Arts

Monkey See
8:27 am
Wed June 12, 2013

MTV Promises To Be About Music For An Entire Half Of A Day

Very excited child who does not work for MTV. He's just as surprised as the rest of us. (Probably.)
iStockphoto.com

Well, this is news.

MTV, VH1, and CMT sent out a press release this morning announcing that on July 4th, which they're calling "Music Independence Day" (!) (!!), they will "dedicate their channels exclusively to music."

ALL DAY LONG. If by "all day long," you mean "from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern and Pacific." (Hey, what's a day, right? 12 hours, 24 hours, these are semantics.)

Read more
The Two-Way
5:10 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Book News: Illinois School Board Restores 'Perks Of Being A Wallflower'

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:35 am

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

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Frontier Preachers Thump More Than Bibles In 'Blood Of Heaven'

iStockphoto.com

Today, the state of Florida doesn't see much in the way of revolution. The current governor is deeply unpopular, it's true, but the people of the Sunshine State are still pretty far from armed rebellion. This was not always the case. Many years before the West was won and the Monroe Doctrine proclaimed America's shores inviolable, western Florida was an international battleground where newly independent Americans fought with Spanish and French imperialists for control of valuable New World real estate.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:24 am
Wed June 12, 2013

With Space-Bound Hubbies, 'Astrowives' Became 'First Reality Stars'

Annie Glenn, Rene Carpenter, Louise Shepard, Betty Grissom, Trudy Cooper and Marjorie Slayton attend a luncheon held in their honor by the American Newspaper Women's Club on April 27, 1962, in Washington, D.C. Mercury Seven wife Josephine Schirra is not pictured.
Harvey Georges AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:53 am

In the late 1950s, after the Soviet Union successfully put their satellite, Sputnik 1, into orbit, American fears over the Communist threat reached a new height. The U.S. was trailing badly in a competition that would come to define the next decade – the race to space.

So on April 9, 1959, the U.S. kicked off its own space age by introducing the country to its first astronauts, known as the Mercury Seven. Their story is well known, but the story of their wives is often overlooked.

Read more
Monkey See
3:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

What Kids Are Reading, In School And Out

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 5:11 pm

Walk into any bookstore or library, and you'll find shelves and shelves of hugely popular novels and book series for kids. But research shows that as young readers get older, they are not moving to more complex books. High-schoolers are reading books written for younger kids, and teachers aren't assigning difficult classics as much as they once did.

Read more
Kitchen Window
1:03 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Kitchen Window: A Guide to Grilling Beyond 'Dude Food'

Peter Ogburn for NPR

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 11:40 am

I have vivid memories of my mom going out of town one weekend and my dad feeding me fried bologna sandwiches for three nights in a row. He didn't make the sandwiches because I liked them; he made them because he can't cook. He can't get around a kitchen. He doesn't know how to chop an onion. He has no idea how to roast a chicken. But the man can grill.

Read more
Movie Interviews
11:33 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg: Friends Til 'The End'

James Franco (from left), Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and Danny McBride all play versions of themselves in the post-apocalyptic comedy This Is the End, written by Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg.
Suzanne Hanover Columbia Pictures

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 3:16 pm

In This Is the End, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride and Jay Baruchel — all playing themselves — are at a party at Franco's L.A. home when an earthquake hits.

At least, they think it's an earthquake. Turns out it's the Rapture — the End of Days, as foretold in the Book of Revelation, has arrived.

Read more
Monkey See
7:04 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Theater Of The Absurd: Have Audiences Lost Their Manners?

Scott Griessel - Creatista iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 7:58 am

If you woke up this morning thinking, "I really need to hear NPR's Linda Wertheimer say the words 'noisily unwrapping her Twizzlers,'" have I got good news for you.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:16 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Book News: Sales Of Orwell's '1984' Spike After NSA Revelations

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 5:17 am

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

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue June 11, 2013

'Taipei' Is Lifelike — But That's Not Necessarily A Compliment

Igor Stevanovic iStockphoto.com

The novelist Tao Lin, because he is young, narcissistic and computer literate, gets the "voice of Generation Y" treatment a lot. It's a safe way of pinning down the uncontainable paradox that is Tao Lin: On the one hand, he's meek, cripplingly shy and unusually talented. But on the other, he can be remarkably alienating.

Read more
NPR Story
5:03 am
Tue June 11, 2013

School's Out: 5 Great Summer Reads For Teens

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 9:48 am

I'm surrounded here at NPR Books by people with sophisticated, grown-up tastes — happy to dive into the latest Claire Messud or Daniel Alarcon or James Salter. Meanwhile, give me — any day — a book about teenagers (and preferably dragons). A good YA novel is a polished gem of solid storytelling, but more than that, it draws us back in time to the teenagers we once were — or never were, or wanted desperately to be.

