Arts/Life

Author Interviews
2:37 am
Thu October 25, 2012

From Ship To Sherlock: Doyle's 'Arctic' Diary

On Thursday, July 29, 1880, Doyle wrote, "Came across a most extraordinary natural snow house, about 12 feet high, shaped like a beehive with a door and a fine room inside in which I sat. Traveled a considerable distance, and would have gone to the Pole, but my matches ran short and I couldn't get a smoke."
Courtesy of University of Chicago Press

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 5:05 am

On June 15, 1880, Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a vivid sentence in his diary. It read, "The only difference in the weather is that the fog is thicker and the wind more utterly odious and depraved."

Knowing that he was the creator of Sherlock Holmes, you might think Doyle is referring to the thick London fog drifting outside the windows of 221B Baker Street. But this sentence was written years before the first Holmes novel and it describes a considerably harsher environment — the thick fog and depraved wind of the Arctic, where Doyle traveled when he was 20.

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Book Reviews
2:14 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

'Middlesteins' Digs Into The Dark Side Of Food

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 3:53 pm

Food appears so often and takes on so much importance in Jami Attenberg's novel The Middlesteins, that while reading it I sometimes felt like I was on a kind of literary cruise ship. But excess isn't presented here wantonly; instead, it's laid out and explored with sympathy, thought and depth. Early on, the parents of the main character think, "Food was made of love, and was what made love, and they could never deny themselves a bite of anything they desired." And so the novel takes off from the evocative starting point known as appetite.

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Author Interviews
12:44 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Tom Wolfe Takes Miami's Pulse In 'Back To Blood'

Author and journalist Tom Wolfe's books include The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Bonfire of the Vanities and I Am Charlotte Simmons, among others.
Jim Cooper AP

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 7:37 am

Tom Wolfe wrote his new novel, Back to Blood, entirely by hand. But the author of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Bonfire of the Vanities also says that wasn't entirely by choice — he'd rather have used a typewriter.

"Unfortunately, you can't keep typewriters going today — you have to take the ribbons back to be re-inked," Wolfe tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "There's a horrible search to try to find missing parts."

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Food
9:55 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Fine Dining Turns To Familiar Favorites

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 10:03 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, it's time to open up the pages of the Washington Post Magazine. That's something we do just about every week for interesting stories about the way we live now. The Post's Fall Dining Guide is out this week and that means food critic Tom Sietsema has been going all over town, eating and drinking up a storm, trying to narrow down his list of favorite restaurants.

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Monkey See
9:11 am
Wed October 24, 2012

"Take This Job and Planet!": Why Clark Kent Quit His Day Job

DC Comics

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:42 pm

By now you've likely heard that in the pages of Superman #13, on stands today, Clark Kent quits his once-beloved great metropolitan newspaper.

Disillusioned by his employer's increasing predilection for glitzy infotainment over hard-hitting news, Clark takes a principled stand and abandons print journalism for the web, a medium blissfully free of petty, frivolous, celebrity-driven content OH WAIT

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First Reads
8:03 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Exclusive First Read: 'Hallucinations,' By Oliver Sacks

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 8:38 am

Hallucinations can be terrifying, enlightening, amusing or just plain strange. They're thought to be at the root of fairy tales, religious experiences and some kinds of art. Neurologist Oliver Sacks has been mapping the oddities of the human brain for decades, and his latest book, Hallucinations, is a thoughtful and compassionate look at the phantoms our brains can produce — which he calls "an essential part of the human condition." In this chapter, Sacks examines auditory hallucinations.

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Monkey See
6:40 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Morning Shots: Are You Planning On Dressing Up Like Thor? You're Not Alone

iStockphoto.com

A Fandango poll says that The Avengers is leading the pack for Halloween costume choice, and then goes on to explain that most of the top picks across the board are action heroes. Which does make some sense, as dressing up like a rom-com heroine would make it hard for people to tell who you are. [The Hollywood Reporter]

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My Guilty Pleasure
5:03 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Rewriting Homer, With Some Lurid Twists

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 7:49 am

Annalisa Quinn is the Books intern at NPR.

