Arts

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Charles Moore's 'Margaret Thatcher' Is A Softer Iron Lady

Early on in Charles Moore's biography of Margaret Thatcher, he describes a birthday party at which a school friend tells the future prime minister, "If you don't stop bossing us, I shall stamp on your foot."

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu June 20, 2013

When Love Is 'In The House'

Wessel Du Plooy iStockphoto.com

"Love is not all," warned the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. "It is not meat nor drink / Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain." She was right, of course, but if there were ever any advice destined to fall on stubbornly deaf ears, this is it. Love is not all, but it always feels like it is, whether you're happily partnered or bereft.

Read more
Books
5:03 am
Thu June 20, 2013

In Salter's Novels, The Ladies ARE Lunch

This spring, James Salter published All That Is, his first novel in nearly 35 years — and the critics could not have been more excited.

Read more
The Salt
12:56 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Gourmands Through The Ages: 'A History Of Food In 100 Recipes'

Detail from a painting found on the walls of a 4,000-year-old tomb in Luxor, Egypt, that depicts bread making.
Werner Forman Archive

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 8:58 am

Think our current culture has become food-obsessed? Take a look at this wall painting from ancient Egypt.

Read more
Monkey See
1:15 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

From Classic Toys To New Twists, Kids Go Back To Blocks

Legos and other interlocking toys are only one kind of blocks that remain popular with kids.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 11:39 am

I visited Toy Fair in New York City hunting for ideas for our summer series about kids' culture. One of the big takeaways was the increasing popularity of construction games such as Legos. Sales shot up nearly 20 percent last year. Now, it seems, every major toy manufacturer is scrambling to add new games geared toward kids building things.

Read more
Around the Nation
1:07 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

'The Watchers' Have Had Their Eyes On Us For Years

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters at Fort Meade, Md.
Saul Loeb Getty Images

The revelations about secret National Security Agency programs, leaked by Edward Snowden earlier this month, have stirred great controversy, but this type of surveillance is not entirely new, according to journalist Shane Harris.

In his 2010 book, The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State, Harris traced the evolution of these surveillance programs in the U.S.

Read more
Fine Art
10:40 am
Wed June 19, 2013

The Art Of Life: Claes Oldenburg At MOMA

Oldenburg's fascination with simple, everyday objects often led him to food as a subject, as with Pastry Case, I, 1961-62.
Claes Oldenburg Museum of Modern Art

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 2:05 pm

The sculptor Claes Oldenburg was born in Stockholm but grew up in Chicago, went to Yale and came to New York in 1956, where he became a key player in the pop art movement — the major counter-reaction to the abstract expressionism that dominated the 1950s. So much for art history.

Although Oldenburg is a serious artist, probably no artist in history ever created works that were more fun. In a new show at the Museum of Modern Art — really two shows — practically everyone, including myself, was walking through the galleries with a huge grin.

Read more
The Salt
9:28 am
Wed June 19, 2013

The Martini: This American Cocktail May Have An International Twist

The martini: international drink of mystery?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 12:15 pm

There's no cocktail more distinctly American than the martini. It's strong, sophisticated and sexy. It's everything we hope to project while ordering one.

Baltimore-born satirist H.L. Mencken is said to have called the martini "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet." But is the martini perfectly American? Maybe not entirely.

So in honor of National Martini Day on Wednesday, we decided to dig into the drink's muddled past.

Read more
Monkey See
8:03 am
Wed June 19, 2013

The 25 Movies To Which 'World War Z' Is A Sequel, Probably

Brad Pitt is Gerry Lane, Abigail Hargrove is Rachel Lane, and Mireille Enos is Karin Lane in World War Z.
Jaap Buitendijk Paramount Pictures

World War A (in which Isaac Newton is bonked on the head and still bravely figures out gravity)

World War B (spun off from a VH1 reality show)

World War C (in which two dudes hit each other with cellos for 2.5 hours)

World War D (part of The Great Report Card Skirmish Of 1998)

World War-E (in which a tiny robot rolls around and watches Hello Dolly and then smashes the doubloons out of everything in sight)

World War F (the [bleep]ing best war ever)

Read more
Monkey See
6:47 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Bait And Twitch: Vice Magazine, Suicide Glamour, And Not Staying Quiet

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 12:48 pm

This week, Vice magazine unveiled a fashion spread featuring images based on famous female writers who killed themselves. To call it merely tasteless would be to understate how calculated it was, as well as how revolting it was — it literally created an image based on a real writer who really hanged herself with a pair of stockings, and then it told you where to buy the stockings.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Book News: Kim Jong Un Reportedly Gave 'Mein Kampf' As Gifts

Kim Jong Un (center) watched a performance celebrating the anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Yao Dawei Associated Press

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:52 am

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

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed June 19, 2013

A Family's Secrets And Sorrows Surface In 'Heatwave'

British writer Maggie O'Farrell, born in Northern Ireland, is less well-known in the U.S. than she should be. Her mesmerizing, tautly plotted novels often revolve around long-standing, ugly family secrets and feature nonconformist women who rebel against their strict Irish Catholic upbringing. Her most recent books, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox (2006) and The Hand That First Held Mine (2010), offer the sort of spellbinding reads that can make you miss your flight announcement.

