A death, a divorce, a song and dance number and a sale; must be the end of another Mad Men season.
Creator Matt Weiner has a reputation for ending seasons on a melodramatic note. And even though this year's run of Mad Men episodes was cut in half by AMC to set the series finale next year, Sunday's "Waterloo" still managed to close 2014's seven-episode run with a jolt.
The exclamation point in its title is a clear tipoff: Delicious!, Ruth Reichl's first novel, is about as subtle as a Ring Ding. It's an enthusiastic but cloyingly sentimental story about a 21-year-old who finds happiness by making peace with her past â€” namely, her crippling, self-deprecating hero-worship of her older sister. After much angst, she comes to realize that "it was finally time to stop running from the best in me."
In years past, if someone asked me, "Hey, I found this Tom Robbins book lying around, so should I read it?" I would've said yes. No hesitation. No equivocation. "That guy," I'd say, "is a stylist. And I mean that in the best possible way."
Because that's what Tom Robbins is, was, forever shall be: He's the god young writers pray to when they're lost and trying to find their voice. He's the mountain every working writer surveys when they're trying to put a sentence together that's more complicated than subject-verb-predicate.
When Nikita Khrushchev emerged as the leader of the Soviet Union after Stalin's death in 1953, one of the first things he addressed was the housing shortage and the need for more food. At the time, thousands of people were living in cramped communal apartments, sharing one kitchen and one bathroom with sometimes up to 20 other families.
This month marks the centennial of the American Radio Relay League, the largest ham radio association in the United States. That means it will be a special year for the hundreds who converge annually on W1AW, a small station known as "the mecca of ham radio" in Newington, Conn., to broadcast radio signals across the globe.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. The long Memorial Day weekend usually marks the start of Hollywood blockbuster season. But it's been well underway with "Godzilla" and "X-Men" already in theaters. That said, there are another 87 would-be hits scheduled before Labor Day. We asked critic Bob Mondello for a selective preview.
The American West is sometimes characterized in simple, iconic images: the cowboy, the miner, the farmer. "This book is edited against that," says Frontcountry photographer Lucas Foglia. "The pictures wander on purpose."
Foglia spent seven years with his camera, jumping from town to town, from New Mexico to Montana. He captures moments that distinguish the West from the rest of the country, as well as moments that could have happened anywhere in America. And then he mixes them all together.
Elizabeth McCracken is a former public librarian best known for her quirkily endearing 1996 novel, The Giant's House, about an unlikely romance kindled at the circulation desk between a petite librarian and a freakishly tall boy. Over time, her work â€” filled with misfits, giants, and oddballs â€” has become darker. Loss dominates the triple-trinity of stories in her new collection, Thunderstruck, though she continues to slyly celebrate resilience and unlikely connections.
If you've ever been to a national park and stopped off in the gift shop, you may have seen drawings of iconic park sights for sale as posters or post cards. The brightly colored print reproductions showcase the parks' impressive vistas, such as Yellowstone's Old Faithful geyser and the Grand Canyon's overlooks.
Many of the hit-making songwriters of the 1960s are remembered by name: Burt Bacharach, Carole King, Lennon-McCartney, Holland-Dozier-Holland. But the man who wrote (or co-wrote) classics like "Twist and Shout," "Piece of My Heart," "Hang on Sloopy," "I Want Candy" and "Here Comes the Night" remains unknown to all but the most ardent music fans.
In the world of fiction, World War II is well-trod territory. Author Anthony Doerr will freely admit that.
"There are so many books written about the war, supposedly if you drop them on Germany it would cover the whole country," he jokes. He even says that he worried about that as he was writing his new novel, All The Light We Cannot See.
We're going to take a moment now to talk about a word - yep, one word. Maybe you use it all the time, or maybe you hear people use the word, and it drives you up the wall. I'm talking about the word literally.
Acclaimed writer Tom Robbins has a new book out, and it's as fantastical and philosophical as anything he's ever written â€” but this time he's made himself the main character. It's called Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life, and Robbins tells NPR's Rachel Martin that writing a memoir is like driving down a once-familiar road, "but there are potholes in it now, and some fast-food franchises sprung up along the way, and there's occasionally a blind curve that you might not remember. But it's still familiar," he says.