Read more
Theater
3:36 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Disruptive Broadway Audiences Master Stage Whisper

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

There have been several incidents, even fights, during recent New York theater performances. An argument over a woman nosily unwrapping her Twizzlers, a man throwing a Web-browsing woman's cell phone across the theater. What is going on? Are audiences less well mannered today?

We sent NPR's Margot Adler to find out.

MARGOT ADLER, BYLINE: I'm standing around the TKTS line on Broadway, where tourists and New Yorkers line up for lower priced tickets. Are audiences increasingly boorish?

Read more
Monkey See
2:57 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Shoes, Romance, And Art: A Reader Walks With The Books She Loves

Rudi's shoes.
@rudi_bee

Longtime readers know that one of my favorite pop-culture blogs ever invented is Smart Bitches Trashy Books, which offers a home for romance readers (who are legion) to both love their books and laugh at their books.

Read more
The Picture Show
1:56 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

'Capturing Love': How To Photograph Same-Sex Weddings

A couple taking in the moment at the San Tan Valley Desert in Arizona.
Tammy Watson

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:38 pm

Summer means wedding season, and for many couples, photographing the groom lifting the bride, or the bride looking off wistfully into the distance is an essential. But what if the happy couple is a bride and a bride, or a groom and a groom?

Read more
Author Interviews
12:24 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Flying High And Low In 'Full Upright And Locked Position'

In Full Upright and Locked Position aviation consultant Mark Gerchick looks at post-Sept. 11 air travel.
W.W. Norton & Co.

No, you aren't imagining it: There is indeed less leg room on some airplanes than there used to be.

"Back in the old days, probably 20 years ago, the tendency was to have about 34 inches," says Mark Gerchick, a former chief counsel for the Federal Aviation Administration. "Now the standard is about 31 inches in the United States. ... Some of the low-cost airlines have tightened that up to about 28 inches, which is now approaching the limits of anatomical possibility."

Read more
New In Paperback
11:19 am
Mon June 10, 2013

June 10-16: A Terrorist, A Fabulist, A Worrier And Lost Orphans

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 11:20 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/.

Photography
9:29 am
Mon June 10, 2013

'Capturing Love': How To Photograph Same-Sex Weddings

If you've ever looked through a wedding album, you've seen photos of the groom removing his bride's garter or dipping her on the dance floor. But those poses could be awkward or even offensive for same-sex couples. A new book Capturing Love could help avoid problems. Host Michel Martin learns tips from co-authors Kathryn Hamm and Thea Dodds.

Economy
9:29 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Despite Images Of Affluence, LGBT Poverty High

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 1:56 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Here in the U.S., June is known as gay and lesbian pride month, recognizing the contributions and concerns of LGBT people in this country. Later, we'll talk with two people on the cutting edge of what's become one of the markers of LGBT progress. They are the authors of a new book about how to photograph same-sex weddings. There are some interesting similarities and differences that might surprise you.

Read more
Music
9:29 am
Mon June 10, 2013

New Mantra Makes Chrisette Michele's Music 'Better'

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:25 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. R&B singer Chrisette Michele burst on to the scene in 2007 with her first album, "I Am." Her melodic and unique voice caught a lot of ears and earned her a Grammy for the single, "Be Okay."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BE OKAY")

Read more
Monkey See
6:23 am
Mon June 10, 2013

The Tony Awards: Is This The Greatest Awards Show Opening Ever?

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 09: Host Neil Patrick Harris and casts of Broadway shows perform onstage at The 67th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 9, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 8:57 am

Unless you've seen every awards show since the dawn of time (which would make you The Unluckiest Person In The World), you can't really answer the question of whether last night's opener of the Tony Awards, hosted for the fourth time by Neil Patrick Harris, was the best opening ever.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Jeannette Walls' 'Silver Star' Lacks Spunk And Direction

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:11 am

"You've got spunk," Lou Grant says to Mary Richards on the very first episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. And then he adds, famously, "I hate spunk." The year is 1970, the same year in which Jeannette Walls set her new novel, The Silver Star. In the book, someone tells the 12-year-old narrator, Bean Holladay, that she's got spunk too. Maybe it's no coincidence. 1970, after all, was situated squarely in the middle of second-wave feminism. It was an era when women and girls were asserting themselves and finding their voices, which weren't always met with approval.