During my senior year of college, I plowed through all 27,803 lines of the Iliad and the Odyssey in Greek, with a lot of coffee and a reasonable amount of crying in library cubicles.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed October 24, 2012

¡No Más! 'Back To Blood' Is Much Too Much

Little, Brown and Company

It took cojones for Tom Wolfe to write about Miami for his latest novel, Back to Blood. In the "Republic of Fluba" where Florida, Cuba and the rest of Latin America are shaken and mezclado, truth trumps fiction each day of every year. This is the city where, a few months ago, a man ate another man's face on a downtown causeway in broad daylight. Police shot and killed the wannabe zombie.

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How We Watch What We Watch
3:03 am
Wed October 24, 2012

So Many Screens, And So Little Time To Watch

A visitor looks at a bank of TV screens at a consumer electronics show in Berlin. While TV and movies are available on many devices, consumers often struggle to find exactly what they want, television critic Eric Deggans says.
Adam Berry Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 5:30 am

While sitting on a couch and gazing at a 50-inch TV remains a popular pastime in America, smaller screens have also edged their way into our lives. Phones, tablets and video game devices crowd pockets and coffee tables, offering access to what used to be called "TV," at any time of the day.

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Kitchen Window
2:05 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Blood And Guts For Halloween

Lauren Rock NPR

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 6:30 am

As the father of two rambunctious boys (ages 4 and 7), Halloween is a holy day at my house. Kids have forced me to shed the cynicism that I associated with this holiday, and I've fully embraced the celebration. Just don't ask me to wear a costume.

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Asia
12:24 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Cambodia Vs. Sotheby's In A Battle Over Antiquities

The United States and Cambodia are locked in a legal battle with the auction house Sotheby's over this 1,000-year-old statue of the Hindu warrior Duryodhana that may have been looted from the Cambodian temple complex at Koh Ker.
Courtesy of the U.S. Attorney's Office

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:18 am

The governments of Cambodia and the United States are locked in a legal battle with the auction house Sotheby's over a thousand-year-old statue. The two governments say the statue was looted from a temple of the ancient Khmer empire. Sotheby's says this can't be proved, and a court in New York will decide on the matter soon.

The case could affect how collectors and museums acquire artifacts, and how governments recover lost national treasures.

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Movies
12:05 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Bollywood's 'King Of Romance' Took India To The Alps

Yash Raj Chopra, shown celebrating his 80th birthday earlier this year in Mumbai, died Sunday.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 11:42 am

My parents were among the millions of South Asian couples who fell in love to the music and words of Yash Chopra's films. Sweeping, operatic and often absurdly melodramatic, the director's Bollywood musicals were shamelessly populist and hopelessly romantic. They were India's romantic comedies, its adult dramas and its crowd-pleasing blockbusters all rolled into one.

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How We Watch What We Watch
6:43 am
Tue October 23, 2012

The Afterlife Of A TV Episode: It's Complicated

Despite having aired its final episode in May, the medical drama House lives on, in reruns and on digital services like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. But not every episode is available in all formats.
Adam Taylor AP

Have you ever seen a rerun episode that made you want to watch more of a show — even a whole season? With so many TV channels and so many shows to keep up with, it's possible that some of them could completely pass you by.

But there are also many ways to watch a show, even if it's no longer on the air. Take the medical drama House, which ended its run on FOX in May.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Comic Struggles Of A Frustrated Writer In 'Zoo Time'

Courtesy of Bloomsbury

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 9:01 am

"My aim," writes English novelist Guy Ableman to his agent, "is to write a transgressive novel that explores the limits of the morally permissible in our times."

Sounds quite serious, even brow-wrinkling, doesn't it? A dangerous act of experimental writing, perhaps something Norman Mailer might have tried, or Henry Miller before him?

