Arts

Arts and culture

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I’m David Bianculli sitting in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RUDY VALLEE: When you work with your brother Ira, which comes first, the words or the music?

This week is a special one for us at Pop Culture Happy Hour: we invited our pals Barrie Hardymon and Petra Mayer, along with the marvelous and hugely knowledgeable Sarah Wendell, who runs the romance web site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

Here's what you're really looking for if you're looking at this post: the list of recommendations, both authors and specific books (and a couple other things) that all of us (mostly Sarah) rattled off over the course of this show. So let's just get on with it.

How Do We Listen When We're Unable to Hear?

Jun 5, 2015

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Act Of Listening

About Evelyn Glennie's TED Talk

Percussionist and recording artist Evelyn Glennie is almost completely deaf, which means she listens to music with her body, not her ears.

About Evelyn Glennie

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Act Of Listening

About Dave Isay's TED Talk

Dave Isay started StoryCorps with a recording booth in Grand Central Terminal, and an open invitation for people to interview one another. Since then, it's turned into a massive archive of intimate conversations.

About Dave Isay

How Can Listening Transform An Entire Community?

Jun 5, 2015

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Act Of Listening

About Rev. Jeffrey Brown's Talk

During the late '80s, Rev. Jeffrey Brown was watching his neighborhood become overrun with drugs and violence. He decided to listen to the young people in the community — not preach to them — in order to bring about change.

About Rev. Jeffrey Brown

What Happens When People Are Given A Voice?

Jun 5, 2015

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Act Of Listening

Over 20 years ago, Dave Isay's radio documentary Ghetto Life 101 was broadcast. It presented voices many public radio listeners hardly ever hear, setting a standard for storytellers everywhere.

About Dave Isay

Do we really need yet another spy movie send-up? That's a good question no matter what year it is, but 2015 has already brought us Kingsman: The Secret Service and Barely Lethal, with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. on the way — not to mention new installments of the real-deal James Bond and Mission: Impossible franchises.

Vera Brittain, an upper-crust Englishwoman whose experiences as a nurse in World War I turned her into a pacifist, was known to my generation primarily as the mother of Shirley Williams, a similarly feisty and beloved Labour Cabinet member who still sits in the House of Lords.

Wouldn't it be nice if Beach Boy Brian Wilson's troubled life were as easily understood as Love & Mercy makes it appear? Where the Pet Sounds auteur is known for multi-part harmonies, director Bill Pohlad's biopic is a series of simple duets.

As his dedicated readers know, multiple versions of Stephen King, Author, exist. There is the King of classic horror, like Cujo, Children of the Corn, and Christine. There is the King of feminist uprising, from Carrie to Dolores Claiborne to Bag of Bones. There is the King of strong series work, like The Dark Tower and The Green Mile.

Let's get weepy, people. Seriously, seriously weepy. And ... I mean, spoiler alert, obviously. But this show and movie sort of spoils itself structurally, so.

There's a side to the Internet most people have never visited. Tor Hidden Services, or the Tor Network, is an encrypted, hidden network of about 50,000 websites that can't be accessed with a traditional browser like Chrome or Firefox. Its users include criminals, trolls and extremists.

Author Jamie Bartlett, who chronicles the secret corners of the Internet in his book The Dark Net, likens it to the "Wild West."

It's pretty rare for us to spend much time on something with no redeeming qualities at all, but it's also pretty rare to come across something as devoid of redeeming qualities as The Briefcase.

It's important to know that this book is about bunnies.

For some people, that's a total turn-off. Anthropomorphic animal books? They go right into the box with the fad diet guides and slick self-help books with cover photos of creepy, smiling guys with too many teeth.

You may have read about an imaginary Southern piece of turf where the past presses on the present with such force that characters find themselves transformed with the pressure of it, where the landscape comes alive, where human beings seem sometimes like gods and sometimes like devils, and the language of the story lights up your mind: William Faulkner's half-historical, half-fabulized Yoknapatawpha County, yes?

On this June day in 1865, the last Confederate general surrendered to the Unionists, and the bloodiest war in the nation's history officially came to an end. It was a war in which food played a powerful role in determining the outcome.

Cookbooks published during the Civil War era provide vivid, contrasting portraits of how the conflict affected diets and social lives in the North and the South. A house divided against itself, indeed: There was very little in common between the kitchens of the Yankee North and the Confederate South.

Over a long career in publishing, Jonathan Galassi has worked with some great novelists: Alice McDermott, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Franzen and Marilynne Robinson, to name a few. Now the president and publisher of Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, he has just written his own novel, Muse. Not surprisingly, it's all about publishers, editors, writers and poets.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Write brilliantly and readers will follow you anywhere — even into a swarm of hoverflies. That's one takeaway from The Fly Trap, a charming, off-the-beaten track, humorously self-deprecating memoir by Fredrik Sjöberg, a biologist who muses and amuses about his baffling passion for hoverflies. "No sensible person is interested in flies, or anyway, no woman," he writes. His book may change that: It is a paean to some of the tiniest wonders of the natural world, but even more to the benefits of intense focus.

From H.P. Lovecraft to Stephen King, horror writers have found frightening inspiration in small-town New England. It's no surprise, then, that the works of both authors are cited in A Head Full of Ghosts, the latest novel by Boston-based writer Paul Tremblay. Accordingly, A Head Full of Ghosts is also set in New England — in Beverly, Mass., just across the Danvers River from Salem. In spite of that proximity to so much chilling history, the book is not your typical tale of the supernatural.

Maybe you've noticed a dish that keeps popping up in more restaurants across the U.S.

Peru is one of the countries that lays claim to ceviche, which is made of raw fish and chilies, cured in lime juice.

So how do you know you're tasting a perfect ceviche?

"In the first bite, you want to find a strong citrus flavor balanced with the fish, and a little bit spicy, but a fresh spicy given by a fresh chili," says chef Gaston Acurio.

As soon as Traci Mann's new book, Secrets From The Eating Lab, hit bookstores, I ordered my copy.

As the author of a no-diet book myself, I was eager to read what one of the leading researchers on the psychology of eating, dieting and self-control had to say about why diets fail to bring about significant or sustainable weight loss.

That yoga pose you've been practicing may not be as ancient as you thought. In fact, journalist Michelle Goldberg says that most of the poses that we do in modern yoga classes have no antecedent beyond 150 years ago.

"Probably the greatest myth is when you do these poses, when you do sun salutations or the warrior poses, that that there's some sort of continuity to what yogis were doing 3,000 years ago on the banks of the Ganges, and that's just not true," Goldberg tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

The least promising thing about Lifetime's strong new drama UnREAL, which takes place behind the scenes of a The Bachelor-like show, is its title. Yes, it's capitalized in the self-consciously offbeat way common to overvalued tech startups and adolescents experimenting with identity.

Hundreds of ancient artifacts and historic sites have been ruined during violence in the Middle East. The United Nations reports some 200 sites have been damaged or destroyed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State alone.

In February, video footage surfaced showing ISIS militants destroying artifacts with sledgehammers and drills at the Mosul Museum in Iraq.

On the hunt from a good public school for her son, Wednesday Martin moved from her old home in downtown Manhattan to a new one just a few miles north. The spots were no more than a short cab ride away from one another, yet she soon found they were galaxies apart in personality.

For one thing, the moms around her looked entirely different.

As part of a series called My Big Break, All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

When long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad turned 60, she was determined to complete her life's biggest challenge.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

WALT DISNEY: (As Mickey Mouse) (Whistling).

KAREN GRIGSBY BATES, HOST:

Pages