It is so rare to find yourself at home in any book.
I mean, that's the soft sell, right? The promise, rarely fulfilled, of every story: That it will, for a moment or an hour, lift you effortlessly from where you are and deposit you somewhere completely elsewhere. Like dreaming. Like flying cross-country under the influence of pharmaceutical grade narcotics.
The Cannes Film Festival awarded of its highest prize, the Palme d'Or, to the Turkish film Winter Sleep on Saturday. Twenty years ago, Pulp Fiction took that same award and triggered writer-director Quentin Tarantino's ascent to the A-list.
The movie introduced the world to a number of now-legendary characters, including a very mysterious one: the Gimp.
It's no secret that X-Men: Days of FuturePast â€” the fifth X-Men picture in 14 years, give or take a couple of solo Wolverine movies, and the fourth good one â€” is a time-travel movie. It borrows its title and much of its premise from a well-loved story by Chris Claremont and John Byrne published in TheUncanny X-Men Nos. 141 and 142, back in 1981.
One of the greatest American films of all times hit screens 60 years ago. "On the Waterfront," directed by Elia Kazan, written by Budd Schulberg, starring Karl Malden and Rob Steiger and a brooding guy named Brando. Joey, a good kid, has told on his corrupt union boss and falls mysteriously - well, maybe not so mysteriously - from the roof of his apartment building. A brave priest tries to comfort Joey's beautiful young sister, Edie.
Jesse is on the run. She's been a horse wrangler and a horse thief, a trick rider, a cattle wrestler, and a fugitive in the Australian outback. Two men seek her now - Jack Brown, a hired hand who is half aboriginal and who worked for the horse trader who once abused Jesse and enslaved her in marriage - and Sergeant Andrew Barlow, an Australian lawmen serving in the remote outback because of a habit he cannot break.
Twenty years after the publication of Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen's excoriating memoir about the nearly two years she spent in a psychiatric institution at the end of her teens, she's written a sort of prequel. Cambridge, her unflinching, elegiac, quasi-autobiographical new novel, takes us back to the mid-to-late 1950s with a portrait of Susanna as a difficult, contrary 7-to-11-year-old miserably at odds with her family, her teachers and herself. The result is both fascinating and heartbreaking, because we know where her abiding unhappiness is going to land her.
Why would Ryan Murphy, one of TV's hottest and most prolific producers, decide to adapt a 30-year-old play about the forming of an AIDS service organization for HBO? Because he thought the story of the outbreak of AIDS was being forgotten.
Murphy is the creative mind behind the shows Glee and American Horror Story, and he's remaking The Normal Heart â€” Larry Kramer's 1985 off-Broadway sensation which revealed the gay community's often fractious response to an epidemic that was then essentially ignored by the government.
When you think of the tools of diplomacy, food isn't always high on the list. But breaking bread together can be one of the most basic ways of finding common ground. Which is why, a couple of years ago, the State Department launched the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership.
The program created an American Chefs Corps, who represent the U.S. abroad, and invited foreign chefs and culinary professionals here to taste and talk food.
On Monday, Narendra Modi will be sworn in as India's prime minister. His rise to power is a remarkable story. A former tea vendor who speaks poor English, Modi is a distinct outsider to India's political and cultural establishment. His election signals the extent to which India is shedding its old hierarchies and class barriers, becoming a more meritocratic society.
Toni Braxton is one of the best-selling R&B artists of all time, as well as a Broadway and TV actress, and star of her own reality TV show. Her new memoir, Unbreak My Heart, is named after her 1996 hit ballad.
We've invited Braxton to play a game called: "Unbreak my heart. No, really, I'm dying here ... Help!" Three questions about cardiac surgery.
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer, and that means the tantalizing prospect of having more time for reading stretches ahead of us â€” long, lazy summer days curled up with a book.
On average, I make about 1,000 images each month on my iPhone. That's about 33.33333333333 (you get the idea) images a day. And that's just in an average month; if I'm on vacation or on assignment, that number might double or even triple.
The final "X" in the 20th Century Fox logo glows for an extra second as X-Men: Days of Future Past gets started, but what follows is darker than dark â€” a bleak, dire future in which all of Manhattan is a mutant prison camp.