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Author Interviews
2:38 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Running Toward Redemption On 'Ransom Road'

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 3:53 am

Meet a man with a powerful addiction — to running. Caleb Daniloff says he believes the sport saved him from addictions that were far worse, and he's written a new book, called Running Ransom Road: Confronting the Past, One Marathon at a Time, about his experiences.

Daniloff has run some familiar marathons — New York and Boston — but he's also been to a place not famous for outdoor running: Moscow.

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Books News & Features
2:38 am
Tue October 23, 2012

America's Facebook Generation Is Reading Strong

Pew's study found that 60 percent of Americans under 30 used the library in the past year.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 3:53 am

In what may come as a pleasant surprise to people who fear the Facebook generation has given up on reading — or, at least, reading anything longer than 140 characters — a new report from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project reveals the prominent role of books, libraries and technology in the lives of young readers, ages 16 to 29. Kathryn Zickuhr, the study's main author, joins NPR's David Greene to discuss the results.

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The Salt
2:25 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Sandwich Monday: The Grilled Cheese Doughnut

The Gronut.
NPR

Celebrity couples always get our attention: Kim & Kanye, Brangelina, Gosling & Totenberg. The Grilled Cheese Doughnut is just such a pairing: Two titans together as one. We'll call it Gronut.

Take a glazed doughnut, slice it open, flip both halves around so they're cut-side out, slap on some cheese, and grill it in butter. We think Ohio's Tom & Chee Restaurant did it first, and we're guessing they did a better job than we did.

Ian: Ew. I think the proper pronunciation here is "grilled cheese DO NOT."

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Movie Interviews
1:44 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Ava DuVernay: A New Director, After Changing Course

Ava DuVernay also directed the documentary My Mic Sounds Nice: The Truth About Women in Hip Hop.
Liz O. Baylen Contour by Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 1:59 pm

In January, Ava DuVernay became the first African-American woman to win Sundance's best directing award for her second feature-length film, Middle of Nowhere. The film is about a young black woman named Ruby, who puts her life and dreams of going to medical school on hold while her husband is in prison.

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Monkey See
7:01 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Morning Shots: NBC's Surprising Success And Louis C.K.'s Next Gig

iStockphoto.com

From my beloved ex-hometown: The Minnesota Orchestra put on a show Thursday night, in spite of the fact that they're currently locked out in a contract dispute. [The Star Tribune]

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New In Paperback
5:03 am
Mon October 22, 2012

New In Paperback Oct. 22-28

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Jodi Picoult, David B. Agus, Nathan Wolfe, Dava Sobel and Charles J. Shields.



Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

PG-13: Risky Reads
5:03 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Love And Death At The Toss Of A Die

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 6:44 am

Sheila Heti is the author of How Should a Person Be?

My father gave me The Dice Man when I was 13 years old. It's a novel narrated in the voice of Luke Rhinehart, a jaded psychoanalyst, whose home and professional life have become so boring that he decides, one night, to rule his life by the whim of a die. Starting out, he thinks: if the die turns up a one, I'll cheat on my wife. The die turns up a one.

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All Tech Considered
2:34 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Six New Video Games That Will Get You Hooked

Machinarium from Amanita Design is an adventure game centered a robot who has been sent to the scrap heap. Players solve puzzles to help the robot return to the city.
Amanita Design

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 12:03 pm

Video game makers are rolling out their new titles — with a wide range of creativity and style — just in time for the holiday shopping season. Jamin Warren, founder of Kill Screen magazine, shares his list of video games you should keep your eye on:

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Television
2:33 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Ratings Success? It's All In The (ABC) Family

Broadway veteran Sutton Foster stars in the ABC Family show Bunheads, which, while focusing on adults, is still popular with ABC Family's demographic.
Adam Larkey ABC Family

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 3:09 pm

In a sterile white boardroom in ABC Family's headquarters in Los Angeles, two young women are assiduously ignoring a spread of cookies in favor of two more important things: their laptops and a live broadcast of the show Pretty Little Liars playing on a large flat-screen TV.

