There's a popular misconception that literary fiction is supposed to be staid, boring, realistic to a fault. Like all stereotypes, it's deeply unfair, but it endures, perhaps because readers keep having traumatic flashbacks to novels, like Sister Carrie, that they were forced to read in high school.
Domenica Ruta's memoir, With or Without You, chronicles her youth in a working-class Massachusetts town, the daughter of a wildly flamboyant mother who drove a beat-up lime green hatchback, and held impromptu storm-watching parties on the porch.
Let's talk about another high-profile job vacancy - this one for pontiff. Now that Pope Benedict has said he'll step down, everyone is wondering who will replace him. Our last word in business today: holy bookmakers.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Gambling houses have placed odds on who might become the next leader of the Catholic world. At the top of the list of frontrunners are men not from Europe. Names like Ghana's Cardinal Peter Turkson and Canada's Cardinal Marc Ouellette, both popular choices among the bookmakers.