Culture and Arts
Building Lasting Support For a Controversial Social Issue: "You forget the message, but you remember the messenger"
Reseachers Michael LaCour and Donald Green began by identifying California precincts that had supported the ban on gay marriage, eventually settling on an especially conservative area of Southern California. They then used voter rolls to invite every voter in those precincts, as well as their housemates, to participate in an Internet survey on politics, including only two questions about support for same-sex marriage. more »
The United Kingdom has its first Labor Party prime minister. Five new characters are introduced. Plot threads left dangling from the last season of Downton Abbey, including Lady Mary's courtship contest, Lady Edith's trials as a secret single mom, Thomas's scheming against Bates. A new Mystery! series includes a charismatic young clergyman and Robson Green as the Police Inspector as well as the series, Indian Summers, with Julie Walters more »
The Late P.D. James, Writing Within the Conventions of a Classical Detective story and Regarded as a Serious Novelist
P. D. James Q & A: What is the difference between the detective story and the crime novel? The reader can expect to find a central mysterious death, a closed circle of suspects each with credible motive, means and opportunity for the crime, a detective, either amateur or professional, who comes in like an avenging deity to solve it, and a solution at the end of the book which the reader should be able to arrive at by logical deduction from clues presented by the writer with deceptive cunning but essential fairness. What interests me is the extraordinary variety of talents which this so-called formula is able to accommodate. more »
Jill Norgren reviews: Once again I turned young readers for holiday book suggestions. I asked the same questions as in past years — "which books do you love" and "which books did you read this past year that you think other readers and listeners would appreciate?" Many favorites are new but some are classics. This year a number of books have social issue and political themes. more »