Dalia Ganz, 28, is the show's social-media manager. She's patiently teaching one of the beautiful young actors on the show how to live-tweet this episode.

"Include #prettylittleliars in your answers," she instructs. That is a literal transcription of her words.

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How We Watch What We Watch
2:28 am
Mon October 22, 2012

For Sports Fans, A Plethora Of Platforms To Watch On

Phil Coke and Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers celebrate after beating the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. Through the power of modern technology, fans could experience the game even if they weren't in front of a television screen.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 6:11 am

While most American homes still have a television in the den, how we watch, and what we watch, is changing. Computers, tablets, smartphones, DVRs and video game consoles have redefined what television is.

Viewers have officially become a multiscreen culture. And that means the TV industry is changing, as well. Consider that 36 million Americans watch video on their phones, according to the Nielsen ratings company.

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Art & Design
3:34 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

How A Texas Postman Became An Hermès Designer

One of Kermit Oliver's designs for Hèrmes
Jason Sheeler

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 6:12 pm

About a year ago, writer Jason Sheeler was working on a story about Hermès scarves — the elaborately decorated silk squares that can cost as much as $400. He traveled to Lyon, in southern France, to visit the factory, and on his first day there he found an even more interesting story: A French woman threw out a big scarf with a turkey on it and asked Sheeler if he knew Kermit. He didn't.

Kermit, as it turns out, is Kermit Oliver. He lives in Waco, Texas, and he's the only American to ever design scarves for Hermès.

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Author Interviews
2:27 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

A Reminder To Tolkien Fans Of Their First Love

Associated Press

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 5:40 pm

Seventy-five years ago, J.R.R Tolkien wrote a book for his children called The Hobbit. It isn't just a landmark piece of fantasy literature; it's a movement — a work that's inspired everyone from director Peter Jackson to the band Led Zeppelin to Leonard Nimoy (who recorded his own homage to the book in the late 1960s — "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins").

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Music Interviews
4:58 am
Sun October 21, 2012

From Elgar To Beatles: Abbey Road Blazed A Trail

The iconic cover of The Beatles' Abbey Road.
Album cover

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 10:01 am

In 1969, four moppy-haired musicians named John, Paul, George and Ringo walked single file on a London crosswalk and made one of the most iconic album covers of all time. Today, a steady stream of Beatles fans and London tourists are still eager to walk in the footsteps of the Fab Four on that famous stretch of asphalt.

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Theater
4:58 am
Sun October 21, 2012

A Celebration Of Janis Joplin And All Her Swagger

Mary Bridget Davies as Janis Joplin and Sabrina Elayne Carten as Blues Singer in the Cleveland Play House production of One Night with Janis Joplin.
Janet Macoska Arena Stage

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 6:03 am

The countercultural revolution of the 1960s may have been all about sex drugs and rock 'n' roll, but for one young Texas singer it was all about the blues. No one sang the blues quite like Janis Joplin.

Joplin was part of a legendary line-up of musicians at Woodstock in 1969: Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Joan Baez. She wasn't on the music scene long, though. Joplin died in 1970 of a drug overdose. She was only 27 years old, but in that short time her bluesy rasp helped define the music of a generation.

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Movie Interviews
4:58 am
Sun October 21, 2012

In McElwee Doc, 'Memory' Fails And Family Clashes

In an attempt to remember what it was like to have most of his life ahead of him, filmmaker Ross McElwee turns the camera on his son, Adrian, seen above.
Fred Wasser

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 5:04 am

Filmmaker Ross McElwee is a one-man crew: soundman, cameraman, narrator. He reached a wide audience with his sweet documentary Sherman's March, which chronicled his journey through the South searching for love. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 1987. He's made five documentary features since then.

McElwee's latest film is Photographic Memory — and it presents a different side of the director.

Early in Photographic Memory, we see McElwee in a small town in Brittany, France, in a state of digital disorientation.

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