From washed-away roads in North Carolina to historic bridges flooded out in Vermont, Hurricane Irene took its toll up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
But the East is not the only region to suffer from natural disasters this year. There was a string of deadly tornadoes in the South this spring, floods along the Mississippi and in the Upper Midwest, and last May's devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo.
The novels of Tom Rob Smith are set mostly in the Soviet Union of the 1950s, a time and a place where oppression was palpable and any wrong move could get a person sent to a prison thousands of miles away.
Smith's first thriller, Child 44, was the story of a Soviet security agent whose job was to spy on fellow citizens. While many authors are virtual tour guides in the places where they set their novels, Smith had actually only been to Moscow once before — in 1997, on a high school trip.
Ann Powers spoke with David Greene on NPR's Morning Edition about summer songs — those tracks that, as she wrote last week, hit the perfect balance of fun cliches and light-hearted rhythm. They also often hit the top of the charts. But what do those summer songs do to draw us in?
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's George Mathis may have started a panic earlier today, when he wrote the headline "Farmville is burning." But he quickly clarified that this was an actual, not a virtual, fire:
Before you rush off to rescue your Facebook plantation, know that this Farmville is an unincorporated area in Gordon County, located in northwest Georgia.