Arts

Monkey See
1:03 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Home Video Review: 'Slings And Arrows'

Richard (Mark McKinney) and Sanjay (Colm Feore) get up close and personal in the zany backstage comedy Slings and Arrows.
Ken Woroner Acorn Media

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Time now for a home-viewing recommendation from movie critic Bob Mondello. He recently caught an online episode of the Shakespeare-centric comedy Slings and Arrows and says it reminded him how much he liked the whole series.

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Around the Nation
12:46 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

A New Chapter? A Launch Of The Bookless Library

In Texas, Bexar County officials compare the proposed digital-only library to an Apple store. The 4,989-square-foot modern space will contain 100 e-readers available for circulation, 50 e-readers for children, 50 computer stations, 25 laptops and 25 tablets on-site.
Courtesy of Bexar County

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 8:56 am

If your idea of a library is row upon row of nicely shelved hardcovers, then you'll be in for a surprise when a planned new library in San Antonio opens this fall.

"Think of an Apple store," Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says while explaining the layout of the new library, BiblioTech.

In keeping with technological advances, the county will house a library of neatly arranged LCD screens and gadgets instead of the traditional banquet of dog-eared print and paper books. The public library will be one of the first digital-only libraries of its kind.

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Book Reviews
11:11 am
Tue January 15, 2013

George Saunders Lives Up To The Hype

George Saunders' previous books include In Persuasion Nation and The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip. He won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006.
Basso Cannarsa Courtesy Random House

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 11:15 am

I was baffled by the cover of The New York Times Magazine two Sundays ago. You may remember that the headline of the cover story was: "George Saunders Has Written The Best Book You'll Read This Year." I was baffled because the only George Saunders I could think of was that old movie star who was always playing cads in films like Rebecca and All About Eve.

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Monkey See
10:13 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Lance Armstrong And The Cheapening Of Indignation

Cyclist Lance Armstrong addresses participants at a Livestrong event in October.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 11:22 am

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Movie Interviews
8:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Affleck On 'Argo' And The 1979 Hostage Crisis

Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in Argo. Affleck also directed the film, which is based on events surrounding the Iran hostage crisis of 1979.
Keith Bernstein Warner Brothers

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 11:11 am

At Sunday's Golden Globes, Ben Affleck looked genuinely surprised and delighted twice toward the end of the evening: first when he won best director for Argo, and then again when the film won for best motion picture/drama.

The film, which Affleck produced and in which he also stars, is the mostly true story of the CIA operative who helmed the rescue of six U.S. diplomats who managed to escape at the outset of the 1979 Iran crisis that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days after militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran.

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New In Paperback
5:03 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Jan. 14-20: Tales Of Pharaohs, Balloonists, Lovers And Yogis

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Vladimir Nabokov, Karen Thompson Walker, Toby Wilkinson, Alec Wilkinson and William J. Broad.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Books News & Features
1:20 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Hold On To Your Tighty Whities, Captain Underpants Is Back!

Cover image

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 2:22 am

Let's face it. When you're a kid, sometimes adults can be a real drag. The new Captain Underpants book puts it this way: "Did you ever notice how grown-ups hate it when kids are having fun?"

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The Salt
12:43 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Country-Fried Bacon

A look within.
NPR

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 8:09 am

There are those who say "just because you can doesn't mean you should," and there are those who try to respond to that, but they can't, because their mouths are full of deep-fried bacon.

Robert, his daughter Talia, and I went to Wiener And Still Champion, a restaurant just north of Chicago, to try some.

Talia: It's like they asked themselves "how do you make bacon more unhealthy?" and then they did it.

Ian: It was this, or sharpen it into little bacon blades and start stabbin'.

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Commentary
12:25 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

'The Whole Nine Yards' Of What?

There are those who say the phrase "the whole nine yards" comes from a joke about a prodigiously well-endowed Scotsman who gets his kilt caught in a door.
iStockPhoto

Where does the phrase "the whole nine yards" come from? In 1982, William Safire called that "one of the great etymological mysteries of our time."

He thought the phrase originally referred to the capacity of a cement truck in cubic yards. But there are plenty of other theories.

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Movies
10:14 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Are We A Nation Of 'Soul Food Junkies?'

Fried chicken, mac and cheese, and sweet potato pie! Soul food has drawn Americans to the table for generations. But is the greasy goodness doing more harm than good? Byron Hurt tackles the question in his new documentary 'Soul Food Junkies.'

Pop Culture
10:14 am
Mon January 14, 2013

'Hillary Clinton's Husband' And The Golden Globes

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 2:56 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally, yesterday was a big award tonight for Hollywood - "Les Miserables" and "Argo" took home top movie prizes at the 70th annual Golden Globes. And there are a few speeches that people are still talking about.

