Colin Dwyer

Say one thing for certain: The lists don't lack for leading lights.

When President Obama doled out the 2015 National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals on Thursday, plenty of the artists and arts patrons he draped with awards had familiar names — including Mel Brooks, Morgan Freeman, Terry Gross and nearly two dozen others.

From the lingering sins of a nation's snarled roots to the complexities of mental illness and even to the colorful quest for a name of one's own, the books that round out this year's Kirkus Prize shortlists won't let you easily forget history — on whatever scale it's defined.

It was the night of the small-screen giants. And none stood taller at the 2016 Emmys than the HBO juggernauts Game of Thrones and Veep, which won for best drama and comedy series, respectively. The People v. O.J. Simpson also won the Emmy for outstanding limited series.

Game of Thrones and VEEP may have pulled off repeat wins at Sunday's Emmy Awards, but there was also plenty of room for fresh faces in the winner's circle.

The U.S. has halted an attack in eastern Syria amid fears that the airstrike hit Syrian soldiers in the region on Saturday. The attack, which had been targeting Islamic State militants, hit Syrian soldiers instead, according to the Russian military.

"The coalition airstrike was halted immediately when coalition officials were informed by Russian officials that it was possible the personnel and vehicles targeted were part of the Syrian military," U.S. Central Command announced in a statement.

And so the opening salvo of the National Book Awards has been launched ... gradually.

Over the past four days, the National Book Foundation has been rolling out the lists of nominees for its prestigious literary prize in waves — beginning the week by revealing the nominees for its young people's literature, nonfiction and poetry prizes. On Thursday, the foundation capped the multiday rollout with the release of its longlist of 10 nominees for the fiction prize.

Join me, if you will, on a brief trip down memory lane — back to Wednesday, when authorities told residents of a small Colorado town that their tap water had been laced with THC. At the time, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said that multiple tests of a local well had turned up "presumptive positive" for the compound, best known as the mind-altering component in marijuana.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt from the latest episode of the Invisibilia podcast and program, which is broadcast on participating public radio stations.

Walking among the California redwoods, drifting blank-brained on a break from college, I got to thinking about shoes. I can't say why, exactly. Perhaps it was because they were touching my feet.

Less than 24 hours after a truck sped down more than a mile of a beachside promenade in Nice, France, claiming the lives of at least 84 people and wounding many others, details are beginning to surface about the victims of the attack.

All five of those killed Thursday night at the Dallas protest were law enforcement officers — four of whom served with the Dallas Police Department, while a fifth worked for Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART. That DART officer has been identified by the department as Brent Thompson.

A planned white nationalist rally unraveled into violence in Sacramento, as counter-demonstrators clashed with the gathering just outside the California Capitol. At least 10 victims have been hospitalized with what the Sacramento Fire Department characterized as "critical trauma stab wounds."

Officials say many others suffered minor cuts, scrapes and bruises.

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