Arts/Life

The Two-Way
9:20 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Book News: Daniel Handler Apologizes For Jokes At National Book Awards

Daniel Handler — a.k.a. Lemony Snicket — apologized Thursday for his "ill-conceived attempts at humor" during the National Book Awards ceremony Wednesday.
Robin Marchant Getty Images

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

If this year's National Book Awards saw a fiery speech from Ursula K. Le Guin, the evening also featured incendiary comments of quite another kind. Ceremony host Daniel Handler — whom most readers might know better by his pen name, Lemony Snicket — made several racially charged jokes that drew a strong reaction Thursday.

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Monkey See
6:40 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Foxcatcher' And The Art Of The Trailer

NPR

We're getting into the thick of Oscar movie season, and one of the interesting and curious entries is Foxcatcher, starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo in a film fairly loosely based on a true story out of Delaware in the mid-'90s. (Details here; to the degree history can be a spoiler, that is one.) We sat down this week to talk about the film with our pal, NPR film critic Bob Mondello.

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The Salt
2:18 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish Put To The Test At Amish Market

A tub of Susan Stamberg's mother-in-law's famous cranberry relish made by Beth Hansen of Easton, Md.
Jackie Judd NPR

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 9:29 am

The request was forwarded to me from a distant (fifth floor — I'm on the fourth) division of NPR.

It came from Justin Lucas, the head of NPR's Audience and Community Relations team. He's the go-to person here for requests from listeners, for information or permissions.

He'd gotten a letter from Beth Hansen, owner of Soup and Salad, a small sandwich shop in Easton, Md., a charming old town on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

Justin read me an excerpt of the request: "I'd love to make and sell Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Chutney. A portion of the proceeds ... "

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Remembrances
2:24 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Director Mike Nichols Remembered As A Comedian, Raconteur, Charmer

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 4:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Book Reviews
1:09 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

'Redeployment' Explores Iraq War's Physical And Psychic Costs

In his short story collection, former Marine Phil Klay takes his experience in Iraq and clarifies it, lucidly tracing the moral, political and psychological curlicues of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On Wednesday, he won the National Book Award for fiction for the collection.

This review originally aired March 26, 2014.

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Politics
1:09 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Sen. Mitch McConnell's Political Life, Examined, In 'The Cynic'

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will take over as Senate majority leader in the new term in January.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 2:35 pm

When Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) first entered politics in the 1960s, he started out as moderate — pro-abortion rights, pro-union, in support of the civil rights movement. With time, McConnell shifted to the right as the Republican Party shifted.

"I was just really startled by this when I started looking into it," Alec MacGillis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I knew that he had started out as somewhat more moderate — but I didn't realize just how moderate he really was."

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Monkey See
1:01 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Mike Nichols: Remembering The Ellipses After The Story Ends

Mike Nichols, seen here in 2013, died Wednesday at 83.
Dario Cantatore AP

[At the top of this post, you'll find a discussion from me and my Pop Culture Happy Hour colleague Stephen Thompson about Mike Nichols and his work. Stephen tells a great family story about the impact of Nichols' comedy — give it a listen.]

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Performing Arts
9:00 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Mike Nichols, Award-Winning Director Of 'The Graduate,' 'Silkwood,' Dies

Mike Nichols was an ultimate Hollywood insider who won every major show business award directing for stage, film and TV. But his life in America began as an immigrant from Germany. Nichols was honored with an AFI Life Achievement Award in June 2010.
Kevin Winter Getty Images for AFI

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 9:31 am

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Book News: Ursula K. Le Guin Steals The Show At The National Book Awards

In her speech Wednesday night in New York, Ursula K. Le Guin declared, "The name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom."
Robin Marchant Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 12:52 pm

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

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Remembrances
7:14 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Renowned Theater And Film Director Mike Nichols Dies

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 10:43 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu November 20, 2014

There's More To Asking Than Just Art

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Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 8:20 am

Amanda Palmer's well-intentioned, slightly clueless new book, The Art of Asking, is a little bit diary, a little bit TED talk, and a little bit how-to guide. Palmer, Neil Gaiman's wife and one-half of the band the Dresden Dolls, had a well-publicized break from her record label and asked her fans to front the money for her next venture via Kickstarter. She asked for $100,000 — and received $1.2 million. From this successful experiment in asking for help, she has produced a hazy philosophy of asking, built on the pillars of trust, reciprocity, couch-surfing and a lot of body paint.

