Arts

The Two-Way
5:09 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Book News: Booksellers Irate Over Obama's Amazon Visit

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
5:04 am
Wed July 31, 2013

The Scope Of The 20th Century In Sweeping, Sprawling 'Joy'

There's nothing soothing or easygoing about this massive novel, which was first published obscurely in Italy in the late 1990s. Goliarda Sapienza, a novelist and actress who worked with the likes of Pasolini and Visconti, spent more than a decade writing The Art of Joy, and on balance, she must have felt it a massive disappointment, given that no publisher wanted to go near its chaotic, handwritten blend of ambisexuality, religion, feminism, and politics.

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Kitchen Window
10:03 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Buttermilk Makes Everything Taste A Little Better

T. Susan Chang for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 10:55 am

It started happening about 15 years ago. I'd be paging through a new cookbook or browsing through recipes online, and I'd suddenly stop. "Mmm, buttermilk biscuits. Doesn't that sound good?" I'd bookmark the site or dog-ear the page. The next week I'd see a recipe for waffles — buttermilk waffles, as it happened. What a splendid idea. Out came the yellow stickies.

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Music
3:32 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

On The Road To Rock Excess: Why The '60s Really Ended In 1973

British rockers Led Zeppelin pose in front of their private plane, dubbed "The Starship," in 1973.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 7:58 am

Author Michael Walker says that by the end of the 1960s, you could fairly say there were two generations of baby boomers: those who had experienced that decade's peace-and-love era of music firsthand, and those who learned about it from their older brothers and sisters.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

For Old-School Kvetch Comics, A Catskills Cradle

Jackie Mason is one of a host of comedians interviewed in When Comedy Went to School, a documentary about a generation of Jewish comics and the Catskills resorts that nurtured them.
International Film Circuit

For the charming but skin-deep documentary When Comedy Went to School, filmmakers Mevlut Akkaya and Ron Frank gained enviable access to pioneer stars of Borscht Belt standup.

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Author Interviews
1:41 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Pioneering 'Masters Of Sex' Brought Science To The Bedroom

Human sexuality researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson Masters, shown in San Francisco in 1972.
AP

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 2:40 pm

William Masters and Virginia Johnson became famous in the 1960s for their groundbreaking and controversial research into the physiology of human sexuality. Instead of just asking people about their sex lives, Masters and Johnson actually observed volunteers engaging in self-stimulation and sexual intercourse. Changes throughout their bodies during arousal were measured with medical equipment.

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Book Reviews
11:06 am
Tue July 30, 2013

With 'Arrangements' And 'The Rest,' Two Debut Novelists Arrive

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 1:41 pm

The novel I've been recommending this summer to anyone, female or male, who's looking for the trifecta — a good story that's beautifully written and both hilarious and humane — is Seating Arrangements, Maggie Shipstead's debut novel from last summer. I was about to go all old-school and excitedly add that Seating Arrangements is now out in paperback, except since more and more readers are instantly downloading new books at a discount, paperbacks are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

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Music
10:04 am
Tue July 30, 2013

'Life Goes On' For Author Benjamin Alire Saenz

Author Benjamin Alire Saenz's teen-lit novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe won big at this year's American Library Association awards. For Tell Me More's 'In Your Ear' series, he shares the songs that inspire him.

Monkey See
8:55 am
Tue July 30, 2013

The Never-Ending Story: Why They're Not Getting Out From Under That Dome

Dean Norris, still under that dome. And there for a while.
Kharen Hill CBS

Bad news for the fictional characters trapped under the dome in the CBS summer series Under The Dome: Your show was renewed. The dome isn't going to lift. And no less than Les Moonves, the president and CEO of the CBS corporation, says that's just fine.

"Why can't they be under the dome for a long period of time? This is television!"

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
7:12 am
Tue July 30, 2013

City Slickers: 5 Books About The Urban Experience

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 10:02 am

At the NPR Cities Project, we've spent much of the summer reading, breathing, reporting on urban innovation. From smartphone apps such as NextBus and StreetBump, to citywide surveillance camera networks, to 911 texting and NASA-s

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The Two-Way
5:24 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Book News: Campaigner For Jane Austen Banknote Deluged With Threats

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue July 30, 2013

The Drug Trade Destroys A Generation — Quietly — In 'Falling'

AFP/Getty Images

If I tell you that Juan Gabriel Vasquez's exquisite novel The Sound of Things Falling is about the drug trade in Colombia, a few stock images might arise in your mind: an addict overdosing in a dirty apartment, say, or a dealer ordering the killing of some troublesome peon, or the drugs themselves bubbling in a volumetric flask. Here in America, shows like Breaking Bad and The Wire have taught us how to think about the drug trade, how to imagine it.

