Arts

The Two-Way
6:03 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Book News: Amazon Debuts Its Virtual Currency

The new Amazon Coins are making some people in the publishing world a little uncomfortable.
Courtesy of Amazon.com

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Literary Werewolf Tale 'Red Moon' Sheds A Dim Light

David Woods iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 9:43 am

One need pick up on only a hint of the zeitgeist to know that monsters that once worried their careers had peaked in B-movies of the '50s are now enjoying a sustained resurgence. On screens and in the "Teen Paranormal Romance" section of Barnes and Noble, supernatural creatures of all stripes battle for the hearts (or throats) of our homecoming queens.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Black In America: A Story Rendered In Grayscale

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is also the author of Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun.
Beowulf Sheehan Random House

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 7:00 pm

American literature has plenty of coming-of-age novels. What we need more of, judging by the strengths of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's new book, are novels about coming to America. In particular, books that address our biggest problems — in this case, race. Because things natives don't see about themselves often stand out like neon to foreign eyes. And if you think racism expired when President Obama was elected, this is perhaps not — or absolutely is — the book for you.

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Author Interviews
1:28 am
Tue May 14, 2013

In Somalia, Surviving A Kidnapping Against 'Impossible Odds'

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 11:19 am

In 2011, Jessica Buchanan was an aid worker in northern Somalia, helping to raise awareness about how to avoid land mines. The north was the relatively safe section of the country; that October, she traveled to the more dangerous southern region for a training. The night before she left, she texted her husband, Erik Landemalm, also an aid worker in Somalia. She asked him a question: "If I get kidnapped on this trip, will you come and get me?"

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Author Interviews
1:26 am
Tue May 14, 2013

'Guns At Last Light' Illuminates Final Months Of World War II

British tanks move to support their infantry during the Battle of the Bulge.
AP

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 11:19 am

In December 1944, the Nazis looked like a spent force: The U.S. and its allies had pushed Hitler's armies across France in the fight to liberate Europe from German occupation.

The Allies were so confident that the Forest of Ardennes, near the front lines in Belgium, became a rest and recreation area, complete with regular USO performances.

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Book Reviews
1:18 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Camus' 'Chronicles': A History Of The Past, A Guide For The Future

Keystone Getty Images

This year marks the centenary of the birth of Albert Camus, the great novelist of existentialism. It's a movement that many Americans think of as quintessentially Parisian, born of cafe-table philosophizing and fueled by packs of Gauloises. But Camus wasn't a native of metropolitan France. He was born and raised in Algeria into a pied-noir family ("black foot," the phrase used to describe descendants of French settlers), grew up in working-class Algiers, and pined for north Africa long after he moved to the French capital in 1942.

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Author Interviews
11:38 am
Mon May 13, 2013

In 'Passage', Caro Mines LBJ's Changing Political Roles

Vice President Spiro Agnew (right) and former President Lyndon Johnson view the liftoff of Apollo 11 from the stands at the Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969.
NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 1:39 pm

For the past 37 years, Robert Caro has devoted his life to writing the definitive biography of Lyndon Johnson. So far, The Years of Lyndon Johnson has four acclaimed volumes and has shown readers just how complex the 36th president was, as both a politician and a man.

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Music Reviews
10:20 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Bing Crosby: From The Vaults, Surprising Breadth

A batch of reissues and archival releases from Bing Crosby's own vaults is getting a high-profile relaunch. Above, Crosby circa 1956.
Courtesy of Universal Music

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 1:27 pm

Bing Crosby was the biggest thing in pop singing in the 1930s, a star on radio and in the movies. He remained a top star in the '40s, when Frank Sinatra began giving him competition.

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New In Paperback
10:17 am
Mon May 13, 2013

May 13-19: A Rumrunner, A Swashbuckler And A Team Of Spies

Courtesy of Crown Publishing.

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

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

Arts & Life
9:57 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Wendell Pierce On 'Making Groceries' In The Big Easy

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Police in New Orleans are investigating a shooting that took place yesterday during a Mother's Day parade. New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas says law enforcement is still investigating the matter.

RONAL SERPAS: It appears that these two or three people just, for a reason unknown to us, started shooting at, towards or in the crowd. It was over in just a couple seconds. Police were everywhere.

