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The Best Books of 2010

The New York Times Book Review picks out its favorites

(Newser) - The year's coming to a close and you know what that means: Best-of lists! The New York Times Book Review kicks things off with a list of the year's top books. Including: Fiction
  • Freedom, Jonathan Franzen—“Even richer and deeper” than The Corrections, this Bush-era Midwestern family saga perfectly
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Cleopatra Died From Poison

She used hemlock, not snake's venom, says historian

(Newser) - Cleopatra committed suicide using poison, not by allowing herself to be bit by an asp, says a German scholar. He deduced that the widely known story of Cleopatra killing herself by allowing an Egyptian cobra to bite her was false, despite having made it into Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. "... More »

White Actress Cast as African Queen—Again

Despite her 'full lips,' Angelina Jolie is no Cleopatra

(Newser) - Why is Angelina Jolie, a white woman, playing Cleopatra , an African queen? “Just when we thought there weren't enough leading roles for black women in Hollywood , they create one and give it to a white woman,” writes Shirea L. Carroll for Essence . “I don't care how full... More »

Angelina Will Play Cleopatra

But will Brad Pitt play Marc Antony?

(Newser) - Angelina Jolie has signed on to play Cleopatra in an upcoming movie about the Queen of the Nile, reports US Weekly . Producer Scott Rudin bought the rights to the book Cleopatra: A Life, with nobody but Jolie in mind. The book is out in November; no word on film plans.... More »

Opening Her Tomb Won't Tell Us Who Cleopatra Was

Even Shakespeare had a hard time improving on her true story

(Newser) - If the tomb that archaeologists are about to start excavating in Egypt really is Cleopatra’s, what will that really tell us about the legendary queen? Aside from possibly clearing up questions about her heritage and cause of death, probably not much, writes Cleopatra expert Stacy Schiff in the New ... More »

Archaeologist: Cleopatra, Mark Antony Tomb Is Close

Artifacts unearthed in Egypt hint at lovers

(Newser) - An eccentric Egyptian archaeologist believes he knows where Mark Antony and Cleopatra were buried, the AP reports. An excavation team has uncovered a mask fragment with an Antony-style cleft chin, coins bearing Cleopatra’s likeness, and 10 mummies from the same time period in the Toposiris Magna temple, hinting that... More »

Skeleton Hints at Cleopatra's African Heritage

But experts point out holes in BBC documentary's claim

(Newser) - Egyptian queen Cleopatra may have been of African rather than Greek ancestry, new findings suggest. A BBC archaeological documentary claims to have found the tomb of Cleopatra’s sister, Arsinoe, in Ephesus, Turkey. Arsinoe, who, according to legend, was killed on orders from her sister, had skull dimensions consistent with... More »

Lazy Bosses Go Wayyyy Back

From Clinton to Cleopatra, honchos sure know how to delegate

(Newser) - Think your boss is the first to delegate the duties and enjoy sunny days on the links? Such indulgences go way back, writes Stanley Bing in Fortune. Two thousand years ago, Cleopatra ruled Egypt by dazzling the male rulers of her time. More recently, America’s beloved Ben Franklin lived... More »

Archaeologist: I've Found Cleopatra's Tomb

Discovery could be biggest in decades

(Newser) - A leading archaeologist in Egypt has announced he’s found the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, the Times of London reports. Zahi Hawass believes the ancient lovers are buried beneath a temple near Alexandria, where he found a 400-foot tunnel. “We’ve found tunnels with statues of Cleopatra... More »

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