Read more
Critics' Lists: Summer 2013
5:03 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Sneak Preview: 5 Books To Look Forward To This Summer

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 8:28 am

My summer reading preferences are so particular they have, at times, stopped me from reading at all. I need a romance for a train trip — for obvious reasons. When it's hot, I prefer something with no climate congruence at all; I've never enjoyed Anna Karenina so much as I did on the beach (that romance is a train exception — er ... for obvious reasons). When I'm on a plane trip, I like a passel of good young-adult novels, filled with cliffhangers, reversals and quick emotion. It's a mood makeover in flight.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:54 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Book News: Iain Banks, 'Two Of Our Finest Writers,' Dies

Scottish novelist Iain Banks wrote science fiction under the name Iain M. Banks, and mainstream fiction under the name Iain Banks.
Ray Charles Redman

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:44 am

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

Read more
Books News & Features
12:53 am
Mon June 10, 2013

In 'Shocked,' Patricia Volk Honors Two Formative Femmes

Elsa Luisa Maria Schiaparelli, seen here in 1947, rose to fashion stardom in the 1930s.
George Konig Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 10:14 am

If you walked into New York's Morgen's Restaurant in the 1950s, you'd be greeted at the door by a perfectly dressed and powdered blonde who'd smilingly show you to your table and hand over a menu. That hostess, Audrey Elaine Morgen Volk, is at the center of her daughter Patricia Volk's new memoir, Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, And Me. In it, Volk describes how two vivid women helped her move into adulthood: One was the iconoclastic Italian fashion designer Elsa Luisa Maria Schiaparelli; the other was her mother, a loving, difficult and icy stunner.

Read more
Three-Minute Fiction
3:53 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Reborn

iStockphoto.com

At the Reborn Convention at the Creektown Holiday Inn, the women mill and mingle, fawn over mohair follicles, blue-blotched underpainting, voice-boxes uploaded with found sound. Distant crying. Summer afternoon nap meltdowns.

I'm the only man, and I sense their suspicion. I feel lost. I eat a tasteless finger sandwich. I touch a doll with the back of my hand. A pamphlet explains: Real Baby Heater Systems.

Read more
Three-Minute Fiction
3:53 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction: The Round 11 Winner Is ...

Ben Jahn, the winner of Round 11, received a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts grant in fiction to begin the novel he's currently working on.
Courtesy of Ben Jahn

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 4:36 pm

The search is over for the winner of Round 11 of Three-Minute Fiction, the contest where listeners submit original short stories that can be read in about three minutes.

We received help this round from graduate students at 16 different writing programs across the country. They poured through thousands of submissions and passed the best of the best along to our judge this round, novelist Karen Russell.

Here was your challenge for this round: A character finds something he or she has no intention of returning.

Read more
Theater
9:41 am
Sun June 9, 2013

In The Rush To The Tonys, A Late Glut For Theatergoers

Beloved veteran Cicely Tyson has a solid shot at the best actress award at Sunday night's ceremony; her performance in Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful has drawn critical praise and audience applause.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 10:03 am

This spring, more than in any recent year, the 2012-2013 Broadway season accelerated toward its conclusion: Nineteen productions opened between the beginning of March and April 25, the cut-off date for Tony eligibility. And many of those shows raised their curtains in the final two weeks of the season.

Read more
The Salt
5:03 am
Sun June 9, 2013

An Abstract Look At The Food We Eat

Courtesy of Ajay Malghan

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 8:42 am

When photographer Ajay Malghan looks at this image, he sees the Virgin Mary. But you might see something entirely different — a flower petal, maybe. Or a sea slug.

Or how about ... a carrot? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is a picture of a sliced carrot.

And this? It's not a supernova. It's not the Eye of Sauron. It's a strawberry.

Read more
Monkey See
5:03 am
Sun June 9, 2013

When Your Data Is Currency, What Does Your Privacy Cost?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 8:59 am

There was considerable mouth-dropping from publications such as The New York Times at initial reports this week that NSA programs are gathering both telephone records and information gleaned from large tech companies like Google and Microsoft. But as those reports have settled in, reactions have gotten more complex.

Read more
Three Books...
5:03 am
Sun June 9, 2013

Badger, Bunny And Black-Cat Blues: 3 Tales Of Animal Noir

Cat detective John Blacksad investigates the disappearance of a famous pianist in Blacksad: A Silent Hell.
Dark Horse

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 10:46 am

How do I like my summer noir? Hard-boiled, with brooding investigators, sharp wits, danger, crazy fights, bullets, chases and loves lost, unrequited, or dripping with passion. Or perhaps tempered by darkness in a cold, post-revolutionary world filled with intrigue, conspiracy and a resistance hanging in the balance. Even better, it should be part of a series, making it both binge-worthy and binge-able. And if it turns out it's a graphic novel featuring anthropomorphic characters? Best of all.

Read more

Pages