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The Two-Way
8:10 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

'Redeployment,' 'Age Of Ambition' Win National Book Awards

Neil Gaiman, left, and Ursula K. Le Guin attend the 2014 National Book Awards, where Le Guin was recognized, on Wednesday in New York City.
Robin Marchant Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 7:12 am

At a New York City ceremony packed as much with jabs at Amazon as with jazzy entrance music, the National Book Foundation crowned a newcomer. Former Marine Phil Klay took home the National Book Award for fiction, winning the prize for his debut short story collection Redeployment.

Klay, who had been deployed in Iraq, appeared taken aback by the honor on stage.

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Television
2:24 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

NBC The Latest To Distance Itself From Bill Cosby

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 5:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

NBC And Netflix Shelve Bill Cosby Projects As New Rape Claim Emerges

Comedian and actor Bill Cosby, seen here performing in September, is facing several new allegations of sexual assault.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 6:33 pm

A TV comedy Bill Cosby had been developing for NBC has been canceled, after new allegations of rape have been made against the comedian. Netflix made a similar move late Tuesday, shelving a comedy special that had been slated to premiere the week of Thanksgiving.

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The Salt
12:33 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Just What Is In Pumpkin Spice Flavor? (Hint: Not Pumpkin)

The flavor of the season, you may have noticed, is pumpkin spice. Food companies have gone overboard on the stuff. There are pumpkin spice ice cream sandwiches, pumpkin spice-flavored almonds and, of course, pumpkin spice lattes.

Comedian John Oliver couldn't take it anymore.

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Television
11:48 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Jon Stewart On The 'Daily Show': 'I'm Still Really Proud Of The Work We Do'

Stewart talks about his future hosting the show known for its political satire.

"It is unclear to me," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "The minute I say I'm not going to do it anymore, I will miss it like crazy."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Movie Interviews
11:48 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Bennett Miller On Making The True-Life Crime Film 'Foxcatcher'

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 2:22 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Monkey See
9:22 am
Wed November 19, 2014

'Grape Salad' Is Not Minnesotan, And Other Lessons In Cultural Mapmaking

Organic grapes are on display at trade fair on Sept. 5, in Berlin, Germany.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 1:15 pm

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Book News: Artist, Falconer And Neurosurgeon Make Costa Award Shortlist

In the Costa-nominated H Is For Hawk, Helen Macdonald recounts how her relationship with a goshawk like this one helped her to grapple with the loss of her father.
sirius_r iStockphoto

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

The Costa Book Awards unrolled their shortlists Tuesday — and, well, they offer plenty of fodder for a reading list.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed November 19, 2014

'Unspeakable' Gives Voice To Things We All Think, But Don't Say

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 1:12 pm

Meghan Daum's The Unspeakable is nominally a collection of essays about the conversations we all want to partake in but hold back from; the thoughts we all have but refuse to admit out loud.

And, in several respects, the book fits the bill. "Matricide," the collection's opening essay, recounts Daum's experience watching her mother die from gallbladder cancer. But the piece is equally an exploration of their troubled relationship, and Daum is open about her grievances. "I had a hard time not seeing her as a fraud," she says at one point.

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Author Interviews
1:35 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Norman Lear Looks Back On His Long Life In 'Even This I Get To Experience'

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
1:35 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

How A Feud Between Two Russian Companies Fueled A 'Spam Nation'

Don't install software from the Web unless it's directly from the company that made it. If you do install software, make sure you update it. And whatever you do, don't open attachments emailed to you by spammers.

These are just a few warnings from Brian Krebs, an investigative journalist and cybersecurity expert.

Krebs learned the ins and outs of how the spam industry works when he was given documents in the aftermath of a feud between two Russian companies — two of the largest sponsors of pharmaceutical spam.

