Arts/Life

The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

4 Ways NBC Might Rehabilitate Brian Williams' Image

Brian Williams at an event in New Jersey in 2014.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 1:54 pm

NBC has worked out a deal to keep tarnished news anchor Brian Williams at the company, sending him to MSNBC to serve as anchor of breaking news and special reports.

But this brings a new question: How, exactly, can NBC get viewers to trust him again?

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Movie Interviews
11:46 am
Thu June 18, 2015

'Love & Mercy' Brings The Life Of Brian Wilson To The Big Screen

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Book News & Features
10:03 am
Thu June 18, 2015

Don't Know Much About History? Read A Romance

Napoleon Bonaparte flees the field of Waterloo, June 18, 1815.
Alfredo Dagli Orti The Art Archive

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 3:12 pm

Pick up a romance novel and you'll often get more than just a pleasant read – many fans of historical romance say their favorite books have given them a new grounding in history and geography by bringing long-lost people and places to life.

So I'd hazard a guess that few Americans under the age of 30 know much about Napoleon Bonaparte, beyond the fact that he was short and had a complex, unless they study history — or read romance.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Thu June 18, 2015

'Seven Good Years' Remembers Tiny Moments Writ Exquisitely Large

Courtesy of Riverhead Books

There are a hundred writers that I want to have a beer with, but Etgar Keret isn't one of them.

I want to almost have a beer with him — to have plans and a time and a place — and then for everything to go wrong. For trains to break down, cabs to be late; for him to be delayed by a missing wallet or a flood in his hotel, for me to blow a tire and for my cell phone to die so that we miss each other, arriving at the bar at different times to find it actively on fire or already burned to the ground.

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The Salt
6:27 am
Thu June 18, 2015

Appetite For War: What Napoleon And His Men Ate On The March

Napoleon's last grand attack at Waterloo.
Life of Napoleon Bonaparte by William M. Sloane

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 1:34 pm

On the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon Bonaparte's most celebrated statement about food and warfare — "An army marches on its stomach" — is worth recalling.

Except there is no record of him saying it. Just as there is no record of Marie Antoinette saying, "Let them eat cake."

If he did say it, the words would have been as hollow as the stomachs of his soldiers. Though one of the greatest military generals of all time, Napoleon was surprisingly negligent about feeding his army.

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Performing Arts
2:05 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

'The Projects' Explores The Evolution Of Chicago's Public Housing System

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 4:53 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Movie Reviews
12:34 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

'The Tribe' Says A Lot About Violence, Sex And Love — Without A Single Word

Director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy clearly intends the boarding school for the deaf as a stand-in for all the things that have gone wrong with Ukrainian society.
Courtesy of Drafthouse Films

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 6:21 pm

The notion that action speaks louder than words gets quite a workout in a new movie called The Tribe. It's the often-violent story of a teenager who tries to join the in-crowd at his new school. But on the film festival circuit, what has caused a lot of talk ... is that the film has no talk. Not a single syllable of dialogue.

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Television
11:38 am
Wed June 17, 2015

HBO's New Sunday Lineup Is Full Of Pleasant Surprises

In Ballers, Dwayne Johnson (left) plays an ex-Dolphin who is trying to make the transition from pro football player to financial planner for wealthy athletes. His boss is played by Rob Corddry, from The Daily Show.
Jeff Daly HBO

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 3:55 pm

Last weekend, HBO presented the season finales of its three Sunday night prime-time spring series, Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley and Veep. This weekend, HBO unveils its new Sunday night lineup: the all-new second season of True Detective, and two new comedies, Ballers, starring Dwayne Johnson, formerly known as the wrestler called The Rock, and The Brink, starring Tim Robbins and Jack Black.

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Author Interviews
11:38 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Judd Apatow: A Comedy-Obsessed Kid Becomes 'Champion Of The Goofball'

Apatow (who dressed up as Harpo Marx for Halloween in 1975) was one of the youngest kids in his grade. "When you're little, that year is impactful," he says. "You are smaller, you are behind in every possible way."
Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 11:07 pm

As a kid, Judd Apatow was obsessed with comedy. "No other kids in my school cared about it at all," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "There was no one to talk about it with."

That's all different now. Today, Apatow says there's a "giant culture of comedy nerds." But as a kid, he was on his own — and in some ways, that worked in his favor. "Back then I was alone and I had a little confidence about it because I felt like: 'This is my thing. This is the only thing that only I know about,'" he says.

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Book Reviews
8:15 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Too Much 'Word,' Not Enough 'Nerd' In This Scrabble Story

Courtesy of Liveright Publishing Corporation

Here's one way to attract readers: Spell out your title in Scrabble tiles. It worked for Stefan Fatsis's Word Freak in 2001, though that's not all that worked for that wonderful book, which remains the best about the game of Scrabble and its obsessed competitors.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed June 17, 2015

'Modern Romance:' Love In The Age Of Demography

Courtesy of Penguin Press

Editor's note: There is some adult language in this piece that some readers may find offensive.

