Arts/Life

PG-13: Risky Reads
5:03 am
Mon December 31, 2012

A Dangerous World of Hackers And Ninjas

n

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 11:29 am

Nick Harkaway is the author of Angelmaker.

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Books
1:31 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Listen Up! Audiobooks For Every Taste

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:46 am

  • Hear an excerpt of 'Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power'

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the holiday rush — too swamped, even, to spend an afternoon reading those books you got for Christmas, we have some recommendations for you — but these are audiobooks, so you can listen while you multitask.

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The Salt
1:29 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Cheap Bubbly Or Expensive Sparkling Wine? Look To The Bubbles For Clues

The bubbles in champagne tickle the tongue and transfer wonderful aromas to the nose.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 8:03 am

There's nothing like the distinctive "pop" of the uncorking of a bottle of bubbly to create a sense of celebration. Whether it's Dom Perignon or a $10 sparkling wine, bubbles add pizazz.

Sparkling-wine lovers sometimes point to the glittering streams of tiny bubbles as an important attribute. Why? Well, tiny bubbles are a sign of age, explains French chemist Gerard Liger-Belair, author of Uncorked: The Science of Champagne.

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Author Interviews
1:28 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Death Of The (Predatory) Salesman: These Days, It's A Buyer's Market

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:46 am

The familiar image of the salesman in American culture hasn't always been a flattering one. Just think of Alec Baldwin as the verbally abusive "motivator" of two real estate salesmen in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Daniel H. Pink, author of the new book To Sell is Human, says that this relentless, predator-style approach to selling has become outdated. He believes that the art of sales has changed more in the past 10 years than it did in the previous century.

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Book Reviews
3:42 pm
Sun December 30, 2012

Author Ben Fountain's Book Picks For 2013

Ben Fountain is the author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and the short story collection Brief Encounters With Che Guevara.
Thorne Anderson

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 4:33 pm

Last spring, weekends on All Things Considered spoke with author Ben Fountain just as he released his widely acclaimed first novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Later in the year, it was nominated for the National Book Award.

We asked Fountain to share with us what he's looking forward to in the book world next year. He says he's read about 25 books for release in 2013 and tells host Jacki Lyden, "The state of American fiction is really strong, at least from where I'm standing."

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Kee Facts: A Few Things You Didn't Know
5:50 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Close The Year Out With Some Best-Selling Last Words

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 3:27 pm

People often make lists of the greatest opening lines in fiction, but closing lines really appeal to me. They're your final moments with a book and can help you remember and treasure it forever.

The last weekend of the year seems an appropriate time to consider the final words of our favorite novels and short stories. Here are some that I'm especially fond of:

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

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Commentary
3:12 am
Sun December 30, 2012

On Your Plate In 2013, Expect Kimchi And Good-For-You Greens

Commentator Bonny Wolf expects Asian cuisine such as kimchi fried rice to become even more popular in 2013.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 3:14 pm

Weekend Edition food commentator Bonny Wolf offers her predictions of what we'll eat in the new year.

Asia is the new Europe. It's been gradual: from pan-Asian, Asian fusion and Asian-inspired to just deciding among Vietnamese, Korean, Tibetan and Burmese for dinner.

Should we have the simple food of the Thai plateau or the hot, salty, sour foods of southern Thailand?

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Sunday Puzzle
3:04 am
Sun December 30, 2012

If You Didn't Know, Now You Know

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 11:32 am

On-air challenge: This week is the annual "new names in the news" quiz. You're given some names that you probably never heard of before 2012, but who made news during the past 12 months. You say who they are. These names were compiled with the help of Kathie Baker and Tim Goodman, who were players on previous year-end quizzes.

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NPR Story
4:12 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Graphic Novels That Flew Under The Radar In 2012

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 3:38 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This last weekend of the year, we're looking back on some of the best books of 2012. In this encore broadcast, Glen Weldon highlights two graphic novels from the past year, starting with one called "Drama" by Raina Telgemeier.

GLEN WELDON: "Drama" is a young adult graphic novel about a middle-school girl named Callie...

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL #1: (as Callie) What's up?

WELDON: ...who is a complete theater nerd.

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Movie Interviews
4:12 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Matt Damon On His Promising New Film

Steve (Matt Damon), a salesman for a large oil company, visits a small town in which he hopes to buy drilling rights.
Scott Green Focus Features

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 3:38 pm

Matt Damon has played Jason Bourne, the brainwashed assassin. He won an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay for Good Will Hunting with Ben Affleck. And now he's returned to the writer's chair for his latest film — Promised Land.

Damon plays Steve Butler, a salesman who comes to a small Pennsylvania town to sell the local farmers on allowing his company to drill on their land for natural gas using a controversial process known as fracking.