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Monkey See
12:47 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

'MasterChef Junior': The Secret Ingredients Are Moppets And Empathy

Abby knows better than to lose her concentration while cooking.
Greg Gayne Fox

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The Salt
10:04 am
Tue November 18, 2014

As Espresso Rises, Will 'Greek Coffee' Be Left To The Turks?

"Greek coffee" may be a matter of national pride in the Mediterranean nation. But increasingly, Greeks are embracing espresso, an imported brew, as their cup of Joe of choice.
Pawel Loj Flickr

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 11:08 am

Greeks have loved coffee for centuries. Today, they drink more per capita than even the French and Italians, and almost as much as Americans, and they may spend hours each week in cafes.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Book News: Jonathan Franzen's New Novel Poised For September Release

Jonathan Franzen, pictured here at The New Yorker Festival Fiction Night in 2009, won the National Book Award for his third novel, The Corrections.
Joe Kohen Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 9:02 am

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

Say one thing about Jonathan Franzen: He doesn't shy from an ambitious book title. Fresh off Freedom in 2010, Franzen plans to release a new novel next September — the modestly titled Purity.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue November 18, 2014

A 'Garden' Full Of Dazzling, Whimsical Tales

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Small Beer Press

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 8:51 am

"Real magic, right next door," exclaims a character in "Walpurgis Afternoon," one of the short stories in Delia Sherman's stellar short-story collection, Young Woman in a Garden. In it, a family that's hyperconscious of zoning laws and what the neighbors think are faced with the unimaginable: A huge, elaborate Victorian house appears on their block overnight. Two women live in the house, and the secrets they hold will change everything.

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Take It In: 'Vape' Is The Oxford Dictionaries Word Of The Year

Vape was chosen as the word of the year for 2014 in part because it provides a window "onto how we define ourselves," says Casper Grathwohl of the Oxford University Press. Here, women exhale vapor clouds during a competition at the Henley Vaporium in Manhattan.
Elizabeth Shafiroff Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 8:28 am

The growing popularity of electronic cigarettes has now sparked the notice of the estimable Oxford Dictionaries, which has chosen "vape" as the word of the year for 2014. The word can be a noun or a verb; it beat out contenders such as "bae" and "normcore."

Noting that e-cigarettes have come a long way since the early 1980s, when the "vape" was first breathed into life, the folks at Oxford Dictionaries say it took awhile for the new market, and the new word, to mature.

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Monkey See
3:58 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

A Painful Hollywood Portrait Makes For Great TV On 'The Comeback'

Lisa Kudrow plays actress Valerie Cherish in The Comeback.
Colleen Hayes HBO

In 2005, Lisa Kudrow starred in a little HBO show called The Comeback, a show styled as — get ready for this — the raw footage for a (fictional) reality show about a (fictional) actress named Valerie Cherish, getting her big chance to come back in the (fictional) sitcom Room And Bored. The show was well reviewed but low-rated, and it was canceled after 13 episodes.

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Television
3:42 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Bill Cosby's Silence On Rape Allegations Makes Huge Media Noise

Bill Cosby speaks at a press conference about African- American art on Nov. 6.
Evan Vucci AP

This may be the first time in a long while that Bill Cosby can't control the public conversation about Bill Cosby.

Read the recent biography Cosby: His Life and Times, and you see a portrait of a talented performer who took control of his business and career interests early on, forever suspicious of journalists and industry executives who might try to interfere.

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The Salt
1:43 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Papa John's Frito Chili Pizza

The Fritos Chili Pizza: blurring the line between "recipe" and "spilling your Fritos in exactly the right place."
NPR

The year is 2047. You're in a dining hall on the desolate comet on which we all now live. You look down at your food, sitting on your plate. The plate is, as always, a large cheese pizza. A painful memory flashes. You ask the child next to you, "Remember when plates weren't also made of food?" The child does not remember. The child was born after the Papa John's Fritos Chili Pizza, which served a pile of Fritos on a pizza, and changed the arc of humanity forever.

Ian: I look at this and half of me sees "pizza," half of me sees "place a hamster would live."

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