Here's a warning: if you start reading Patricia Marx's new novel in public, you might just find yourself snorting out loud — and with some explaining to do.
The book, Starting From Happy, is a sharp-edged love story told in 618 mini-chapters. It's sprinkled with Marx's quirky line drawings of origami instructions, pie charts, pasta shapes, and — for no apparent reason — a kumquat.
Those words open the new memoir Life Itself from the film critic Roger Ebert, who has made movies his life for more than four decades now. He and his sparring partner, the late Gene Siskel, had the most famous thumbs on television. Now, at age 69, Ebert depends on the same thumbs-up that he and Siskel made famous to help him communicate in daily life. Five years ago, after multiple cancer surgeries, he lost the ability to speak.
It's time again for our movie critic Bob Mondello's latest home-viewing recommendation. This week, Bob takes a look at a 70th anniversary Blu-Ray release of what many call the greatest film of all time: Citizen Kane.
Tragic, demanding, controversial, larger-than-life, and a mystery even to those who knew him. That's newspaperman Charles Foster Kane, and those terms could also be applied to theater genius Orson Welles, who produced, directed, co-wrote, and starred in Citizen Kane when he was all of 25.
The U.S. Census Bureau says that median household income went down, and the poverty rate increased. Michel Norris speaks with photojournalist Steve Liss of americanpoverty.org about what poverty looks like now.
After a partial shutdown of airport operations in July and much disagreement about renewing highway programs, Congress is trying out a compromise. On Tuesday, the House approved a measure to keep the Federal Aviation Administration running until the end of January and to extend highway programs — and the federal gas tax — until the end of March.
In Chillicothe, Ohio, Robert Siegel spends the night with three Ross County GOP leaders as they watch and listen to the CNN- and Tea Party Express-sponsored presidential candidates' debate in Tampa. All three heavily favored Texas Gov. Rick Perry going into the debate and emerged unchanged. They like the entire field — and think it's way too soon for anyone to drop out. Their main disagreements were over Rep. Ron Paul's assessment of our military involvement abroad.
A few years ago, I had a work assignment in central Malaysia. When I returned home, I lamented to a friend that I was constantly lost, never knew if I had enough ringgits for a meal, and was unable to communicate with anyone. I felt like a confused child.
My friend laughed. "Now you know how your father felt when he arrived in this country," she said.
Make no mistake: With a cast of more than 40, Follies is a really big show. The legendary musical takes place on the stage of a Broadway theater, at a reunion of former showgirls, with a domestic drama unfolding in the present while the stage is literally filled with ghosts from the past.
Bill Monroe, known as the "Father of Bluegrass Music," was born 100 years ago this week in rural Kentucky. He influenced early country music and rock 'n' roll, as well as the hard-driving, high-lonesome genre he created — bluegrass.
William Smith Monroe was a man of few words, but he opened up to fellow bluegrass musician Alice Gerrard, who recorded him in 1969.
An explosion at a nuclear waste processing plant in France has left one person dead and four others injured — one seriously. The French nuclear authority says the blast was contained within a furnace, and there no leak of radioactive material. The plant, which lies about 25 miles north of Avignon, is not involved in electricity production and has no nuclear reactors.