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Movie Interviews
1:51 am
Tue July 30, 2013

'Smash & Grab': How Pink Panthers Stole Millions In Jewels

Havana Marking's documentary Smash and Grab depicts members of the Pink Panthers, an international ring of jewel thieves.
Goldcrest Films

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 10:21 am

In this age of cyber-crime and online espionage, here's a good old-fashioned story about cops and robbers: Smash & Grab, a new documentary film opening in New York on Wednesday, details the exploits of the "Pink Panthers" — a group of international jewel thieves that, for the past decade, has targeted high-end jewelry shops across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

According to the international police agency, Interpol, the Pink Panthers have stolen nearly a half a billion dollars worth of jewels over roughly 500 robberies.

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New In Paperback
1:32 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

July 29-Aug. 4: Neil Young, Susan Sontag And Alice Munro

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

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

Television
12:28 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

John Gallagher Jr. On 'Newsroom' Dialogue And Staging Green Day

In Season 2 of The Newsroom, Jim Harper (John Gallagher Jr.) goes on the 2012 campaign trail.
Melissa Moseley HBO

In HBO's The Newsroom, John Gallagher Jr. plays Jim Harper, the senior producer of the nightly cable news program anchored by Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels). The show's second season, which began in July, takes place in 2012 during the presidential primaries. Ever since the start of the series, Gallagher's character has been in a will-they-or-won't-they relationship with one of the young producers of the news show.

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Television
11:20 am
Mon July 29, 2013

This Summer, Vintage TV Shows Thrive On DVD

The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis is the first in a straight line of teen comedies from the teen point of view. It starred Dwayne Hickman (right) as Dobie and Bob Denver as his best friend, Maynard.
Courtesy of Shout! Factory

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 12:27 pm

So much TV, so little time. Even during the summer — when broadcast TV slows down and leaves mostly cable and satellite TV series, and now Netflix, to watch and review — the TV shows on DVD keep coming. And summertime is the perfect time to dive into some of them.

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Books
10:40 am
Mon July 29, 2013

'Coming Clean' About Growing Up In A Hoarding Household

Lynn Buckley Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 12:29 pm

Kimberly Rae Miller grew up among piles of junk. Doors wouldn't close, stacks of paper turned to sludge, and the pool was filled with brown muck. Her father was an extreme hoarder, a condition that threatened her safety and even her life.

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The Two-Way
5:28 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Book News: Outrage After Fox News Interview With 'Zealot' Author

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 1:34 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Salt
12:59 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Two-Day Diets: How Mini Fasts Can Help Maximize Weight Loss

People following a 5-2 diet would eat lean protein and non-starchy vegetables two days a week.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 7:34 am

This is not a detox diet. Nor is it an extreme version of calorie restriction.

Nope, the strategy of so-called 5-2 diets is to endure two days a week of mini-fasting.

This doesn't mean starving yourself. Rather, it entails reducing your calorie intake during two days of the week down to somewhere in the range of 500 to 1,000 calories.

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Book Reviews
3:39 pm
Sun July 28, 2013

A Touching, 'Telling' Book About Cheese

Michael Paterniti is also the author of Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain.
Joanna Eldredge Morrissey

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 4:24 pm

The first thing you should know: This is not a book about cheese. I mean, it is — and a famous, award-winning cheese at that, a Spanish sheep's milk cheese called the Páramo de Guzmán that cost $22 per pound in 1991. A cheese so good, the king of Spain himself couldn't get enough of it.

But this book is far more about its makers — the cheesemaker himself, an enormous and enormously charming Castilian named Ambrosio, and the book's maker, journalist and author Michael Paterniti, who basically falls in love with Ambrosio at first sight.

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Author Interviews
2:58 pm
Sun July 28, 2013

'Looking For Palestine': A Once-Split Identity Becomes Whole

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 6:46 am

Actress Najla Said is a Palestinian-Lebanese-American Christian, but growing up in New York City, her identity was anything but clearly defined.

The daughter of prominent literary critic Edward Said, she spent her childhood in one of the most influential intellectual households in America. Edward Said, who died in 2003, was a renowned professor at Columbia University and was critical to defining Palestinian independence.

