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August 20, 2014 | NPR · If you venture away from the protest zone in Ferguson, Mo., there is an idyllic neighborhood, which doesn't have much patience for the out-of-towners who have joined the protests.
 
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August 20, 2014 | NPR · President Obama has carefully avoided taking sides following the shooting of Missouri teen Michael Brown, disappointing some African-American observers.
 
August 20, 2014 | NPR · Texas ranks 49th out of 50 states in how much funding it commits to mental health. But San Antonio has become a model for other mental health systems. It has saved $50 million over the past 5 years.
 

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August 19, 2014 | NPR · Dr. Joanne Liu of Doctors Without Borders says fear and a lack of sense of urgency has kept the international community in their home countries rather than stepping up to the plate in West Africa.
 
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August 19, 2014 | NPR · The type of Ebola erupting in West Africa is closely related to one found 2,500 miles away — the distance between Boston and San Francisco. How did the virus spread so far without anyone noticing?
 
August 19, 2014 | NPR · Iranian poet and women's rights advocate Simin Behbahani has died. Her work probed the social and political challenges that faced Iran after its Islamic Revolution. She was 87.
 

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August 16, 2014 | NPR · Both Ukraine and Russia say they're trying to send supplies to residents in eastern Ukraine. But with tensions on both sides running high, that aid may take a while to arrive.
 

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August 17, 2014 | NPR · American fighter jets and drones carried out airstrikes against Islamist targets near the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq on Saturday. A breach of the dam could threaten entire cities.
 

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Science fiction

Aug 16, 2014 — Lowry's father didn't have Alzheimer's but as he began to forget his past, the author says, she began to imagine a book about eliminating painful memories. The Giver has just been adapted into a film.
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Jun 17, 2014 — You don't need to be H.G. Wells to make these journeys — from ancient Korea to future Oxford University and outer space in the 25th century, just turn the page and you'll be there.
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Jun 17, 2014 — Ah, the bike. It's the most romantic way to ride ... and to read. In these eight books we celebrate the power of the pedal.
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Oct 30, 2013 — In Mira Grant's Parasite, genetically engineered tapeworms are a magic cure-all and a terrible danger. Sure, they keep their hosts healthy — but as it turns out, that's not all they do. Reviewer Genevieve Valentine says Parasite has interesting things to say about medical ethics, but reads too much like groundwork for a series.
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Oct 8, 2013 — Ann Leckie's debut novel, Ancillary Justice, is the tale of former starship AI Breq. Now an autonomous human, Breq is out to kill the devious dictator who rules her corner of the galaxy. Reviewer Genevieve Valentine says Ancillary Justice is "a space opera that skillfully handles both choruses and arias."
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Sep 30, 2013 — With dominant themes of hunger, class conflict and poverty, popular teen books like The Hunger Games and Divergent mirror today's fragile economic climate. Critic Marcela Valdes says the books reflect real-world fears, but their fanastical elements can also help young readers escape what might be a gloomy financial reality at home.
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Sep 13, 2013 — Margaret Atwood's new MaddAddam completes the post-apocalyptic science fiction trilogy she began with 2003's Oryx and Crake. Reviewer Annalee Newitz says MaddAddam is a "snarky but soulful peek at what happens to the world after a mad scientist decimates humanity with a designer disease."
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Aug 28, 2013 — Kim Stanley Robinson's latest novel, Shaman, paints a vivid portrait of life in 30,000 B.C. It's the story of young Loon, who's destined to become the new shaman of his tribe. Reviewer Alan Cheuse says the world of Shaman is so authentic, he dreamed he was living in it.
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Aug 7, 2013 — Also: A new short story by Stieg Larsson; Sherman Alexie's mullet; Rebecca Mead on Jane Austen.
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Aug 5, 2013 — Earlier this summer, NPR's Backseat Book Club — our book club for young readers — asked you to weigh in on your favorite books for kids age 9-14. We heard from more than 2,000 of you, and our expert panel has whittled your hundreds and hundreds of nominations down to a list of 100 great reads.
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