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The Two-Way
3:19 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Marvel Kills Peter Parker, But Spider-Man Will Live On (Sort Of)

The Amazing Spider-Man #700 is the final issue of the series.
AP/Marvel Comics

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 6:47 pm

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with Marvel Comics' web-slinging, wise-cracking superhero. Spider-Man is no more. Well, to be more precise, Peter Parker is no more.

In the 700th and final issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, writer Dan Slott's controversial story saw Spider-Man's mind switched with that of his dying arch-foe Dr. Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus. The twist is that with his final effort, Spidey was able to give all of his memories and morals to his body-stealing enemy.

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Movie Interviews
12:49 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Tarantino On 'Django,' Violence And Catharsis

Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), a slave owner, holds Django's wife captive.
Andrew Cooper The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 3:06 pm

In Quentin Tarantino's new film, Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx plays the title character, a freed slave turned bounty hunter searching for his wife and their plantation tormentors.

As is the case with all of Tarantino's films, Django Unchained is incredibly violent. We spoke to the director before the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and before critics had taken him to task for the film's brutality. The film also is being debated for the way it brings humor to the story of slavery.

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Monkey See
10:58 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Our Very First Live Show

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

It's been a holiday week here at the old PCHH studios (I'm just kidding, that's completely not a thing), but we've got good news: we're offering the audio of our live show, which we recorded on December 15, in front of an incredibly patient and kind crowd.

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Around the Nation
10:08 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Is Kwanzaa Still A Thing?

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 11:02 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
10:03 am
Fri December 28, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of December 27, 2012

At No. 6, Wild traces author Cheryl Strayed's crisis after her mother's death and a bitter divorce.

Pop Culture
9:48 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Colbert On Musical Moments And 'America Again'

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 2:23 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. This week we've been revisiting some of our favorite interviews of 2012, and we conclude the week by presenting two more: Terry's visits with Stephen Colbert and Doris Day.

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Movie Interviews
9:48 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Doris Day: A Hollywood Legend Reflects On Life

Doris Day will celebrate her 88th birthday on Tuesday, April 3.
Sony Picture Archives

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 2:23 pm

As part of our year-end wrap up, we are sharing the best Fresh Air interviews of 2012. This interview was originally broadcast on April 2, 2012.

The biggest female box-office star in Hollywood history, Doris Day started singing and dancing when she was a teenager, and made her first film when she was 24. After nearly 40 movies, she walked away from that part of her life in 1968, and started rescuing and caring for animals.

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Author Interviews
1:24 am
Fri December 28, 2012

'The Book Of Gin' Distills A Spirited History

Workers pose for a photo at the Hoboken de Bie & Co. gin distillery in Rotterdam, Netherlands, circa 1900. By the end of the 19th century, cocktail culture had helped make gin a more respectable spirit.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 11:56 am

Unlike a good martini, the story of gin isn't smooth; it's long, complex, sordid and, as Richard Barnett has discovered, it makes for tantalizing material. Barnett's newly published The Book of Gin traces the liquor's life, from its beginnings in alchemy to its current popularity among boutique distillers.

Barnett joins NPR's Renee Montagne to discuss the medicinal origins and changing reputation of gin.


Interview Highlights

On gin's medicinal origins

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Author Interviews
1:22 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Tamari Greens, Miso Yams: Chef Gives Vegans Multicultural Flavor

Jennifer Martiné Da Capo Lifelong Books

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:18 pm

Veganism has long been thought of as a bland, fringe diet typically associated with hippies or trend-setting Hollywood types. But chef Bryant Terry is trying to chip away at that stereotype.

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Arts & Life
1:21 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Let's Double Down On A Superstorm Of Malarkey: Picking 2012's Word Of The Year

Selfie, one of the candidates for 2012's Word of the Year, means a self-portrait photograph, usually posted to a social networking site.
textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.com/Original image by Diana Walker for Time

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:26 pm

There is a major decision coming up that will truly define the year 2012. Yes, it's almost time for the American Dialect Society to once again vote on the Word of the Year. Will it be selfie? Hate-watching? Superstorm? Double down? Fiscal cliff? Or (shudder) YOLO?

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Books
2:24 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Change Is The Only Constant In Today's Publishing Industry

Penguin and Random House, two of the biggest players in publishing, announced in October that they would merge.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 7:40 pm

The publishing industry has been in flux for years. First chain stores, then Amazon, then e-books — many forces have combined to create dramatic change in the traditional publishing model.

Mike Shatzkin is the founder and CEO of the publishing industry consulting firm Idea Logical. He says one of the biggest changes happening in publishing right now is the planned merger of two of the biggest players in the field, Penguin and Random House — with whispers of further mergers to come.

