Best-selling author Tom Clancy has died. He was 66 years old. Beginning with the publication of his 1984 megahit The Hunt for Red October, Clancy wrote a string of blockbuster thrillers inspired by his fascination with military hardware and history.
Clancy didn't mince words when he talked to would-be writers. "If your objective is to write a book, get a computer and write the damn book," he told members of the military at a 2004 writing workshop. "Yes, you can do this if you try hard enough. It's a lot easier than you realize it is."
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 3:22 pm
The health benefits of eating fish are pretty well-known. A lean source of protein, fish can be a rich source of healthful omega-3 fatty acids and has been shown to benefit heart, eye and brain health.
Jamie Moyer, shown above pitching for the Colorado Rockies in May 2012, made his major league debut back in 1986. He says that after decades in the major leagues, he'd occasionally have to remind himself that "in baseball terms, I really was old, but in everyday life, I really wasn't."
We don't often think of professional athletes improving with age, but Jamie Moyer was a better pitcher in his 40s than he was in his 20s. Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win a Major League Baseball game when, in April 2012, at the age of 49 years, 150 days, he pitched the Colorado Rockies to a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres.
When I think of the writers I worshiped when I was starting out in life, I always think of Margaret Drabble. She was 20 years older than I, but the serious, hip, intellectual British novelist whose black-and-white photo appeared on the front cover of some of her paperbacks seemed permanently young. Reading her was like having an extremely brainy and fashionable best friend who'd been educated at Cambridge and had really lived.
In the pages of David Finkel's new book, you'll meet a veteran who has recurring nightmares in which a fellow soldier asks, "Why didn't you save me?" You'll also meet a veteran who sees images of dead Iraqis floating in his bathtub, and another who tries to kill himself by biting through his right wrist — the only wrist he can raise to his mouth since his left side is paralyzed.
Federal bureaucracies aren't the only ones scaling back operations during the government shutdown. It's also meant that kids couldn't take field trips to the Smithsonian.
In fact most of the popular Washington attractions funded by the government are closed. That includes the Smithsonian's 19 museums and the National Zoo, plus Ford's Theatre and the National Gallery of Art.
Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 2:09 pm
These days, many people wear their vegetarianism as a badge of honor — even if it's only before 6 p.m, as food writer Mark Bittman advocates. (Actually, he wants us to go part-time vegan.) There's even a World Vegetarian Day, which happens to be today, FYI.
Chris Matthews first worked with Tip O'Neill in 1981 as communications director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He later became O'Neill's administrative assistant. He is the host of the MSNBC show <em>Hardball with Chris Matthews</em>.
Before Chris Matthews grilled politicians and their surrogates on his MSNBC show Hardball, he was a top aide to House Speaker Tip O'Neill, advising him on how to deal with the press. Now Matthews has written a new book drawing on those experiences, called Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked.
It's a look at how Speaker O'Neill and President Reagan managed to work together and reach compromise in spite of the fact that they disagreed not only on policy, but also on the role of government.
New York Post reporter Stephanie Smith sparked a firestorm online when she wrote about her plan to make her boyfriend 300 sandwiches - in exchange for an engagement ring. Host Michel Martin talks to Smith about her project, and the reaction to it.
Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 7:53 am
Either you want to be dashing thief Locke Lamora, or you wish he loved you the way he loves his boon companions Jean and Sabetha. It's the delightfully tangled relationship between the three of them that takes center stage (sometimes literally) in Scott Lynch's latest Gentleman Bastard book, The Republic of Thieves.
It has been a great frustration for fans of Elizabeth Gilbert's early fiction to have her turn to memoir for so long. Most of the reading world is aware, of course, of the phenomenon that was her memoir Eat, Pray, Love — from the movie starring Julia Roberts, if nothing else — which turned Gilbert into a kind of phenomenon herself, the kind of writer whose fans tearfully clutch books at signings and whose TED Talks get millions of views.
If you got sick, you probably wouldn't go to an evolutionary biologist to get treated. But Daniel Lieberman, professor of evolutionary biology at Harvard University, says that his field can help you understand why you got sick, and make you more aware of healthy and harmful behaviors.
Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 2:10 pm
Chicken wing restaurants continue to pop up everywhere in this country — there are Wingstop, Buffalo Wild Wings, Aaron Sorkin's West Wings. Now, McDonald's is getting in on the act with Mighty Wings. They're available in three-piece, five-piece, and Who-Am-I-Kidding-I've-Got-Nothing-Left-To-Prove-piece.
Peter: I was as surprised to find an actual bone in this as I would be to find a bone in a banana.
Eva: How McDonald's got the bones in the nugget is the modern version of the classic ship in a bottle mystery.
Rita Wilson is an actress, singer and editor-at-large for the Huff/Post50 website. She shares some of her favorite songs for Tell Me More's "In Your Ear" series.
One of her favorite songs is Joni Mitchell's Blue. "What I love about the song is that not only is it beautiful melodically, but it is beautiful poetically," Wilson says. "The way she uses words and visuals and strings them all together is — I just think what makes Joni Mitchell Joni Mitchell."
I confess I'm not much of a museum tourist. On a recent visit to Croatia's capital, Zagreb, I strolled past three museums without feeling any urge to step inside. Then I came across one I just couldn't ignore: the Museum of Broken Relationships.
"It's a collection of objects donated by people who have broken up," says Drazen Grubisic, a co-owner of the museum. "Each item has an accompanying story."
Some are amusing, others sarcastic and a few are just plain heartbreaking.
Shailene Woodley plays Beatrice Prior in the upcoming movie <em>Divergent</em> (March 2014), based on the dystopian young adult novel by Veronica Roth. The hugely popular book contains themes of economic struggle and class warfare.
Credit Jaap Buitendijk / Summit
Marcela Valdes is serving her second term on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle.
Credit Pedro Valdes
In <em>The Hunger Games</em>, Katniss and Gale, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in the movie adaptation, become friends while they are both struggling to feed their impoverished families.
Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 12:24 pm
If you think kids are too young to worry about unemployment numbers, consider this: Some of our most popular young adult novels fairly shiver with economic anxiety. Take Veronica Roth's Divergent, this week's top New York Times Young Adult best-seller and a perennial on the list since its publication in 2011.