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Sports
5:07 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Athletic Glory At An Advanced Age

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 10:31 am

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

The Olympic motto - Faster, Higher, Stronger - has always applied to an ideal: a young, supremely fit athlete, performing wondrous tasks. The motto means something different for athletes over 50. Thousands of them are in Cleveland for the National Senior Games. These games may be lacking in youth and buff physiques, but NPR's Tom Goldman reports the event still has great significance for those are competing and watching.

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News
5:07 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Islamabad's Defiantly Consistent Chinese Eatery

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 10:31 am

Cities sitting nervously on the edge of wars have a tendency to change very quickly. Take Pakistan's capital, for example. But some things never change, like an unexpectedly delicious Chinese restaurant.

Theater
4:18 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Wallace Shawn: From 'Toy Story' Dino To Highbrow Playwright

Wallace Shawn (from left), Larry Pine and Deborah Eisenberg make up the cast of The Designated Mourner. Written by Shawn and directed by Andre Gregory, the Public Theater show is a product of one of the longest collaborations in the history of the American theater.
Joan Marcus Courtesy The Public Theater

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 10:31 am

Wallace Shawn is famous for his career as an actor, but over the past four decades he has written a handful of plays that are intellectually demanding and rarely produced. His characters tell stories in monologues, rather than acting them out onstage, and they use cascades of words to make dizzying arguments.

His work is being showcased at New York's Public Theater this season. A revival of The Designated Mourner opened July 21 and the American premier of another Shawn play, Grasses of a Thousand Colors, will open this fall.

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Author Interviews
4:18 am
Sun July 28, 2013

'Rural Life' Adds Natural Color To 'The Grey Lady'

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 10:31 am

Verlyn Klinkenborg's essays about life on his farm in upstate New York have run in The New York Times since 1997. With a long family history of farming, his agricultural roots run deep into the soil.

"All of my aunts and uncles farmed; all of my cousins still farm," he says. "The home farm where my dad was raised has been in my family since the early teens, and ... following the track of modern agriculture, has changed its character hugely over time. But it's still in the family."

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You Must Read This
4:16 am
Sun July 28, 2013

A World A Few Degrees Of Whimsy Away From Our Own

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 10:11 am

Anthony Marra is the author of A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena.

Ditie, the narrator of Bohumil Hrabal's transcendent novel, I Served the King of England, is described in the jacket copy as "a hugely ambitious but simple waiter in a deluxe Prague hotel." I first crossed paths with him when I, myself, was working as a night porter in a deluxe Edinburgh hotel.

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Art & Design
4:15 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Stories Of Race In America Captured On Quilt And Canvas

As a black, female artist in the 1960s, Ringgold says there were "a lot of people trying to get in my way and keep me from doing what I was doing." Above, a 1965 self portrait.
Jim Frank On loan from Elizabeth A. Sackler

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:31 am

Artist Faith Ringgold is best known for what she calls her story quilts — large canvases made in the 1980s, on which she painted scenes of African-American life: sunbathing on a tar roof, a mother and her children, a quilting bee. She frames the canvases in strips of quilted fabric, carrying out an old African, and African-American quilt-making tradition.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington is showing an earlier aspect of Ringgold's art: big, strong, vivid paintings from the 1960s that reflect the violence and social upheaval of that time.

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Sunday Puzzle
1:06 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Psst ... It's Class Time

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 10:31 am

On-air challenge: This puzzle is supersonic. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name that has the consecutive letters S-S-T. Specifically, the first word will end in S-S, and the second word will start with T. For example, given, "A situation in which people speak on top of each other," you would say, "cross talk."

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Author Interviews
3:25 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

In 'The Panopticon,' They're Always Watching

During the 19th century, a panopticon was a prison or asylum with an all-seeing eye. Some of the C-shaped prisons with central watchtowers still stand in the U.S. and Europe.

Jenni Fagan's new book borrows the panopticon idea as the setting for a gritty, often poetic, novel. The story is based loosely on Fagan's own experience growing up in the Scottish foster care system for 16 years.

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Sports
5:32 am
Sat July 27, 2013

'You Gotta Keep Smashin' And Smashin' And Smashin'!'

Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 10:59 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's summertime, and on weekend nights all across the country, that means demolition derby time - cars bashing cars for the pure thrill of it. Charles Lane from member station WSHU recently went to a demo on New York's Long Island, the legendary home of the demolition derby. He brought back this audio postcard.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Fire it up (unintelligible).

CHARLES LANE, BYLINE: A white four-door Chevy Impala. It's got graffiti writing down the side that says Misery Machine, and it's number 86.

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