Arts

NPR's Backseat Book Club
2:35 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

After Getting 'Plunked' On The Head, A Little Leaguer Makes A Comeback

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

In the 12 years that Michael Northrop spent working at Sports Illustrated Kids, he met excellent athletes who had a lot more going on in their lives than just sports.

"They were young athletes, but they were also kids, so I didn't want to forget about that," he tells NPR's Michele Norris.

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The Salt
1:02 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Catcher In The Fry? McDonald's Happy Meals With A Side Of Books

SerrNovik iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 3:12 pm

Fast-food giant McDonald's is set to become a publishing giant as well — at least temporarily. For two weeks next month, McDonald's says it will oust the toys that usually come in its Happy Meals and replace them with books it has published itself.

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The Picture Show
12:03 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

For MacArthur 'Genius,' 'Love' Is The Essence Of Her Art

Carrie Mae Weems, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:59 pm

Photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems was having a tough day at the studio last month when she learned that she had been named a MacArthur fellow.

"My assistants weren't doing some things they were supposed to be doing. And so I'm screaming at them, and just in the middle of my rant the phone rang," she tells NPR's Michel Martin. "I sunk into my chair, put my head down on my desk, and cried and laughed for about five minutes."

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Book Reviews
11:13 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Meet Ben's Sister Jane, History's Forgotten Franklin

Quill pen and ink
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:32 pm

"Her days were days of flesh." That's just one of a multitude of striking observations that Jill Lepore makes about Jane Franklin, the baby sister of Ben. What Lepore means by that line of near-poetry is that Jane Franklin's life, beginning at age 17 when she gave birth to the first of her 12 children, was one of nursing, lugging pails of night soil, butchering chickens, cooking and scrubbing.

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Movie Interviews
11:01 am
Thu October 10, 2013

From Child Actor To Artist: Radcliffe Reflects On Post-Potter Life

Daniel Radcliffe tells Fresh Air that his parents were initially hesitant about letting him play Harry Potter.
Warwick Saint

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 10:11 am

Many child stars find themselves washed up by the time they reach adulthood, but Daniel Radcliffe's career is going strong — and that's no accident.

"There is never a moment's doubt in my mind that this is what I want to do," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "If I die on a film set when I'm 80, I'll be happy with that."

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Van Gogh Teaches Us How To Keep Life Interesting

Vincent van Gogh, The Road Menders, 1889
Walter Larrimore Courtesy of The Phillips Collection

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:56 am

The two paintings are unmistakably by Vincent Van Gogh. Both show a street scene in the south of France, dominated by sturdy trees with limbs thrust upwards. Both show the same trees and the same houses and pedestrians — almost.

The Road Menders and The Large Plane Trees (Road Menders at Saint-Remy) were painted by Van Gogh in May 1889. They're so alike that they are sometimes called "copies." In fact, they're different: strikingly different in color, subtly different in detail.

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The Salt
10:59 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Salmonella Shutdown? USDA Threatens Closure Of Major Chicken Plants

Foster Farms, the chicken processor at the center of a major salmonella outbreak, now faces the threat of a shutdown at its facilities.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:17 am

Update: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013:

At 9:00 pm Thursday night, the USDA told us that Foster Farms had submitted and implemented immediate changes to their slaughter and processing systems to allow for continued operation.

"FSIS inspectors will verify that these changes are being implemented in a continuous and ongoing basis," Aaron Lavallee of USDA's FSIS told us. Additionally, to ensure that the Salmonella Heidelberg has been controlled, the agency says it will continue intensified sampling at Foster Farms facilities for at least the next 90 days.

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Books News & Features
10:25 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Alice Munro, 'Master' Of The Short Story, Wins Literature Nobel

Canadian author Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize in literature. The 82-year-old author recently announced that she plans to stop writing.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:31 pm

Alice Munro has been awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday morning. The academy often explains its decision — what it calls the "prize motivation" — with lush precision; recent winners have been praised for their "hallucinatory realism," "condensed, translucent images" and "sensual ecstasy." But for Munro, the committee came straight to the point: They called her simply "master of the contemporary short story."

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Monkey See
9:16 am
Thu October 10, 2013

The Tribe Has Broken: How Sexism Is Silently Killing 'Survivor'

Brad Culpepper heads up a group of bro-dudes with little patience for women on this season's Survivor.
Monty Brinton CBS

This piece contains information about Wednesday night's episode.