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Books
2:24 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Margaret Atwood's Brave New World Of Online Publishing

Margaret Atwood has written 13 novels, including The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake.
George Whiteside

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 7:40 pm

If you're a Margaret Atwood fan — and you've got some spare change under the couch cushions — just a few dollars will get you a stand-alone episode of the new novel she's writing in serial form.

It's called Positron, and Atwood is publishing it on Byliner, a website launched last year that's one of many new sites billing themselves as platforms for writers.

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Books
2:23 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

E-Books Destroying Traditional Publishing? The Story's Not That Simple

Publishers are finding that flexible pricing on e-books can help bring in new readers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 7:40 pm

What counts as a book these days, in a world of Kindles, Nooks and iPads — and eager talk about new platforms and distribution methods?

Traditional publishers are traveling a long and confusing road into the digital future. To begin with, here's the conventional wisdom about publishing: E-books are destroying the business model.

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Books
2:23 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Libraries And E-Lending: The 'Wild West' Of Digital Licensing?

About three-quarters of public libraries offer digital lending, but finding a book you want can be frustrating — every publisher has its own set of rules.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 7:40 pm

Have you ever borrowed an e-book from a library? If the answer is no, you're a member of a large majority. A survey out Thursday from the Pew Internet Project finds that only 5 percent of "recent library users" have tried to borrow an e-book this year.

About three-quarters of public libraries offer e-books, according to the American Library Association, but finding the book you want to read can be a challenge — when it's available at all.

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Food
2:20 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

'Dirt Candy': A Visual Veggie Cookbook With A Memoir Mixed In

Amanda Cohen is the chef-owner of Dirt Candy, a vegetable-focused restaurant in New York City.
Clarkson Potter

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 7:40 pm

The Ones That Got Away series: There were so many good arts and entertainment stories in 2012 that we couldn't get around to reporting on everything as it was released. So this week, our arts reporters are circling back to look at books, movies, TV shows and trends that we should have paid more attention to.

Amanda Cohen's Dirt Candy is a graphic novel, vegetarian cookbook and memoir. But because it's all of those things, it's also not exactly any of them — so it fell between the cracks.

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Arts & Life
12:23 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

At The End Of The Day, Cliches Can Be As Good As Gold

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

So I'm wondering, how often have you actually counted your chickens before they'd hatched, or maybe thrown up a single stone and then hit two birds, not to mention having one of those critters in your hand that was worth two of them in the bush. Cliches are very often denounced as the most over-used and contemptible phrases in the English language.

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Television
9:51 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Aaron Sorkin: The Writer Behind 'The Newsroom'

Aaron Sorkin's work includes A Few Good Men, The American President, The West Wing, Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Charlie Wilson's War and The Social Network.
HBO

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 10:18 am

As part of our year-end wrap up, we are sharing the best Fresh Air interviews of 2012. This interview was originally broadcast on July 16, 2012.

Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama The Newsroom follows the inner workings of a fictional cable network trying to challenge America's hyperpartisan 24/7 news culture. It's a typical Sorkin drama, complete with fast-paced dialogue, witty scenes and a strong ensemble cast.

So why a newsroom?

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Best Books Of 2012
5:03 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Courage And Curiosity: The Best Heroines Of 2012

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 10:45 am

The most dangerous trait a woman can possess is curiosity. That's what myths and religion would have us believe, anyway. Inquisitive Pandora unleashed sorrow upon the world. Eve got us kicked out of paradise. Blight on civilization it may be, but female curiosity is a gift to narrative and the quality my five favorite heroines of the year possess in spades.

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Digital Life
1:29 am
Thu December 27, 2012

In Rapid-Fire 2012, Memes' Half-Life Fell To A Quarter

A screengrab from the "Kony 2012" online video about the Central African warlord Joseph Kony, which skyrocketed in popularity after its release in March. It was criticized, then forgotten, just as quickly.
via YouTube

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 2:34 am

Last June, a young woman in Texas uploaded a Justin Bieber fan video. She seemed a little .... unhinged.

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Author Interviews
1:25 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Shake It Up! Vintage Cocktails Are Ripe For Revival

American bartender Harry Craddock mixes a drink at the Savoy Hotel in London in 1926. Craddock is known for helping to popularize the Corpse Reviver, one of the drinks featured in historian Lesley Blume's book about vintage cocktail culture.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 2:34 am

It's the holiday season and for some people that means celebrating with friends, family and cocktails. But instead of settling for the standard martini or Manhattan, author and historian Lesley Blume suggests you reach for a taste of bygone cocktail culture.

In Let's Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition, Blume outlines more than 100 lesser-known oldies that are both delicious and delightful. She joins NPR's David Greene to discuss cocktail history and how to make vintage recipes part of a modern-day party.

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