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Linda Wertheimer

A new movie is coming from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson — former pro wrestler, current action movie superstar. It's called Skyscraper.

It brings together lots of threads. The world's tallest building! On fire! With thousands of people inside! Including the hero's beautiful family! Johnson is of course the hero, a one-legged war veteran who must save the day.

There are lots of scary moments, lots of tension, and — if you are afraid of heights — lots more tension. The director, Rawson Marshall Thurber, is writing and making his second film with Johnson.

Hanif Kureishi has written plays and movies — notably the screenplay for My Beautiful Laundrette, which was nominated for an Oscar. But he's also won awards for his short stories and novels.

The British author's new book is a slender volume called The Nothing. Considering that there is very little sex in the book, it is a dirty book, about a nasty, dirty old man. The protagonist Waldo is in his 80s — he's "very withered" and "barely mobile," Kureishi says — when he suspects his younger wife Zee may be having an affair with one of his best friends.

We've all been listening to what we in the broadcast biz call "year-enders": the most popular books, music and movies of the year; and of course the always-moving lists of people who died this year, mostly famous people.

But we also have our lists of people in our private lives. Our close friends' Christmas dinner always includes toasts to people who are no longer at the table — it's a moment of memory we welcome and dread at the same time. We all have our own ways of remembering our dead. And I want to share mine with you.

A new biography of famed chef and cookbook author Paula Wolfert was recently published, featuring — you guessed it — some of her delicious recipes.

Wolfert has been called the Julia Child of Mediterranean food in America. She once spoke eight languages and could tell how a piece of bread was leavened with one bite. Thanks to her detailed writing, top chefs in the U.S. say she taught them to treasure flavors from the Mediterranean.

But a few years ago, Wolfert was diagnosed with dementia.

Since we've been paying a lot of attention to turnarounds by President Trump this week, I'd like to propose that one of the president's men would benefit from a reevaluation of his position on at least one thing: the news media.

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