They say that all actors really want to direct. That all journalists dream of being novelists. That all babies want to grow up to be cowboys. And that all comedians want to become data analysts. Okay, maybe not all comedians. Maybe just one: Aziz Ansari. And with his new book, Modern Romance, he finally gets his shot at living the dream.

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Wed June 17, 2015

'3 ½ Minutes' Chronicles Florida Murder Over Loud Rap Music

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 5:19 am

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

Fine Art
2:43 am
Wed June 17, 2015

In 1846, 'The Jolly Flatboatmen' Did A Different Sort Of River Dance

George Caleb Bingham's The Jolly Flatboatmen (1846) became wildly popular after an East Coast art union bought it and started disseminating it as a print.
National Gallery of Art

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 5:19 am

Eight Midwestern river men — all jolly fellows — traveled from St. Louis to New York recently on a museum-to-museum voyage. George Caleb Bingham's 1846 painting The Jolly Flatboatmen is the star of a show opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Wednesday, but Bingham's painting belongs to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., where it's hung, on and off, for more than 50 years.

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Television
2:30 pm
Tue June 16, 2015

Amazon's 'Catastrophe' Isn't One — Unlike Some TV Rom-Coms

Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney co-star in the new Amazon romantic comedy, Catastrophe.
Ed Miller Channel 4

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 6:06 pm

Amazon's new romantic comedy Catastrophe begins with a whirlwind tryst that could have been ripped from the latest contemporary romance novel.

Rob is a handsome, witty American advertising executive in London on business. After a chance meeting in a bar, he has an amazing week of romance and sex with a sharp, beautiful Irish schoolteacher named Sharon.

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Author Interviews
11:29 am
Tue June 16, 2015

What Etgar Keret Learned From His Father About Storytelling And Survival

Etgar Keret's work has been published in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and he's contributed to This American Life.
Yanai Yechiel Courtesy of Riverhead Books

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 10:01 am

As Israeli writer Etgar Keret waited for his son to be born, victims of a terrorist attack were being brought into the same hospital. "The idea that you bring your son into a world in which he can be hurt and killed by a random and violent act — it's kind of discouraging," Keret tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's scary enough ... assuming the responsibility of being a parent without having that in your face the day that your son is being born."

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Book Reviews
9:18 am
Tue June 16, 2015

'Modern Romance' And The Emerging Audiobook

Aziz Ansari.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images

Audiobooks have traditionally been tricky to get right and even harder to make special. Very often, they're literally just books read aloud, to the best of the ability of a single, usually highly skilled reader. In fiction, you get readers who are asked to provide voices for however many characters the author invented.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Merry Bloomsday! For Communion With Joyce, Raise A Sacramental Guinness

Bloomsday enthusiasts get into the sartorial spirit of Ulysses in the novel's native town, Dublin.
Julien Behal PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 12:25 pm

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Who's That Batgirl? 'Burnside' Charms Despite Stumbles

Courtesy of DC Entertainment

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 6:07 pm

"I guess you can't trust any Batgirl these days," Barbara Gordon says roguishly (she does everything roguishly) in Batgirl Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside. It's a sly, even subversive line, referring to the fact that the role has been played by many different characters — and in many different ways — over the years. With Barbara's comment, the authors reiterate their cleverly layered theme: Identity, especially in the digital age, is anything but fixed.

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The Salt
7:01 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Why Scream For Gelato Instead Of Ice Cream? Here's The Scoop

Higher butterfat content makes ice cream thick and heavy, which is why you can get a nice, round, firm scoop of ice cream, shown at left. Gelato, at right, has less cream, which gives you softer drifts.
iStockphoto/The Art of Making Gelato, Race Point Publishing

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 10:21 am

Back in the day, this saying applied to pretty much everyone: "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream."

Nowadays, though, one friend is probably screaming for gelato, another for a vegan frozen dessert and yet someone else for sherbet.

But it's gelato, ice cream's Italian cousin, that's keeping more customers coming back. Gelato sales rose from $11 million in 2009 to an estimated $214 million in 2014, which has kept frozen dessert sales afloat, according to the market research firm Mintel.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue June 16, 2015

We're All Looking For A Home 'In The Country'

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 5:31 pm

In "The Miracle Worker," one of the nine stories that make up Mia Alvar's debut collection In the Country, a wealthy Bahraini woman hires a Filipino special education teacher to try to coax some communication from her daughter, a profoundly disabled girl with extensive physical deformities. The mother wants nothing more than for her daughter to be "normal." She explains to the teacher: "Often people do not love difference."

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The 'Morning Edition' Book Club
3:07 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Kate Atkinson Tells Book Club How She Crafts Characters At All Life Stages

Kate Atkinson says she never sees her characters at just one stage of their lives. Just as we are constantly thinking about the past, present and future in real life, she constructs her characters in the same way.
Euan Myles Courtesy Hachette Book Group

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 2:24 pm

Welcome to the second session of the Morning Edition Reads book club! Here's how it works: A well-known writer will pick a book he or she loved. We'll all read it. Then, you'll send us your questions about the book. About a month later, we'll reconvene to talk about the book with the author and the writer who picked it.

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Author Interviews
2:59 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

From Dating Exhaustion To ... Flo Rida? Aziz Ansari Surveys 'Modern Romance'

Aziz Ansari is a writer, stand-up comedian and actor well-known for playing Tom Haverford in NBC's Parks and Recreation.
Ruvan Wijesooriy Courtesy of Penguin Press

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 5:07 pm

In his stand-up, Aziz Ansari often talks about dating. And while he's now happily in a relationship, he's still fascinated with how people find each other — so fascinated, in fact, that he wrote a book about it called Modern Romance. The comic tells NPR's Audie Cornish, "I didn't want this book to be, you know, just for single people ... who are out there now, but I wanted to kind of do an overview of dating and relationships as a whole."

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Monkey See
1:48 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch Edition: 'Jurassic World'

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World.
Chuck Zlotnick Universal Pictures

You may have heard that Jurassic World made more than $500 million worldwide in its opening weekend. That's $500 million, 5-0-0. Its nearly $209 million weekend in the U.S. alone makes it the highest-grossing U.S. opening weekend ever. That's ever, e-ver.

So how's the movie? It's fine. Does it justify having had the biggest domestic box-office opening weekend of all time? That's a pretty tall order for a pretty medium-sized movie, creatively speaking.

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Book Reviews
1:37 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Morally Messy Stories, Exquisitely Told, In Mia Alvar's 'In The Country'

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 3:00 pm

The initial "selling point" of Mia Alvar's debut short story collection, In the Country, is its fresh subject matter: namely, Filipinos living under martial law in the 1970s in their own country and in exile, working as maids, engineers, teachers, health care workers and hired hands in the Middle East and the United States.

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It's All Politics
1:15 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Fueled By Fear, How Richard Nixon Became 'One Man Against The World'

In his new book One Man Against the World, Tim Weiner explores some of the questions surrounding the presidency of Richard Nixon, pictured above in the Oval Office on Feb. 19, 1970.
National Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 2:52 pm

Richard Nixon's presidency has always been one surrounded by questions and controversy: Why did he wiretap his own aides and diplomats? Why did he escalate the war in Vietnam? Why did he lie about his war plans to his secretary of defense and secretary of state? What were the Watergate burglars searching for, and why did Nixon tape conversations that included incriminating evidence?

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Business
4:25 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Mamma Mia! Olive Garden Food Truck Invades Boston's Italian Neighborhood

Boston's North End is full of authentic Italian eateries. The Olive Garden is most definitely not one of them. But this weekend, an Olive Garden food truck parked there, handing out free food samples.
Craig Lemoult/WGBH

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 12:33 pm

Boston's North End neighborhood is a popular destination for authentic Italian food. But this weekend, local eateries got some unlikely competition: the Olive Garden food truck.

The green truck, emblazoned with the words "Breadstick Nation" and "Italian Kitchen," found a parking spot on the edge of the Boston neighborhood where Italian food is most sacred.

That's right: Olive Garden is jumping on the food truck craze. The Italian restaurant chain is sending trucks around the country to hand out free samples of its newest menu item: breadstick sandwiches.

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Author Interviews
4:27 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

'You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up': Inside The Lives Of The 'China Rich'

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 11:06 am

In his 2014 novel Crazy Rich Asians, author Kevin Kwan took readers to Singapore and into the lives of Asia's elite, who live in a world of opulence so extreme, it's absurd.

The novel became an international best-seller, with a movie in the works.

Now those Crazy Rich Asians are back as a mix of old and new characters in Kwan's new novel, China Rich Girlfriend.

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My Big Break
3:13 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

Bankrolling A Dinosaur Dig And Unearthing A Giant: The Giganotosaurus

The skull of a Giganotosaurus.
Courtesy Don Lessem

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 2:18 pm

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.

This weekend, the dinosaurs are back in Jurassic World, where the park is ravaged by the invented Indominus Rex.

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Arts & Life
6:18 am
Sun June 14, 2015

Shooting Barbs At The Stars: Kathy Griffin On Comedy And Intolerance

Kathy Griffin, onstage for her Like a Boss Tour.
David A. Beloff Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 9:02 am

Kathy Griffin has spent her career going for the joke. The comedian has developed a style that eviscerates celebrities, while sharing delightfully bizarre stories that could only happen in Hollywood.

Along the way, she's won fans who feel she tells it like it is ... and enemies who think she goes too far.

On her new tour, called "Like A Boss," Griffin will be traveling to 80 cities between June and December. And, she tells NPR's Rachel Martin, no topics are off-limits — even Caitlyn Jenner.

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Sunday Puzzle
5:43 am
Sun June 14, 2015

The Color Of This Puzzle Is Punny Looking

NPR

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 9:02 am

On-air challenge: For the blank in each provided sentence, put in the name of a color to complete the sentence in a punny way.

For example, "After getting the title to the Maserati, I was able to call that __________."

Answer: "Carmine."

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