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 http://www.npr.org/.

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!":

Pages

'May We Be Forgiven' Blames The Online World

Sep 27, 2012

"I am guilty," admits Harold Silver, the protagonist of A.M. Homes' new novel, May We Be Forgiven. "I am guilty of even more than I realized I could be guilty of."

In 2012, it's an extraordinary statement. Two generations have passed since I'm OK, You're OK went from pop-psychology book title to a national feel-good catchphrase, and self-help books have convinced Americans that high self-esteem is a more noble trait than altruism and moral good. In a world where motivational bromides have become quasi-religious precepts, noticing that we're all pretty far from OK is almost heretical.

That might be the world we live in, but A.M. Homes doesn't have to be happy about it. May We Be Forgiven is both a narrative masterwork and an impassioned cry of conscience against the selfishness and anomie of the digital generation. It's not just one of the best novels of the past few years, it's also the most deeply, painfully American.

May We Be Forgiven opens with the middle-aged Nixon historian Harold Silver flirting with his brother George's wife at a Thanksgiving dinner. Not long after, George — a successful TV executive "singularly responsible for shows such as Your Life Sucks, and Refrigerator Wars" — is hospitalized after killing a family in what may or may not have been an accidental car crash. Harold begins an affair with his sister-in-law; when George finds out, he beats his wife to death. Harold is left to pick up the pieces of his life, as well as the lives of his pre-teen niece and nephew, as he deals with his own divorce, and the sexual encounters with strangers he meets online.

Homes captures the dark side of the American psyche better than any author since John Updike, and the bleakest parts of May We Be Forgiven are shocking in their desperate melancholy. Harold sleepwalks through much of his life afflicted with "a rusty sense of disgust — a dull, brackish water that I suspect is my soul."

His world has become bereft of human kindness — he's mistreated by family, doctors, lawyers, even store clerks. But he makes a conscious choice not to give up, and he's blown away by even the smallest acts of generosity. When a restaurant owner slips him a free candy bar, he's almost speechless: "No one gives anyone anything anymore."

Harold tries to make human connections on the Internet, with decidedly mixed results. He does make friends, but also gets briefly kidnapped by a pair of precocious latchkey kids. "There is a world out there, so new, so random and disassociated that it puts us all in danger," he reflects. "We talk online, we "friend" each other when we don't know who we are really talking to ... We mistake almost anything for a relationship, a community of sorts, and yet, when we are with our families, in our communities, we are clueless, we short-circuit ..."

Harold is left with no choice but to build his own community from the ruins of his previous life — he rejects the new reality in which we only disconnect, even as we're constantly connected to one another.

It may sound odd to say this about a book so angry and, at times, gloomy, but May We Be Forgiven is also both a deeply funny, and, finally, hopeful novel. It's tonally similar to Vanessa Veselka's 2011 novel Zazen, and Todd Solondz's 1998 film Happiness — Homes has an unremittingly dark sense of humor that underlies a deep sense of cultural honesty and moral courage.

If the filmmaker Roberto Rossellini was right that "to perceive evil where it exists is ... a form of optimism," then Homes is one of the country's least pessimistic novelists. She's undeniably one of our best, and May We Be Forgiven could be revolutionary in its originality, bravery and insistence that we're not OK and we are all at fault, but we can — and must — do better.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.