Arts/Life

Monkey See
9:04 am
Thu December 13, 2012

The 'Calm Act' Will Quiet Down Commercials, So What Should Congress Do Next?

iStockphoto.com

COME RIGHT DOWN RIGHT NOW BUY SOME FURNITURE EVERYTHING MUST GO WE ARE LIQUIDATING MERCHANDISE FOR THE THIRD TIME SINCE LAST FEBRUARY AND THIS TIME WE REALLY MEAN IT WE ARE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS ANY REASONABLE OFFER WILL BE ACCEPTED OR MY NAME ISN'T CRAZYPANTS MCGILLICUDDY.*

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Arts & Life
1:25 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Letters From 'Peanuts' Creator Reveal Bittersweet Romance

The collection's estimated price is $250,000 to $350,000.
Courtesy of the Claudius Family

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

On Friday, Sotheby's is putting up for auction 44 letters and 35 drawings from Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, to a young woman he was courting.

The letters were written during an eight-month period starting in 1970 when Schulz's first marriage was deteriorating and before he met his second wife. During this time, Schulz, 48, wrote Tracey Claudius, 25, poignant, funny, even innocent notes in pictures and words, often using Charlie Brown to stand in for himself.

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Best Books Of 2012
1:18 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Great Reads In Store: Indie Booksellers Pick 2012's Best

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

Books for the holidays — whether they're hardcovers or digitized — are always good gifts. NPR's Susan Stamberg talked with some of our go-to independent booksellers — Lucia Silva, former book buyer at the now-closed Portrait of a Bookstore in Studio City, Calif.; Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Co. in Milwaukee; and Rona Brinlee of The BookMark in Neptune Beach, Fla. — to find out what's on their Best of 2012 lists.

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Author Interviews
11:13 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Joseph Kennedy, 'Patriarch' Of An American Dynasty

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:03 pm

By the time he turned 40, Joseph Kennedy was a millionaire many times over and the head of what would soon become one of America's greatest political dynasties. In his new biography of the senior Kennedy, The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, David Nasaw charts Kennedy's life and trajectory from Boston society boy to Hollywood bigwig to controversial ambassador to Great Britain as World War II unfolded on the European stage.

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Wisdom Watch
9:45 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Africa's Wisdom, Woes Occupy Soyinka's Existence

Nigerian Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka.
Glen Gratty Yale University Press

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:28 am

"First of all, it meant for me money, which I had never had."

Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka tells NPR's Tell Me More host Michel Martin that being the first black African to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1986 was extremely lucky, especially for his pocket. The $290,000 in prize money gave him a life he had never dreamed of before. But that fame came with a cost.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Spain's Infamous 'Art Restorer' Hits EBay

Cecilia Gí­menez's handiwork: the Ecce Homo ("Behold the Man") fresco of Christ, left, and the "restored" version, dubbed Ecce Mono ("Behold the Monkey") at right. Now, the artist is trying her hand at selling her own art work.
AP

Cecilia Gímenez strikes again.

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The Picture Show
8:53 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Mom And Pop And Hoboken: Portraits In Mile Square City

Giorgio Pasticcerie Italian bakery is owned by a father-and-daughter pair: Giorgio, who moved to Hoboken from Italy, and his daughter, Mary Grace, a first-generation American.
John Delaney

Exactly 97 years ago today, Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken. A few decades later, On the Waterfront, starring a young Marlon Brando, was filmed there. The small New Jersey city, which sits on the Hudson just across from Manhattan, has a storied past of which locals are fiercely proud.

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Best Books Of 2012
5:03 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Now You're Talking! The Year's Best Book Club Reads

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 9:04 am

A young boy seeks justice. A young woman wants to stay alive. A friendship is tested. The child of a commune comes of age. A solitary man gives himself over to love. These are the bare actions underpinning the novels that I'm suggesting for book clubs this year. Some are first novels; others the work of well-known writers. Some might touch your heart; others might challenge the way you think. At least one will make you laugh — and a couple might make you cry. They are all good reads. And they are, above all, books you'll want to talk about with your friends.

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Three Books...
5:03 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Country Cousins: 3 Books About Rural Living

iStockphoto.com
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 9:31 am

As a small-town girl, I love depictions of rural living when they've got a little style and sass in their makeup. Replete with enough quirks and quaintness to choke a mule, small towns are timelessly fertile ground for writers. But the best authors ignore — or even play with — stereotypes to tell truly compelling stories.

Books
1:04 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Oprah's Book Club Turns Over A New Page

Oprah Winfrey's revamped book club uses her magazine and OWN cable network as platforms.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:58 am

Oprah Winfrey became a publishing powerhouse when she started her book club in 1996. Her picks went to the top of best-seller lists — and stayed there for weeks. But when Winfrey's daily talkfest went off the air, the book club ended as well.