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First Reads
5:03 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy'

The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 10:38 am

Sequels: 2, Tragic life events: 1, Daniel Cleaver guest appearances: several (v.v. good)

Yes, Bridgeteers, your favorite British flibbertigibbet is back — but this time, there's bit of a suprise: She's grown up, at least a little. Now 51 and a widow (the shocking death of Mark Darcy was revealed recently in The Sunday Times magazine), Bridget is struggling to take care of her two young children and still make time for her hot young boyfriend.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Austen Unvarnished: Q&A With Jo Baker, Author Of 'Longbourn'

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 1:21 pm

The world of Jane Austen — gracious country houses, empire-waist dresses, card parties and suppers and genteel raillery and a touch of social anxiety — is familiar literary ground. And no house is more familar and comforting than Longbourn, home to Elizabeth and Jane Bennet. But what goes on behind the scenes? Who irons those dresses and prepares those suppers?

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Arts & Life
12:58 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Tina Brown's Must-Reads: On Heroism

Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown
Victoria Will The Daily Beast

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 5:39 am

Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast, joins NPR's Steve Inskeep again for a recurring feature Morning Edition likes to call Word of Mouth. This month her suggestions are all about heroes — whether being heroic means doing something, or not doing something.

Revisiting Black Hawk Down

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The Salt
3:45 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Fish For Dinner? Here Are A Few Tips For Sea Life Lovers

A fishmonger tosses a just-purchased fresh salmon to a colleague behind the counter at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:00 pm

If sustainability is a top priority when you're shopping at the fish counter, wild-caught seafood can be fraught with ethical complications.

One major reason why: bycatch, or the untargeted marine life captured accidentally by fishermen and, often, discarded dead in heaps. It's one of the most problematic aspects of industrial fishing.

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Author Interviews
3:40 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

In 'Dallas 1963,' A City Of Rage, Seized By 'Civic Hysteria'

Dallas 1963, by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:16 pm

Nearly half a century later, the date remains difficult for many to forget: Nov. 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. In grainy photographs and countless conspiracy theories, the day endures in our collective memory. What often gets submerged in these images and reports, though, is the story of the place that hosted Kennedy on that day, the city that saw his death firsthand: Dallas.

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What Comes Next? Conversations On The Afterlife
3:37 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

A Philosopher's 'Afterlife': We May Die, But Others Live On

iStockphoto.com

Philosopher Samuel Scheffler doesn't believe in a traditional afterlife — that is, he doesn't think that a spirit or soul survives the body's physical death. But he does believe in another kind of afterlife: Regardless of what we think about our own life after death, Scheffler tells NPR's Robert Siegel, we all trust that others will continue to live after us. And, much like faith in a spiritual afterlife, that belief changes what we choose to do with our days on earth.

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The Salt
12:02 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Sweet. Tart. Crunchy: How To Engineer A Better Apple

The just-released Riverbelle is one of well over 100 new apple varieties to hit markets around the world in the past six years.
Courtesy of Honeybear Brands

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:04 pm

Browsing farmers markets this fall, you may find some new apple varieties mixed in with the Granny Smiths, McIntoshes and Fujis. Susan Brown, head of the apple breeding program at Cornell University, estimates that there have been 130 new apples released around the world in the past six years.

This summer, she contributed two more to that tally: the SnapDragon and the Ruby Frost.

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Television
10:08 am
Wed October 9, 2013

'Raising McCain': Not Your Mother's Talk Show

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 1:30 pm

Meghan McCain comes by her maverick credentials honestly. As the daughter of Arizona Sen. John McCain, she is no stranger to the political limelight. But that doesn't mean she always agrees with her dad or Republican political orthodoxy.

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Monkey See
7:10 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Virtual Strangers: A 'Journey' With Anna

A screenshot from Journey.
thatgamecompany

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 9:00 am

Not long ago, when I got a PlayStation 3, the recommendations started rolling in: play this, play that, play my favorite game.

But a bunch of people said, with a sort of excited urgency — particularly people who know me — "Play Journey."

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Crowley Meets Crime Novel In 'Love Is The Law'

"There are no coincidences," Dawn Seliger says repeatedly throughout Nick Mamatas' new novel, Love Is the Law. She's not just philosophizing. She's chanting. In the book, Dawn is a teenage punk and aspiring magician who haunts late-'80s Long Island, stewing in her own adolescent alienation, rebellion and precocity. That is, until Bernstein, her middle-aged mentor and lover (although she denies that he's either) winds up dead from a bullet in the skull.

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The Salt
3:42 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Amid Big Salmonella Outbreak, USDA Says It's On The Job

A salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 270 people has been linked to raw chicken produced at three Foster Farms facilities in California.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:44 am

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a health alert warning that an estimated 278 illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg are associated with raw chicken produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California.

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The Salt
1:16 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Food Truck Pioneer Battles Food Deserts With High Cuisine

The Kogi BBQ truck near the campus of UCLA in 2009.
Matt Sayles AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 7:46 am

What do restaurant chefs dream of? Most would be satisfied with a great review, a full house every night, maybe a restaurant or three of their own, a television show.