Read more
Dollar For Dollar: Adventures In Investing
1:17 am
Wed June 19, 2013

The Art Of Investing: The Rewards Aren't Always Financial

Flower Study #14 by Vladimir Kryloff, the painting NPR's Uri Berliner bought as an investment for $450.
Vladimir Kryloff

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:40 am

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

Read more
Kitchen Window
10:13 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Stalking The Elusive, Worthy Apricot

Domenica Marchetti for NPR

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:39 am

Apricots are the finest of summer's fruits, with dense, juicy flesh and delicate, velvety skins. Piled in baskets in farmers market stalls, they seem to glow in the early morning light. The prettiest ones have a celestial blush and a sweet, floral fragrance.

That's why it is so disheartening when you bite into one only to find it is mealy and flavorless. I can't count the number of times this apricot lover has been the victim of just such an injustice. You probably have been, too.

Read more
Architecture
4:32 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Change Is On The Horizon For London's Famous Skyline

London's 122 Leadenhall Street (nicknamed the "Cheese-Grater") is shown under construction on March 5. Once complete it will be London's second-tallest building. The recent construction of numerous skyscrapers has sparked concern that views of historic landmark buildings, such as St Paul's Cathedral, are being obscured.
Matthew Lloyd Getty Images

Cities are defined by their skylines — while Paris is composed mostly of low-rise apartment buildings, New York is a city of tall office towers. But London is a city in transition. On Tuesday, Boris Johnson, the mayor of the British capital, attends a "topping out" ceremony for one of London's latest skyscrapers in a city where tall buildings cause a lot of controversy.

Until recently, London has been a low-rise city.
 Even now, a 12-story building is considered rather tall.
 But a spate of new skyscrapers is raising questions about the kind of city London should be.

Read more
Theater
1:41 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

In NYC, A Play Festival Spotlights Stories Of Disability

Mary Theresa Archbold (left), Anita Hollander and Tiffan Borelli star in Bekah Brunstetter's Gorgeous, part of Theater Breaking Through Barriers' initial Some of Our Parts Festival in 2011. A third round of new short plays runs through June 28 at New York City's Clurman Theatre.
Carol Rosegg Theater Breaking Through Barriers

Ike Schambelan doesn't like thinking about disability, and he's guessing you don't either.

"We hate it. We do not want to see it," he says. "Personally, I want to see it least in myself, second in my wife, third in my cat and fourth in you and all others. I don't want to know about it. I want to be in a total state of denial about it as much as I can be."

Read more
Music Interviews
11:57 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Samberg, Taccone And Schaffer: Three's Not A Lonely Island

As kids, Jorma Taccone, Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer were all obsessed with hip-hop and TV shows like Yo! MTV Raps.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 3:09 pm

Read more
Music Reviews
11:43 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Cécile McLorin Salvant: Making Old Songs New Again

Miami-born Cécile McLorin Salvant learned about improvisation and sang with her first band after moving to France in 2007.
J.R. Photography Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 1:46 pm

Singer Cécile McLorin Salvant was born in Miami to French and Haitian parents, and started singing jazz while living in Paris. Back in the U.S., she won the Thelonious Monk vocal competition in 2010. The 23-year-old's first album, WomanChild, is now out — and few jazz debuts by singers or instrumentalists make this big a splash.

Read more
Monkey See
10:52 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Death Of A Puppy: An Exclusive Imaginary Excerpt From The 'Man Of Steel' Sequel

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent in Man Of Steel.
Warner Brothers Pictures

NPR has obtained [or invented, whatever] an excerpt of the draft script for Zack Snyder's much-rumored sequel to the hugely successful Man Of Steel. The script, which was found in a booth at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on La Cienega, suggests that the distinctive tone set by Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and adopted by Snyder's Man Of Steel will continue to inform the expanding cinematic universe of DC Comics characters.


JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE MOVIE

Screenplay by David S. Goyer

Read more
Parenting
10:07 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Books Your Kid Might Give Up Video Games To Read

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their comments and some savvy advice.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:14 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Book News: VICE Draws Ire By Staging Female Author Suicides

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

Read more
Critics' Lists: Summer 2013
5:03 am
Tue June 18, 2013

The Funny (Touching, Fascinating) Pages: 5 Comics For Summer

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 8:47 am

When's the last time you read a comic book? Oh, right, the term now is "graphic novel" — as if calling them "comics" was somehow undignified or not sufficiently intellectual. But the problem with "graphic novel" is that it's far too limiting — because, sure, while all comics are graphic, many of the smartest and most exciting examples don't even remotely resemble novels. In fact, I'm about to recommend five books that — each for its own reason — can only be called comics, representing a wide range of literature being produced in what is truly a golden age.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:08 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Spy Reporter Works Her 'Sources' To Write A Thriller

Mary Louise Kelly spent two decades traveling the world as a reporter for NPR and the BBC.
Katarina Price Gallery Books

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 11:52 am

Mary Louise Kelly used to cover the national security beat for NPR, but lately she's turned her attention to teaching and writing fiction. Her new novel, Anonymous Sources, follows rookie journalist Alexandra James as she investigates a shady banana shipment and a clandestine nuclear plot. The tale is fiction, but it draws on Kelly's own experiences reporting on the spy beat, including things she couldn't say when she was a journalist.

Read more
Monkey See
3:18 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Teens Find The Right Tools For Their Social-Media Jobs

When you need to illustrate a story about proliferating social-media platforms, it's good to know that an enterprising stock photographer has probably thought about it already.
Anatoliy Babiy iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 3:45 pm

Once upon a time, it was MySpace. (Huh. Turns out you can still link to it.) Then Facebook happened. And Twitter. And beyond those two dominant social-media platforms, there are a host of other, newer options for staying in touch and letting the digital universe get a look at your life. And for certain kinds of sharing, some of those other options make more sense to tech-savvy teens than the Big Two do.

Read more
All Tech Considered
12:41 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Digital Scrapbook Collects Rock-Star Authors' Memories

Mitch Albom is famous for writing heartwarming best-sellers like Tuesdays With Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. As a member of The Rock Bottom Remainders, he plays keyboard and shows off his Elvis impression.
Mike Medeiros Courtesy of Coliloquy

Part of an occasional series of e-book reviews, co-produced by NPR Books and All Tech Considered, focusing on creative combinations of technology and literature.

Read more
Book Reviews
12:03 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

A Deceptively Simple Tale Of Magic And Peril In 'Ocean'

With The Ocean at the End of the Lane, best-selling fantasy author Neil Gaiman has written his first adult novel in almost a decade. It's a deceptively simple tale that feels like escapism — until you realize that it isn't.

Ocean is told from the point of view of a melancholy but successful artist returning to his childhood home in Sussex, England. On a lark, he visits an old farm where he played as a boy, and is suddenly overwhelmed by memories of being entangled in a magical conflict with roots stretching back before the Big Bang.

Read more
The Salt
11:58 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Wendy's T-Rex Burger (R.I.P.)

No one can hear you screaming, Wendy.
NPR

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 2:13 pm

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today not to mourn the nine-patty T-Rex Burger, but to celebrate its life. It was pulled this week, far too young, from the menu of a rogue Manitoba Wendy's that served it to two or three people a day. It is survived by the few people who ate it and survived.

Said a Wendy's spokesperson: "For obvious reasons, Wendy's ... neither condones nor promotes the idea of anyone consuming a nine-patty hamburger in one sitting."

Read more
Book Reviews
11:42 am
Mon June 17, 2013

In 'TransAtlantic,' The Flight Is Almost Too Smooth

Colum McCann's new book imagines the intersections of three historic flights across the Atlantic Ocean.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 1:22 pm

Here we go into the wild blue yonder again with Colum McCann. In his 2009 novel, Let the Great World Spin, McCann swooped readers up into the air with the French aerialist Philippe Petit, who staged an illegal high-wire stunt walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. Strictly speaking, Let the Great World Spin was not a Sept. 11 novel, and yet almost everyone rightly read it as one, since McCann's tale commemorated the towers at the literal zenith of their history.

Read more
Author Interviews
11:42 am
Mon June 17, 2013

WWII 'Deserters': Stories Of Men Who Left The Front Lines

The Deserters is Charles Glass' second book relating to World War II. His last book, Americans in Paris, told the story of the U.S. citizens who remained in the French capital after the 1940 German invasion.
Penguin Press

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 3:11 pm

Few citizens are more honored than military veterans, and there's particular reverence for those who defeated the Nazis in World War II. Like any war, however, World War II was complicated and traumatic for those on the ground, and not a few deserted from the front lines.

Read more
The Salt
9:45 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Spoken Dish Asks Southerners: What Is Your Food Identity?

Cornbread in a cast-iron skillet. A taste of home?
Todd Patterson iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 2:11 pm

Does cast-iron skillet cornbread, hot and crispy from the oven, transport you back to your grandma's kitchen? Do you cook with certain ingredients as a link to your roots in the South? If so, "A Spoken Dish" wants to hear your story.

The Southern Foodways Alliance is teaming up with Whole Foods Market and Georgia Organics in this video storytelling project as a way to celebrate and document food memories and rituals of the American South.

Read more

Pages