Here to catch us up and also look ahead with Oscar picks is Sheila Marikar. She is an entertainment reporter and producer with ABC News.com. Sheila, welcome back. Thanks for joining us once again.

SHEILA MARIKAR: Thanks for having me, Michel.

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Book Reviews
9:03 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Of The People: Sonia Sotomayor's Amazing Rise

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke with NPR in December at the Supreme Court.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 2:36 pm

Since her appointment to the Supreme Court in 2009, Sonia Sotomayor has stood out. The nation's first Latina justice is also its most extroverted; not only does she ask far more questions during oral arguments than her predecessor, David Souter, but she also has refused to indulge the court's pose of Olympian detachment. William Rehnquist never threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium, and I don't remember Antonin Scalia making an appearance on Sesame Street.

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My Guilty Pleasure
5:03 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Spy Vs. Spy: A Former MI5 Director On Loving James Bond

Scottish actor Sean Connery is seen in 1982 during the making of the film Never Say Never Again.
AFP/Getty Images

Stella Rimington writes spy fiction and is the former director general of MI5. Her most recent book is The Geneva Trap.

I first discovered Ian Fleming's From Russia With Love in the early '60s, before I knew that I would join MI5 and become part of that mysterious world myself, and before James Bond had become a worldwide phenomenon through the films.

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The Salt
1:20 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Cross-Culture Cilantro Sauce And Other Secrets Of Gran Cocina Latina

Presilla's Ecuadorian Spicy Onion and Tamarillo Salsa, made right in David Greene's kitchen.
Selena Simmons-Duffin NPR

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:27 pm

Chef and culinary historian Maricel Presilla owns two restaurants and has written many cookbooks. But her newest book, Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America, is her attempt to give fans a heaping helping of the many cultures she blends into her world.

"It's my whole life," she tells Morning Edition host David Greene. "There are recipes there of my childhood, things that I remember my family, my aunts doing. But also things that I learned as I started to travel Latin America."

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Books
3:12 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

A 'Beautiful Vision' In Science Forgotten

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 11:48 am

Emily Dickinson's poem that begins with the line "I died for beauty" inspires the title of a new biography of Dorothy Wrinch, the path-breaking mathematician who faced the kind of tumult that scientific inquiry can inspire.

Few people outside the sciences have heard of Wrinch. In 1929, she became the first woman to receive a doctorate of science from Oxford University. But that only begins her largely unknown story.

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Author Interviews
5:40 am
Sun January 13, 2013

'I Accepted Responsibility': McChrystal On His 'Share Of The Task'

Stanley McChrystal's new memoir, My Share of the Task, recounts lessons from his years in the military.
Penguin Books

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 11:25 am

Gen. Stanley McChrystal says he's moved on with his life. The four-star general was forced to resign from the military after his aides were quoted in a Rolling Stone article making disparaging remarks about members of the Obama administration.

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Monkey See
5:29 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Watch The Golden Globes With Us, Where The Drinks Are Optional

Seen here in January 2012, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are the hosts of Sunday night's Golden Globes.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 4:24 pm

The Golden Globes have a well-deserved reputation for being both goofy and pretty much meaningless. They've made it into the news the last few years largely by convincing people that Ricky Gervais' Hugh Hefner jokes were dangerous and daring. (They weren't.)

This year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has actually done something very promising by lining up Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to host together. Now that — that -- seems like it might be good.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
4:03 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Daughter Of The Storm: An Iranian Literary Revolution

iStockphoto.com

Roya Hakakian's most recent book is Assassins of the Turquoise Palace.

Adolescence is a universally grave hour. Mine was made graver by a revolution in 1979 in my beloved birth country of Iran. The mutiny I felt within had an echo in the world without. On the streets, martial law was in effect. Tehran was burning, bleeding.

A popular American belief holds that the act of writing can somehow save the writer. But having written a couple of books and countless essays, I disagree. What saved me was not writing, but reading.

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Books
3:58 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Life Is Difficult But Rewarding Under This 'Umbrella'

Will Self is a British author and journalist. His latest book, Umbrella, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Polly Borland

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 8:30 am

What is the best way for a writer to reflect life? For most of us, it's probably the traditional novel that has sat on our nightstands the most: the sprawling, linear tale, told from birth to death. For Will Self, the most lifelike story is told inside out, from the minds of the characters, without a narrator, a filter or any explanations along the way.

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Author Interviews
3:55 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Deserts, Coal Walking And Wildfires: Can You Take The 'Heat'?

To understand heat, biologist Bill Streever simmered in some of the hottest places on Earth, including California's Death Valley.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 8:30 am

Scientist and writer Bill Streever is fascinated by the extremes at both ends of the thermometer. In his 2009 book, Cold, he visited some of the chilliest places on Earth. And in his latest book, he treks through Death Valley, investigates fire-based weaponry and walks on coals — all to gain insight into what it means to be hot. Really hot.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Two Is Company, Three Is A Crowd

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 12:22 pm

On-air challenge: Given three three-letter words, give a three-letter word that can follow each to complete a familiar six-letter word. None of the words in a set will be related in meaning. For example, given "dam," "man" and "sew," the answer would be "age," which results in "damage," "manage" and "sewage."