Not Roy Choi.

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Author Interviews
1:16 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Elizabeth Smart Says Kidnapper Was A 'Master At Manipulation'

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:08 pm

Elizabeth Smart has the kind of fame no one would want: In the summer of 2002, at the age of 14, she became one of the nation's most famous kidnap victims when she was abducted from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, where she lived with her devout Mormon family.

Her kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell, saw himself as a religious prophet and took her to be his second wife in a polygamous marriage. With a knife at her throat, Mitchell forced her to go with him to his remote camp on a mountain near Salt Lake, where they lived during the first stage of her nine-month captivity.

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Monkey See
9:27 am
Tue October 8, 2013

First Novels: The Romance Of Agents

iStockphoto.com

Disclaimer: A couple of years ago, I made a bucket list. As I've had a pretty rollicking life, my bucket contained a single experience: Sell a novel to a major house.

And now, Saint Martin's Press is to bring out my novel, Small Blessings, in July of next year.

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Book News: Without A Shortlist, Nobel-Watchers Turn To Bookies

Haruki Murakami is the author of such books as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore.
Elena Seibert Knopf

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:30 am

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue October 8, 2013

A Skillfully Composed Space Opera In 'Ancillary Justice'

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:19 pm

"My heart is a fish, hiding in the water-grass."

Breq has found someone in the snow: a stranger to everyone on this planet, a thousand years old, a relic out of time — but despite all that, Breq remembers.

Breq used to be the ship that carried them both.

The assured, gripping and stylish Ancillary Justice is, in its broadest strokes, the tale of an empire, and in its smallest a character study, and part of debut novelist Anne Leckie's achievement is how she handles her protagonists in both of those contexts.

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New In Paperback
3:52 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Oct. 7-13: A Kidnapper, A Dictator And A London Shrink

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:28 am

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

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

Pop Culture
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

George R.R. Martin, Author And ... Movie-Theater Guy?

George R.R. Martin prepares to introduce author Neil Gaiman and performer Amanda Palmer at charity benefit at his newly renovated Jean Cocteau cinema in Santa Fe, N.M., on Sept. 29. Reopening the old movie house has been a passion project for the Game of Thrones author — but for some of his fans, it's one more distraction that's come between them and Martin's unfinished epic.
Grayson Schaffer for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:21 pm

George R.R. Martin's hit fiction series A Song of Ice and Fire has sold more than 25 million copies and sparked an HBO adaptation, Game of Thrones, that won two Emmys in 2013, bringing its total to 10.

But many fans are grumbling that Martin hasn't been spending enough time of late in his mythical kingdom of Westeros and its surroundings. On the list of things Martin is doing instead of writing the next Game of Thrones book? Reviewing the latest episodes of Breaking Bad, editing a sci-fi series and writing a novella.

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Book Reviews
1:38 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Out Of Lahiri's Muddy 'Lowland,' An Ambitious Story Soars

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 1:53 pm

Geography is destiny in Jhumpa Lahiri's new novel, The Lowland. Her title refers to a marshy stretch of land between two ponds in a Calcutta neighborhood where two very close brothers grow up. In monsoon season, the marsh floods and the ponds combine; in summer, the floodwater evaporates. You don't need your decoder ring to figure out that the two ponds symbolize the two brothers — at times separate; at other times inseparable. But there's still more meaning lurking in this rich landscape.

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Movie Interviews
1:24 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Tom Hanks Is 'Captain Phillips' In High-Seas Hostage Drama

Prior to filming, director Paul Greengrass kept the pirate crew and the boat crew separate to make the hijacking scenes feel more authentic. "The hair did stand up on the back of our heads," says Tom Hanks, above.
Hopper Stone, SMPSP

In April 2009, Somali pirates boarded an American-flagged container ship and took its captain, Richard Phillips, hostage on a small lifeboat. That led to a five-day drama at sea, much of it covered on television, as a U.S. Navy destroyer tailed the lifeboat and Navy SEAL sharpshooters eventually freed the captain. In 2010 Phillips wrote a memoir called A Captain's Duty and the harrowing experience has now been adapted into a film called Captain Phillips.

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The Salt
11:43 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Limited Edition Candy Corn Oreo

Signed, sealed, delivered, it's gross.
NPR

Nabisco has released a special edition of its classic sandwich cookie, just in time for Halloween: Oreos with candy corn filling. This beats the July 4 special, the Oreo filled with a live M-80.

Eva: I didn't even know candy corn and Oreos were dating ... now they have a kid?!

Robert: When I eat regular Oreos, I want a glass of milk. When I eat these, I want a glass of poison.

(Weirdly, the filling lacks the waxy quality of candy corn, which Robert says is because it doesn't have any quality at all.)

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