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July 31, 2014 | NPR · Tens of thousands of displaced Gazans face skyrocketing prices for limited water supplies, and severely disrupted electricity service. As well, long lines are developing for staples like bread.
 
July 31, 2014 | NPR · Christian Science Monitor reporter Christa Case Bryant tells Renee Montagne why the Israeli army is finding Hamas a more formidable foe now than during the 2009 war.
 
July 31, 2014 | NPR · Oklahoma is experiencing more earthquakes, and some scientists say they're caused by wastewater disposal wells. Linda Wertheimer learns more from energy reporter Joe Wertz of StateImpact Oklahoma.
 

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July 31, 2014 | NPR · The day began with Israel's military calling up 16,000 more reservists, stoking fears of a widening offensive in Gaza; it ended with a 72-hour cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas.
 
July 31, 2014 | NPR · Nearly a month into the war in Gaza, pollsters have been taking a look at how attitudes in the region have changed among Israelis and Palestinians.
 
July 31, 2014 | NPR · A surge of new cases in West Africa's Ebola virus outbreak has health officials worried that the epidemic is getting worse. Sierra Leone, for one, has declared a state of emergency, sending in troops to quarantine some of the hardest hit communities.
 

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July 26, 2014 | NPR · Hezbollah has been a longtime ally of Hamas, but during this most recent conflict between Israel and Gaza they've taken a sideline role. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut.
 

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July 27, 2014 | NPR · Fighting in Ukraine near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has international investigators staying away. NPR's Arun Rath talks with OSCE's Michael Bociurkiw about the investigation.
 

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Science fiction

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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Jul 16, 2013 — More than 200 novels, the Star Wars' book series spans 25,000 years, from the beginning of the Jedi Order to 40 years beyond where the original trilogy left off. According to The Wall Street Journal's Alexandra Alter, the books help keep fans interested between movies.
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