NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":


The Anti-Romance Novel I Didn't Know I Needed

Sep 24, 2012

Elissa Schappell is the author of Blueprints for Building Better Girls.

I was never more confident in my knowledge of the world of men and women than the summer I was 13. I'd become an expert, certainly not through any hands-on experience with boys, but by reading the trashy romance novels my best friend, Michele, had pinched from her mother.

That summer I read books whose covers featured beautiful wild-haired maidens, heaving bosoms barely contained in torn blouses, on stallions, heads thrown back, submitting to or resisting the advances of some rogue.

I liked beginnings that promised drama — unbidden passion and misadventure — and endings that promised happily ever after. I liked the sexy bits. (I really liked the sexy bits.)

I found Erica Jong's Fear of Flying in my mother's room. If I'd had any clue it was about a 29-year-old married lady's quest for casual sex with a stranger, no strings attached (something she describes as "rarer than a unicorn"), if I'd known it was a feminist call to arms — one that would breathe life into the second wave of feminism by challenging women to question how emotionally and sexually fulfilling their lives were — if I'd had any inkling how neurotic the protagonist was (a horny poet named Isadora Wing), or how ambiguous the ending was, I would never have opened it.

But I did. The cover was an invitation to naughtiness — a naked woman, spied through a half-opened zipper, her breasts barely obscured.

Instead what I found was a parade of totally unerotic sexual encounters. The awkward fumblings of Isadora's youth, the marathon sex with husband No. 1 that left her limping, the impotence of her charismatic lover Adrian Goodlove, who would lure her away from her second husband, Bennett Wing, a psychoanalyst who never kissed her.

What ever happened to tradition? Soul mates united despite all odds, riding off into the sunset on that stallion. I didn't realize then, of course, how depicting a woman with a sex drive like a man's and the freedom to act on her impulses without punishment was revolutionary. Or how this message of female independence would ultimately serve me better than any romance novel, which built up my expectations about sex and relationships in a way that was sexist and limiting.

Back when I was 13, the greatest thing that could happen to a girl would be for a boy to chase her during recess. On the rare occasion I'd been singled out as a target, I'd let the boy catch me, struggling just the right amount in his arms. I'd feign indignation, although what I really felt was proud and powerful.

Later, when I'd fantasize about what it would be like to have a boy's hands on me, I'd worry about being a nymphomaniac. After all, everyone knows sex was only good between two people in love (and people in love got married). So wasn't there something wrong with me that I considered the prospect of only having sex with one man incredibly boring and terribly unfair? Men got to do whatever they wanted, why couldn't I?

This was the very type of injustice Jong was challenging. With Fear of Flying, I got a peek into adulthood, but at the time, I couldn't make that leap. To me, it was just intimidating. Because if life was as messy and complicated for women as Jong proposed, why would anyone want to grow up?

PG-13 is produced and edited by Ellen Silva and Rose Friedman with production assistance from Annalisa Quinn.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit