Arts/Life

The Two-Way
5:19 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Book News: Even Mark Twain Has A Shirtless Picture On The Internet

A photo of Mark Twain from the 1880s.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 4:50 am

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

  • Open Culture dug up an old picture of Mark Twain, who clearly did not heed his own (possibly apocryphal) advice: "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu February 21, 2013

The Satisfactions Of Simplicity In 'Jackal's Share'

iStockphoto.com

Chris Morgan Jones' latest espionage novel, The Jackal's Share, makes a reader appreciate the attractions of simplicity. There aren't any glitzy tricks here: no over-the-top villains or weapons arsenals; no le Carre-like meditations on the existential identity of the spy.

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Tina Brown's Must-Reads
12:59 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Tina Brown's Must Reads: The Post-Sept. 11 World

Gen. Stanley McChrystal during a retirement ceremony in 2010. His comments in a Rolling Stone interview helped lead to his resignation.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 8:27 am

Tina Brown, editor of the Daily Beast and Newsweek, joins NPR's Steve Inskeep again for an occasional feature Morning Edition likes to call Word of Mouth. She tells us what she's been reading and gives us recommendations.

This month, Brown sent three recommendations that all deal with the post-Sept. 11 world — stories of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the military and political issues that shape the Middle East and the world at large.

A General Talks Back

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Hollywood Jobs
10:05 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

For Film Set Decorators, Tiny Details Count

The third floor of the Warner Brothers Prop House holds a host of antiques available for rent by set decorators working on television and films. Each of the building's four floors is as big as a football field.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 1:07 pm

Picture Rick's smoky cafe in Casablanca, Lincoln's office at the White House of the 1860s, or the Mos Eisley cantina on the desert planet of Tatooine: A production designer came up with the overall look of those movie sets. But the booze on Rick's bar or the pens on Lincoln's desk — it took a set decorator and a crew to make them look authentic and believable.

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Monkey See
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Home Video Review: 'On The Waterfront'

As dockworker Terry Malloy in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront, a young Marlon Brando firmly established himself as a leading Hollywood icon.
Criterion Collection

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Time again for a home-viewing recommendation from NPR movie critic Bob Mondello. Today, Bob suggests a tale of moral crisis — On the Waterfront, in a freshly restored Blu-ray version from Criterion.

Mugs and palookas, racketeers and dockworkers, mob boss Lee J. Cobb running the union with an iron fist, Marlon Brando tripping up its control when Eva Marie Saint urges him to go to the feds and rat out the rats.

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Book Reviews
2:20 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

'The Dinner' Offers Food For Thought

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Food doesn't matter much in novels. Years will pass in a person's life without a single description of a snack. Not a moment between adverbs for a taco. No wonder so many characters in contemporary fiction are glum: They're not hopeless; they're hungry.

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Ask Me Another
11:45 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Misquoting Mark Twain

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 8:03 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

From NPR and WNYC, this is ASK ME ANOTHER, live from the Bell House in Brooklyn, New York.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I'm your host, Ophira Eisenberg, and joining me later in the hour are our special musical guests Paul and Storm, and our puzzle guru Art Chung. Let's bring up our first two players. Please welcome Ursula Lawrence and Gregory Guity.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Welcome to you both.

URSULA LAWRENCE: Thank you.

GREGORY GUITY: Thank you.

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Ask Me Another
11:45 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Agrarian Maps

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 8:03 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's bring up our next two brave contestants. We have Deb Amlen and Jonathan Corbblah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Jonathan, you teach chess, huh?

JONATHAN CORBBLAH: I do. I am a chess master and I've been teaching it in New York for the last ten years.

EISENBERG: Wow, a chess master.

CORBBLAH: Yes.

EISENBERG: I'm going to call you a chess king. Does that happen a lot?

CORBBLAH: Well, I'll take it.

EISENBERG: You'll take it, okay.

CORBBLAH: Sure, I like them all.

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Ask Me Another
11:45 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Fifty/Fifty

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 8:03 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Finally, it's what we've all been waiting for. Let's bring back our winners to play the Ask Me One More final round. From Misquoting Mark Twain, Gregory Guity.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: From Agrarian Maps, Jonathan Corbblah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: From Let's Get Randy, Jen Midura.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: From One or More, Ileen Roos.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And from Soft Rock Café, John Woods.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Art, take us out.

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Ask Me Another
11:45 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Soft Rock Cafe

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 8:03 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's move on to our next two contestants. Please welcome Justin Ober and John Woods.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: We are happy to have you both.

JOHN WOODS: Thank you.

EISENBERG: John, quick question for you. What is your guilty pleasure of music to listen to?

WOODS: Oh, I listen to the Top 100 of every year on the Billboard charts. They come out with a list every year. So I go through the 1 to 100. I rank them and I just go from there really.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Go from there like into life?

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Ask Me Another
11:45 am
Wed February 20, 2013

One Or More

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 8:03 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's welcome our next two contestants, Jake Stoler and Ileen Roos.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Welcome to you both. Hi, Ileen. Hi, Jake. Now, you both grew up playing a lot of games at home. Jake, what was your favorite game to play at home with your family?

JAKE STOLER: We would rent the Jeopardy Nintendo game every week and that's kind of how I wound up here.

EISENBERG: Really? Okay. And Ileen?

ILEEN ROOS: Much more old school than that, Parcheesi and Trivial Pursuit and...

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Ask Me Another
11:45 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Let's Get Randy

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 8:03 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's bring up our next two brave contestants. We have Curtis Raye and Jen Midura.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Jen, I'm fascinated that you are training to be a professional psychotherapist.

JEN MIDURA: I'm training to be counseling. I'm in counseling school right now.

EISENBERG: Yeah. So I have a couple of questions about what's going on with me right now.

MIDURA: Okay.

EISENBERG: Is that cool?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Just quickly, what is the best way to cure disappointment?

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Movie Reviews
11:40 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Voting Pinochet Out Was More Than Just A Yes Or 'No'

Gael Garcia Bernal stars as an advertising man in Chile under Pinochet in the 2012 film No, which is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the upcoming Academy Awards.
Sony Pictures Classics

These days politics and advertising go hand in hand. Mayors stage photo ops. The Bush administration compared the Iraq war to rolling out a new product. And just last year, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent nearly a billion dollars running for president. If you're an American, such wall-to-wall marketing has come to seem a natural phenomenon, like Hurricane Sandy or LeBron James.

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Books
11:20 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Jake Tapper: 'The Outpost' That Never Should Have Been

Jake Tapper's new book, The Outpost, tells the story of one of America's deadliest battles during the war in Afghanistan.
Little, Brown & Co.

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:10 pm

As the White House correspondent for ABC News, Jake Tapper covered the war in Afghanistan from what he calls "the comfort of the North Lawn of the White House."

"I had not been a war reporter in any sense other than debates about the war in Washington, D.C.," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Books
11:04 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Finding A Path For Pakistan At The Karachi Literature Festival

Attendees browse books on offer at the fourth annual Karachi Literature Festival.
Muhammad Umair Ali

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:26 pm

Friends in Karachi had me over for a beer Sunday evening. It wasn't hard for them to do. Alcohol is broadly outlawed in Pakistan, but with so many exceptions and so little enforcement, you can usually find something — in this case, tallboy cans of Murree's Millennium Brew from a Pakistani brewery.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Undercurrents Of Unease In Kasischke's 'Stranger'

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 8:18 am

As writers churn out novels about zombies and the apocalypse — books that portray our shared anxieties about the early 21st century — Laura Kasischke's first collection of stories, If a Stranger Approaches You, describes a world haunted, not by the undead, but by the phantoms of unemployment, increased airport security and missed credit card payments. The signature confluence between realism and the uncanny found in much of Kasischke's writing, both as poet and novelist, makes this book an important addition to her own body of work and to the contemporary literature of end times.

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Books
5:03 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Beyond Visible: LGBT Characters In Graphic Novels

The Heart of Thomas, by Moto Hagio, was one of the first Japanese comics to deal with same-sex relationships.
Fantagraphics

OK, yes: To gay comics fans like me, DC Comics' decision to hire an anti-gay activist like Orson Scott Card to write Superman — an iconic character who exists to represent humanity's noblest ideals of justice and compassion — is deeply dispiriting.

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Monkey See
3:34 am
Wed February 20, 2013

From Louisiana To Versailles, Funding 'Vital Stories, Artfully Told'

Cinereach aims to support films that tell stories from underrepresented perspectives. The Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild was one of those films.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:01 pm

The movie Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fairy tale of a film. It might not seem to have much in common with documentaries about evangelical Christians in Uganda or the billionaire Koch brothers. But these films were all funded by a not-for-profit group called Cinereach. It was started by a couple of film school graduates who are still in their 20s. And now, with Beasts, it has a nomination for Best Picture at this year's Oscars.

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Kitchen Window
11:56 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Be Prepared: Girl Scout Cookie Cooking May Surprise You

Doreen McCallister/NPR

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:44 pm

I'm not the first to develop recipes using Girl Scout cookies. About 20 years ago, I saw an article in a newspaper using Girl Scout cookies to make cakes. I made one of the recipes, and it came out almost as pretty as the paper's picture, and it tasted really good.

I was hooked. But before I could get started in the kitchen baking and cooking with Girl Scout cookies, I had a hurdle to get over. I had to decide whether I wanted to eat the cookies I ordered shortly after I received them — or delay gratification and experiment with them. It was a tough choice.

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Author Interviews
11:27 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Today's Bullied Teens Subject To 'Sticks And Stones' Online, Too

When Emily Bazelon was in eighth grade, her friends fired her. Now a senior editor for Slate, Bazelon writes in her new book, Sticks and Stones: "Two and a half decades later, I can say that wryly: it happened to plenty of people, and look at us now, right? We survived. But at the time, in that moment, it was impossible to have that kind of perspective."

In Sticks and Stones, Bazelon explores teen bullying, what it is and what it isn't, and how the rise of the Internet and social media make the experience more challenging.

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First Reads
5:03 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'Wave' By Sonali Deraniyagala

Sonali Deraniyagala was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She now lives in New York and North London.
Ann Billingsley

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 6:28 am

  • Listen to the Excerpt

Economist Sonali Deraniyagala lost her husband, parents and two young sons in the terrifying Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. They had been vacationing on the southern coast of her home country Sri Lanka when the wave struck. Wave is her brutal but lyrically written account of the awful moment and the grief-crazed months after, as she learned to live with her almost unbearable losses — and allow herself to remember details of her previous life.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue February 19, 2013

A Bona Fide American Tragedy In 'The Terror Courts'

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 8:53 am

The torture of alleged terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay — first reported by the Red Cross in 2004 and since attested in thousands of declassified memos and acknowledged by a top official in the administration of George W. Bush — has never been far from the headlines, and rightly so. But another breach of human rights and American values at the Cuban prison camp gets far less attention: the secretive military commissions that prosecute these suspects away from the American justice system.

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The Two-Way
4:55 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Book News: New Bond, James Bond, Novel; Jane Austen's Love Lessons

Sean Connery during the making of the James Bond film "Never Say Never Again."
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 7:51 am

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

  • A new James Bond novel by William Boyd will come out in the U.S. in October. The novel will be a return to the "classic" Bond, and will be set in the 1960s. Ian Fleming, the original Bond author, died in 1964.
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Movie Interviews
2:20 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Quvenzhane Wallis: "If I Have To Be Fierce, I'll Be Fierce"

Quvenzhane Wallis plays Hushpuppy in the film Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 3:38 pm

Quvenzhane Wallis was just 5 years old when she auditioned for a role in the Oscar-nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild, and 6 when she shot the movie. Now, at age 9, she is the youngest ever to receive a best actress Oscar nomination.

In the film, Quvenzhane plays a wild child named Hushpuppy, who lives with her sick father in a ramshackle, isolated community called the Bathtub, on the fringes of the Louisiana coast.

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Poetry
10:53 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco: 'I Finally Felt Like I Was Home'

Richard Blanco reads his poem "One Today" during President Obama's second inaugural, on Jan. 21.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 12:40 pm

"I just got the phone call one day," is how poet Richard Blanco describes to Fresh Air's Terry Gross how he learned he had been selected to write and read the inaugural poem for President Obama's second swearing-in on Jan. 21.

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The Salt
8:03 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Fake Food George Washington Could've Sunk His Fake Teeth Into

Stargazy Pie, a cornish dish named for the way the fish heads poke through the crust towards the sky.
Courtesy of Sandy Levins

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:02 pm

If you want to see what George Washington might have munched on, then Sandy Levins is your gal. All the foods she whips up look scrumptious, but if you sneak a bite, you'll get a mouthful of plaster or clay.

Levins is one of a handful of frequently overlooked artisans who craft the replica meals you see in the kitchens and dining rooms of historic houses and museums. Adding faux food to a historical site can help visitors connect to the past, she tells The Salt.

"It's something everyone immediately identifies with, because everyone eats," she says.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Book News: Amazon Fires German Security Firm After Claims Of Intimidation

Books in an Amazon warehouse in Bad Hersfeld, Germany.
Jens-Ulrich Koch AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:02 am

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

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Books
1:32 am
Mon February 18, 2013

'The Dinner' Asks: What Will You Do To Protect Your Family?

Herman Koch is a Dutch writer and actor. The Dinner is his sixth novel; it originally came out in Dutch in 2009, and has since been published in 25 countries.
Mark Kohn

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:42 am

Dutch author Herman Koch's new novel The Dinner is one meal you may feel a little strange after. The titular dinner is one planned by two couples — two brothers and their wives — at which they must discuss a terrible crime most likely committed by their sons. The crime is not yet public, but grainy video footage exists — and both sets of parents know it depicts their offspring.

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Author Interviews
11:59 am
Sun February 17, 2013

Days With John And Yoko: A Writer Remembers

John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, pictured above in January 1970, are the subjects of Jonathan Cott's new book Days That I'll Remember. Cott met Lennon in 1968 and was friends with the couple.
Anthony Cox Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 17, 2013 3:00 pm

As the European editor of Rolling Stone, Jonathan Cott spent his time interviewing legendary musicians like Mick Jagger and Pete Townshend. But in 1968, he finally got the opportunity to meet his hero, John Lennon. Cott was nervous.

"He said, 'There's nothing to be nervous about,'" Cott recalls. "'It's going to be OK, and we're doing it together, and that's what really matters.'"

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
11:43 am
Sun February 17, 2013

The Movie Connie Britton Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase in the 1978 movie Foul Play.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Sun February 17, 2013 3:00 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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