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Monkey See
6:05 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Watch The First Trailer For ABC's 'Avengers' Follow-Up

Screenshot

Over the weekend, ABC posted a trailer for Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., its fall show (time slot and premiere date to come) that jumps off from Marvel's Avengers universe, as seen in all kinds of movies that have made all kinds of money.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Book News: Mich. School System Won't Ban Anne Frank's 'Pornographic' Diary

Anne Frank is seen at Amsterdam Town Hall in July 1941.
AP

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

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Author Interviews
3:22 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Why You Should Give A $*%! About Words That Offend

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 6:41 am

If you said the "s" word in the ninth century, you probably wouldn't have shocked or offended anyone. Back then, the "s" word was just the everyday word that was used to refer to excrement. That's one of many surprising, foul-mouthed facts Melissa Mohr reveals in her new book, Holy S- - -: A Brief History of Swearing.

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Author Interviews
1:00 am
Mon May 13, 2013

After Leaving Senate, Snowe Is Still 'Fighting For Common Ground'

A Republican from Maine, Olympia Snowe served as a U.S. Senator from 1995 to 2013. Above, she speaks at a news conference in South Portland, Maine, in March 2012.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 7:18 am

As a Republican senator from Maine, Olympia Snowe was known for her willingness to stand alone. A moderate with independent views, she had substantial influence in the health care debate as both sides vied for her vote. Earlier this year she left the Senate, out of frustration, she says, with the inability to get anything done.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
1:49 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

The Movie Mark McKinney Has 'Seen A Million Times'

A scene from Hayao Miyazaki's 1988 film, My Neighbor Totoro.
The Kobal Collection Tokuma Enterprises

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 4:51 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Author Interviews
1:40 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

After Long Wait, Novelist James Salter Shares 'All That Is'

Todd Webb Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 4:51 pm

On the list of great postwar American male novelists — along with Philip Roth, Norman Mailer and John Updike — is James Salter.

With the publication of his first book in 1957, he won the admiration of writers and critics alike. But after 1979, his production slowed. Salter still wrote — essays, short stories, poetry — but nothing on a grander scale.

Now, that long-awaited novel has been published. All That Is sets out to give a sweeping portrait of human experience.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

Banksy Mural May Be Coming To U.S. After All

A man inspects a plastic cover placed over Slave Labour, an artwork attributed to Banksy, in London. This piece of art was put up for sale in Miami last February, but the ensuing outrage led to the auction's cancellation. The mural is now part of an exhibition in London, and is is expected to move to the U.S. afterward.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 4:00 am

You might remember the story of the uproar earlier this year over a piece of art by the mysterious graffiti artist Banksy that disappeared from its home on a wall in north London and ended up on the auction block in Miami.

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Author Interviews
3:34 am
Sun May 12, 2013

Chasing A Dream, Speeding Down 'The Emerald Mile'

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 6:03 am

Host Rachel Martin talks to writer Kevin Fedarko about his new book, The Emerald Mile, which tells the harrowing story of three men who ride the flooded Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

Sunday Puzzle
3:34 am
Sun May 12, 2013

This One Is For You, Ma

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 4:55 am

On-air challenge: You are given two words starting with M-A. The answer is a third word that can follow the first one and precede the second one, in each case to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

Last week's challenge: Name a famous performer whose last name has six letters. Move the first three letters to the end — without otherwise changing the order of the letters — and add one more letter at the end. The result, in seven letters, will name a place where this person famously performed. Who is it, and what's the place?

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Digital Life
3:34 am
Sun May 12, 2013

He Didn't Just Call His Mother, He Made Her A Star

In My Mom on Movies filmmaker Joshua Seftel talks with his mom, Pat, about movies, pop culture and life by webcam.
Courtesy of Phillip Toledano

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 11:25 am

A little over three years ago, filmmaker Josh Seftel's father passed away. After that, he says, it became difficult to keep up with his mom. He didn't use the phone very often and she didn't like email.

But then he got an idea.

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Author Interviews
3:34 am
Sun May 12, 2013

A 'Cooked Seed' Sprouts After All, In America

Cover of The Cooked Seed

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 12:16 pm

Anchee Min's best-selling memoir Red Azalea told the story of her youth in China during the Cultural Revolution. Her followup, The Cooked Seed, picks up nearly 20 years later as she arrives in America with $500 in her pocket, no English and a plan to study art in Chicago.

Min tells NPR's Rachel Martin that her life in China ended because of her relationship with Madame Mao, a former actress and the wife of Chairman Mao Zedong.