Now she is reviving it: Winfrey has just announced her second pick for the Book Club 2.0: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, a novel by first-time author Ayana Mathis about the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the rural South.

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Kitchen Window
1:02 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Belgian Sweets Not Just For 'Sinterklaas'

Emily Hilliard for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:34 am

Though my grandmother Georgette was born in the United States, she is half Belgian (Flemish) and half French. On top of the cabinets in her blue kitchen you'll find a little Dutch village of porcelain houses. Above the sink are miniature figures of the Statue of Liberty, Manneken Pis and the Eiffel Tower — representations of her three nationalities. In her Delft cookie jar you'll find speculaas (also called speculoos) — the Dutch windmill-shaped gingersnap-like cookie traditionally eaten on St. Nicholas Day.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

A 'Consuming' Portrait Of Appalachian Life

Earl Gray is a local radio and paper personality, notorious for his program and column, "Gardeners Corners."
Christopher Sullivan Film Forum

Earl Gray is about the closest thing to a celebrity that the small Appalachian town of Magguson has. In Chris Sullivan's debut animated feature, Consuming Spirits, Gray (Robert Levy) hosts a gardening show on the local radio station, and the occasional event around town.

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Monkey See
2:11 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Let's Rush to Judgment: 'Man of Steel'

Warner Brothers Pictures

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 2:27 pm

Last summer, the first trailer for Zack Snyder's upcoming big red reboot of the Superman film franchise, Man of Steel, was all about hiding its light under a bushel. Of crabs.

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The Picture Show
10:27 am
Tue December 11, 2012

If Edward Hopper Had Been A Photographer

Hodgkins House
Gail Albert Halaban

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 11:28 am

Photographer Gail Albert Halaban spent her childhood summers in Gloucester, Mass., a small seaside town where her father was born. "I never thought it was that interesting of a place," she says. "The beach was beautiful, but I was interested in getting to know it better."

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Best Books Of 2012
5:03 am
Tue December 11, 2012

10 Eye-Catching Reads For The Book Lover On Your List

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 6:35 am

Some books paint pictures with words; others use pictures to render us speechless. No matter the method, you'll lose yourself in the best possible way leafing through the volumes in this year's list of recommended gift books. If pages were like musical notes, these titles would produce a pretty great mashup. Envision one of photographer Cindy Sherman's crones in the forest of a Brothers Grimm tale. Set one of graphic novelist Chris Ware's "building stories" inside, say, the curvaceous contours of an architectural masterwork by Frank Gehry.

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Author Interviews
1:18 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Oprah's Second Pick: A First-Time Novelist

Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable channel and her magazine have revived her book club, now known as Book Club 2.0.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:55 am

Earlier this year, Oprah Winfrey announced an updated version of her popular book club, this time called Book Club 2.0. Her first pick, Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild, experienced best-seller list success thanks to what some people are calling the "Oprah bump." And last week Winfrey announced her second pick, a novel called The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, a first-time author.

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The Salt
11:31 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Sandwich Monday: The Latke Double Down

A look within.
NPR

We all remember the KFC Double Down: the sandwich that replaced bread with fried chicken and changed our lives for the fatter. Just in time for Hanukkah, the Jewish Journal has created the Latke Double Down, which replaces the bread with latkes, aka fried potato pancakes. They fill theirs with lox.

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Author Interviews
10:09 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Lemony Snicket Dons A Trenchcoat

Meredith Heuer Courtesy of Little, Brown & Co.

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 11:53 am

It's been more than six years since Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, concluded his enormously popular 13-volume young adult series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. Now Handler has revived the Snicket narrator in his YA novel Who Could That Be at This Hour?

The book is the first of a series — All the Wrong Questions — and a prequel to A Series of Unfortunate Events. It tracks the young Snicket's adventures during his apprenticeship at the V.F.D., a mysterious organization that readers familiar with the Snicket stories will recognize.

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Behind Closed Doors
10:00 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Transgender Woman Finds Acceptance In South Korea

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Now we go behind closed doors. That's where we talk about issues people usually keep private.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
5:03 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Fatal Attraction: My Heart Was Stolen By A Ninja Assassin

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 6:36 am

Sean Howe is the author of Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.

In 1980, the comic book artist Frank Miller introduced the raven-haired femme fatale Elektra Natchios in the pages of Marvel Comics' Daredevil. She was the former lover of Daredevil's alter ego Matt Murdock, and his Columbia University classmate until her diplomat father was killed and she left the United States.