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Movie Interviews
2:56 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Ann Dowd's One-Woman Oscar-Nomination Campaign

Ann Dowd plays Sandra, a hard-nosed Midwestern manager of a fast-food franchise in Compliance. The actress spent $13,000 to try to get an Oscar nomination for the role.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 9:01 am

Actress Ann Dowd won huge praise from critics for her role in the indie movie Compliance. But when it came time to start campaigning for nominations ahead of awards season, Magnolia Pictures — the studio that produced the film — told her they didn't have the budget to lobby the Academy for a best supporting actress award for her.

So Dowd did something exceedingly rare in Hollywood: She started her own campaign.

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Author Interviews
2:56 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Father's Death Spurs Son To Tackle Health Care

Random House

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 5:37 pm

In 2007, David Goldhill's father, in good overall health, checked into the hospital with a minor case of pneumonia. Within a few days, he developed sepsis, then a wave of secondary infections. A few weeks after entering the hospital and the day after his 83rd birthday, he died.

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Books
5:03 am
Sat January 12, 2013

Evan S. Connell: A Master Of Fact And Fiction

Evan S. Connell, whose literary explorations ranged from Depression-era Kansas City in the twin novels Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge to Custer's last stand in Son of the Morning Star, died Thursday in Santa Fe, N.M.
AP

Mrs. Bridge and Gen. Custer: one an invented character, the other a historical figure. You know their names, you can see their faces, even hear their voices as they move across the landscapes in your mind. One in a dining room, in a house in a Kansas City neighborhood, the other riding across the rolling plains of Montana. Mrs. India Bridge and Gen. Custer are some of the most memorable creations of Evan S. Connell, who died this week at the age of 88.

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The Sotomayor Interview
5:01 am
Sat January 12, 2013

Sotomayor Opens Up About Childhood, Marriage In 'Beloved World'

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor applauds during a reception in her honor at the White House.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 2:35 pm

Over the course of time, Supreme Court justices have written 225 books. Few reveal much about the justices themselves, but Justice Sonia Sotomayor's autobiography, My Beloved World, is a searingly candid memoir about her life growing up in the tenements of the Bronx, going to Princeton and Yale Law School, becoming a prosecutor and a private corporate lawyer and, at age 38, becoming a federal judge.

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Author Interviews
3:35 am
Sat January 12, 2013

NBA Star Aims To Inspire Young Readers With 'Slam Dunk'

Scholastic & Klutz

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 10:08 am

Amar'e Stoudemire is known as "STAT," an acronym for "standing tall and talented." He's an 11-year-old basketball player who wants badly to learn how to dunk — that's Amar'e the character, anyway.

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History
3:34 am
Sat January 12, 2013

World War II Exhibit Asks Visitors, 'What Would You Do?'

Using touchscreens, visitors decide how they would make wartime choices.
Courtesy National WWII Museum

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 10:08 am

For many, the stakes and the scale of World War II are hard to fathom. It was a war fought around the world, against powerful, determined regimes in Europe and the Pacific; some 65 million people died. And as the number of people who have actual memories of the war dwindle — as of next year, there will be fewer than 1 million living veterans — the mission of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans becomes all the more urgent.

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Books
3:34 am
Sat January 12, 2013

The Seedy Underbelly Of The Belle Epoque, 'Painted'

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 10:54 am

Just who is The Little Dancer, Aged 14? Who is the actual girl, cast 2/3 of her life size by Edgar Degas?

That little dancer was Marie van Goethem, one of three sisters left to fend for themselves after their father dies and their mother begins spending her washerwoman's income on absinthe.

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Books
2:54 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

No Going Back: A Hard Look At Bipolar Disorder

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 4:11 pm

For years, I've taken issue with depictions of mentally ill characters in books and movies. Irrational behavior is easily explained away: They're crazy! No need to elaborate further.

So when I picked up Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See, I was apprehensive that the main character, an untreated bipolar Hollywood studio executive who leaves his wife and child for an international adventure, might be a kooky manic cliche.

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Movie Interviews
2:45 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

In 'Barbara,' A New Look At Life Behind The Wall

Barbara shows a quiet, restrained normalcy in the former East Germany.
Adopt Films

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:21 pm

The historical drama is a staple of the film awards season, and the tortured history of modern Germany — with its echoes of the brutal Third Reich and war — has played a central role in many an award-winning film. But the new film Barbara, which was Germany's official entry to this year's Oscars, is a nuanced portrait of the more recent history of a newly reunited East and West.

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