats herself to death may not seem like the most felicitous pick for Thanksgiving week; but The Middlesteins turns out to be a tough but affecting story about family members putting up with each other, even in their most unlovely, chewing-with-their-mouths-open life moments. If you have a Thanksgiving family reunion looming before you that doesn't exactly promise to be a Norman Rockwell painting, The Middlesteins may just be the perfect literary corrective to overindulgence in high-calorie holiday expectations.
Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:59 am
French adventurer-scientist Roland Bourdeix has a grand, almost surreal, vision for how to preserve a thousand or more genetic varieties of coconut trees. Imagine, as he does, turning dozens or hundreds of remote Pacific islands into coconut sanctuaries. Each island would contain just a few varieties of these trees. No others would be allowed, because the whole point of this exercise is to prevent uncontrolled mixing of genes from different varieties.
Grace Coddington grew up on what she calls "an island off an island," far from the fashion industry. Her new memoir, Grace, chronicles her journey from a sleepy town on the coast of Wales to her current job as the creative director of Vogue magazine.
If you saw the movie "The Hurt Locker," you probably can't forget that scene at the start where a soldier puts on an 80-pound Kevlar suit and takes the long, lonely walk to diffuse an unexploded bomb. True enough, according to Brian Castner, but life as a bomb tech involves a great deal more, rushing in to investigate the scene of a bloody car bomb even as grieving relatives pull out the pieces of their loved ones and also ordering someone else to don the bomb suit and take that lonely walk.
First-person shooter games have become more cinematic and aesthetically pleasing over the years and dominate the video game industry. Stephen Totilo, editor in chief of online video game publication Kotaku, explains the appeal of point-and-shoot games.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Congolese rebels today captured the city of Goma, as government troops melted away and U.N. peacekeepers stood by. And if that sounds a bit like deja vu, you may be remembering a similar battle on the same ground four years ago, or parts of other wars that have ravaged the eastern part of Congo for nearly two decades now, wars blamed for the deaths of five million over those years, along with a long list of associated crimes including systematic rape, looting and child soldiers.
Editor's Note: This story on the smuggling tunnels in the Gaza Strip was originally published in November 2012, the last time the Israelis and Palestinians were engaged in heavy fighting. In light of the current fighting, and with the tunnels being a key point of contention, we are republishing the story with minor changes to bring it up to date.