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Author Interviews
2:54 pm
Sat May 11, 2013

The 'Curious' Story Of Robert 'Believe It Or Not!' Ripley

Robert Ripley traveled the world collecting souvenirs like this Balinese lion mask.
Courtesy Ripley Entertainment

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 4:26 pm

Before there was YouTube or Mythbusters or The Amazing Race, there was Robert "Believe It or Not!" Ripley.

Ripley's pioneering mix of the strange, the shocking and the barely believable grabbed Americans' attention and grew his newspaper cartoon into a media empire.

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Author Interviews
3:29 am
Sat May 11, 2013

A Nigerian-'Americanah' Novel About Love, Race And Hair

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian-born author and MacArthur fellow. Her earlier works include the novels Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun and the short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck.
Ivara Esege Random House

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:22 pm

School romances face a lot of obstacles: the big decision at graduation, the competing demands of two burgeoning careers, perhaps a period spent in a long-distance relationship. But the young lovers in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's latest novel, Americanah, must overcome even more challenges than usual: military rule, immigration restrictions and, during their years apart, other relationships.

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Monkey See
3:29 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Christopher Guest Comes To HBO With A 'Family' Comedy That's Serious

Chris O'Dowd (left) stars in Family Tree, a new HBO show from Christopher Guest (right) and Jim Piddock.
Suzanne Tenner HBO

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 8:11 am

Christopher Guest has made so many people laugh since he started making mock documentaries with This Is Spinal Tap in 1984 that his fans might be surprised to hear his response to Scott Simon's question on Saturday's Weekend Edition about whether he ever thinks about making a serious movie.

Referencing Family Tree, his new show for HBO starring Chris O'Dowd as a man discovering his roots, Guest says that even with comedy, the emotional content can still be critical.

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Arts & Life
3:29 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Mini-Memoirs: 6-Word Stories To Honor Mom

British cyclist Beryl Burton with her daughter Denise in March 1963. Mother and daughter later raced together in the 1972 world championships.
John Pratt Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 7:48 am

This Mother's Day, think about the relationship you have with your mother. Now consider: Could you tell that story in just six words?

The newspaper The Forward recently put out a call for six-word memoirs about mothers — specifically, Jewish mothers. The submissions they received show that you can pack a lot of emotion into a half-dozen words, like in Jennifer Glick's memoir: "Mother, our lady of perpetual dissatisfaction."

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Author Interviews
12:03 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Yngwie Malmsteen: 'I've Always Been A Little Bit Of An Extremist'

Swedish-born guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen has released more than two dozen albums.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 8:11 am

Yngwie Malmsteen is the king of the neoclassical shred guitar. Since 1984's Rising Force, the Swedish musician and composer has somehow bridged centuries, from Paganini to his own arpeggiated acrobatics.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
11:27 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt Plays Not My Job

Knopf

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 9:12 am

We use Google to search for just about everything, so we've invited Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt to play a game called "Try Googling that, Bigshot." We'll ask him three questions about things that cannot be found.

Schmidt, who served as Google CEO for 10 years, is the co-author of the new book The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business.

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Book Reviews
3:45 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Book Review: 'A Nearly Perfect Copy'

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 5:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Allison Amend is out with her third book. It's a novel called "A Nearly Perfect Copy." It features richly detailed characters, including an art dealer gone bad, and it's set in both Paris and New York. Our review Alan Cheuse found it all quite delectable.

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Movie Reviews
2:47 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Polley's 'Stories': A Family Saga Strikingly Spun

A young Sarah Polley and her actor father, Michael Polley, on a long-ago day; the photo is one of many family memories that surface in Stories We Tell, a superb meditation on dramatizing memory from the director of Away from Her.
Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 3:58 am

Sarah Polley grew up the fifth of five children in a Canadian theatrical family. Her father, Michael, is a transplanted British actor; her mother, Diane, was an actress and casting director. No wonder Sarah feels her family's narrative has the stuff of drama.

"I'm interested in the way we tell stories about our lives," she says in the film, "about the fact that the truth about the past is often ephemeral and difficult to pin down."

Prophetic words, those.

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Faith Matters
9:25 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Making Peace With The Bible By Writing It Out Word For Word

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 10:09 am

Reading the Bible from cover to cover might seem like a heavy task. But what about writing it? Host Michel Martin speaks with Phillip Patterson, who is just two verses away from writing out the whole King James Bible. He talks about how he kept the faith in spite of loss and illness.

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