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Best Books Of 2012
5:03 am
Mon December 10, 2012

The Year's Outstanding 'Backseat' Reads, For Ages 9 To 14

Emily Davis for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 2:26 pm

Since this was an election year, NPR's Backseat Book Club decided to hold an informal poll to identify the best-loved children's books of 2012. We know that "kid lit" is a big category, stretching from baby-proof board books all the way to young-adult titles with fetching werewolves on the covers. But we're interested in books that hit the sweet spot for backseat readers — kids between 9 and 14 years of age. So we reached out to booksellers and one librarian to find out which books bowled them over this year.

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Fine Art
1:23 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Hopper's Lonely Figures Find Some Friends In Paris

Edward Hopper is well-known in the U.S. for paintings such as Nighthawks (1942)pensive, lonely portraits of people sitting together yet alone. He was less well-known in France, but an exhibit of his work at the Grand Palais has drawn impressive crowds.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art Collection Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 9:07 am

Earlier this summer, I looked for Edward Hopper's Morning Sun at its home in the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. In the painting, a woman sits on a bed with her knees up, gazing out a window. She's bare, but for a short pink slip. The iconic Hopper is a must-see, but on the day I visited, it was on loan to an exhibition in Madrid.

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Author Interviews
2:26 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

'Torn': Living As An Openly Gay Christian

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:50 am

Justin Lee was raised in a conservative Southern Baptist home. He had two loving parents, and was deeply committed to his faith. In school, classmates even referred to him as "God Boy" because of his devotion.

But, as he was entering high school, Lee's whole world began to change, as he came face-to-face with feelings that he'd tried for many years to suppress.

"I didn't know I was gay at first, because I was the kid who was preaching against folks accepting themselves as gay," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

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Author Interviews
4:16 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Sebastian Faulks: Searching For The Self In 'Possible' Lives

Courtesy of Henry Holt and Co.

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 3:37 pm

A young intelligence officer during the Second World War survives life in a Nazi concentration camp. A music producer in the 1970s falls in love with a young bohemian singer who breaks his heart. A lonely Italian neuroscientist makes a revolutionary discovery: Humans have no souls. These are some of the stories Sebastian Faulks weaves together in his latest novel, A Possible Life.

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Games & Humor
2:56 am
Sun December 9, 2012

Quick! Sneak In That 'QU'

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:36 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a six-letter word containing "QU" somewhere inside it. You'll be given anagrams of the remaining four letters. You name the words (No answer is a plural or a word formed by adding "s.").

Last week's challenge from listener Adam Cohen of Brooklyn, N.Y.: Name two articles of apparel — things you wear — which, when the words are used as verbs, are synonyms of each other. What are they?

Answer: Belt, sock

Winner: Jeanne Kelsey of Lamberton, Minn.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:04 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

The Movie Gustavo Santaolalla's 'Seen A Million Times'

Brad Pitt (left) and Laramie Eppler (right) in Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life.
Merie Wallace Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 4:51 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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Movies
3:04 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

Knightley's Anna Karenina Loses The Innocence

Keira Knightley and director Joe Wright have worked together on three film adaptations of period novels.
Laurie Sparham Focus Features

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 5:00 pm

Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina has been adapted for TV or film at least 25 times. It's a title role made great by screen legends Greta Garbo and Vivian Leigh, and now, it's Keira Knightley's turn.

Knightley reunites with Pride and Prejudice director Joe Wright in a new adaptation of the book. Here, she talks to Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about bringing the title character to life.


Interview Highlights

On the opening sequence

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:19 am
Sat December 8, 2012

Hugh Bonneville Of 'Downton Abbey' Plays Not My Job

Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 10:42 am

America is obsessed with Downton Abbey, the British series about a family so wealthy that they can't feed, clothe or care for themselves. Hugh Bonneville plays the patriarch of the family, and we've invited His Lordship to play a game we're calling, "Welcome to America, Lord Grantham."

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Movie Interviews
4:54 am
Sat December 8, 2012

50 Years On, Sharif Looks Back At 'Lawrence'

Sherif Ali (Omar Sharif) and T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) fight together in the 1962 epic.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 6:26 am

In one of the greatest movies of all time, a World War I-era Englishman played by Peter O'Toole stops with his Arab guide at a well in the desert. As they drink, they look into the distance and see a lone figure in black, galloping toward them on a camel. The Arab man recognizes him and draws a gun. The lone figure brings him down with a single musket shot. Now that's an entrance.

The man on the camel was Omar Sharif as Sherif Ali.

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Movies
2:24 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Hollywood Heights: The Ups, Downs And In-Betweens

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise at the Writer's Guild Awards in Beverly Hills in 1998.
Ron Wolfson Landov

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:50 pm

Hollywood can make any actor look imposing by shooting from a low angle or building sets with short door frames. But the fact is that we want our heroes big and our villains bigger, and the average male actor is about the same size as the average American male — roughly 5 foot 9 1/2. And some very "big" stars have been a good deal less than that.

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