Arts/Life

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Page And Screen Make Peace In 'Mr. Penumbra'

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

It's been five years since the Amazon Kindle started one of the most enduring literary controversies of recent times: the fight between e-books and printed books. If you're a devoted reader, you're probably already sick of the back and forth between the excitable technophiles and the stubborn Luddites. The proponents of e-books rave about the unexplored avenues, the hypertext, the entire world of literature accessible with just one click. The rest of us — well, we like the way books feel and smell, OK? It might seem sentimental, but that's falling in love for you.

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Kitchen Window
1:28 am
Wed October 3, 2012

It's Time To Pick A Peck Of Peppers

Sheri Castle for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 7:10 am

Ripe sweet peppers are seasonal ambassadors, offering color, flavor, goodwill and diplomacy during the transition from summer to autumn cooking. Sweet peppers surge into ripeness in late summer and flourish into fall. Supplies wind down about the time trees let go of their leaves.

Now is the time to pick up a peck of them for what a single sad specimen will cost come January. When in season and plentiful, peppers are a bargain.

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Author Interviews
3:10 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

In 'House,' Erdrich Sets Revenge On A Reservation

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 4:14 pm

In 1988, 13-year-old Joe Coutts is thrust into adulthood after his mother, Geraldine Coutts, is sexually assaulted. His story is at the center of Louise Erdrich's latest novel, The Round House.

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The Fresh Air Interview
11:23 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Man Behind 'The Master'

Paul Thomas Anderson (left) works with actor Joaquin Phoenix on the set of The Master.
Phil Bray The Weinstein Co.

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 8:38 am

For Paul Thomas Anderson, moviemaking is not just an art; it's also about time management.

"At its best, a film set is when everybody knows what's going on and everybody's working together," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "At its worst, [it's] when something's been lost in communication and an actor's not sure how many shots are left or what's going on, and the makeup department's confused."

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Author Interviews
10:03 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Stacy London: Dangerous To Call Style Superficial

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 7:55 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Now, we turn to the clothing industry, where finding the right style doesn't necessarily mean spending big bucks. So says Stacy London, at least. She's known for co-hosting TLC's hit TV show "What Not to Wear." We've watched her transform the looks and lives of hundreds of guests.

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Monkey See
7:24 am
Tue October 2, 2012

When It Comes To Character Detail, 'Pitch Perfect' Nails It

Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect.
Peter Iovino Universal Pictures

Pitch Perfect, the new comedy that opened in some cities last Friday and goes wider this Friday, is set in a world very close to my own heart: college a cappella.

I know, I know — it's dorky, it's silly, you hated those people at your school — I get it. But I loved it when I did it, and even now, I carry around a few of these compilations on my phone.

But as much as I enjoyed all the singing (and I did), it's not how the film won me over. What won me over was Beca's raggedy manicure.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Details Weigh Down The Drama In 'Live By Night'

William Morrow

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 9:28 am

A short list of mishaps that befall characters in Live by Night, Dennis Lehane's new novel: stabbed with a potato peeler ("It sounded like fish parts sucked into a drain"); stabbed in the Adam's apple; shot in the face ("the exit hole splattered pink all over the ferns"); tied to the hood of a car; devoured by alligators. A woman commits suicide by cutting off her genitals and slashing her own windpipe. How can a book packed with macabre acts of violence possibly be dull? Live by Night offers an excellent opportunity to contemplate this question.

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The Picture Show
2:48 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Like 007 Himself, James Bond Movie Posters Live To See Another Day

James Bond: 50 Years Of Movie Posters

There is something deliciously enticing about the advance poster for the 1962 movie Dr. No. It featured a bright yellow Technicolor background, lipstick, a gun and the numeral 007 — all teasing the audience about what was to come. "The First James Bond Film!" (Their exclamation point, not mine.) It was part of a campaign that launched the celluloid franchise that today, half a century later, is still one of the biggest draws of the big screen.

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Books
1:21 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Boozy Birth Of The American Mafia In Lehane's Latest

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 11:08 am

Here's how the new novel from crime writer Dennis Lehane begins: "Some years later, on a tugboat in the Gulf of Mexico, Joe Coughlin's feet were placed in a tub of cement."

Pretty hard to stop reading after an opening line like that — at least you'd think. "It was funny, a guy came up to me the other night, and he said, 'I really loved this book once it got going,' " Lehane tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "I thought, 'Jesus Christ, read the first sentence! How much more "getting going" is it going to get?' "

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Movie Interviews
1:21 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Shaking, Stirring Up The James Bond Franchise

Siblings Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have been working on James Bond films since the 1970s. They are the producers of the latest installment, Skyfall.
Stuart Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 11:08 am

This Friday marks 50 years since the release of the first James Bond film, Dr. No. Ian Fleming's Cold War-era MI6 agent has endured through 22 movies, evolving all the while to stay relevant to new audiences. The next installment is Skyfall, due out Nov. 9.

Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson are the franchise's current producers and children of the original producer, Albert "Cubby" Broccoli. NPR's David Greene spoke to them about the family business.

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Author Interviews
3:11 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Housekeeping Tips From One Mercurial 'Mommy'

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:20 pm

The cursing mommy likes her scotch. She also likes a martini — or four — and a full bottle of Kahlua consumed in the afternoon while soaking in a steaming bathtub and ignoring the knocks of her children locked outside. Along with her dubious parenting skills, the cursing mommy has no shame, and she swears an extremely blue streak.

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Arts & Life
9:57 am
Mon October 1, 2012

First Black Editor-In-Chief For Conde Nast

Keija Minor recently made history when she became the first African-American editor-in-chief of a Conde Nast publication. She sits down with guest host Celeste Headlee to talk about her plans for Brides magazine and how she views her historic achievement.

NPR Story
8:15 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Watch This: Native American Author Sherman Alexie

Author and Spokane Indian Sherman Alexie won the American Book Award in 1996 for Reservation Blues.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 2:35 am

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PG-13: Risky Reads
4:03 am
Mon October 1, 2012

For Lois Lowry 'Brooklyn' Was Raw And Real

cover promo
cover promo

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 1:52 pm

Lois Lowry's latest book is called Son.

I certainly knew, by the time I turned 13 in 1950, that there were so-called "dirty books" out there. I had sneaked a peek at a popular English novel my mother was reading (one character's breasts were described as "ample" and "melon-shaped"), and there was a gritty street-gang book about Brooklyn that made the rounds among my peers, a book in which certain page numbers had become iconic, though I doubt if any of us read the book from start to finish for plot.

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Movies
1:52 am
Mon October 1, 2012

The Best James Bond: Who's No. 1 As 007?

Daniel Craig plays James Bond in Skyfall, the 23rd film in the Bond franchise. Cast your vote this week on which actor was the best at being Bond.
Sony Pictures/Photofest

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 9:42 am

The role of James Bond has been played by six different actors in the Bond film franchise that started in 1962. Each actor brought his own strengths to the rakish British spy, from brooding physicality (Sean Connery, Daniel Craig) to smooth charm (Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan).

For every actor who has portrayed Bond, there are fans who think he defined the character, and that the others merely toiled in his shadow. Craig will try to solidify his place in the Bond pantheon next month when the franchise releases its 23rd film, Skyfall.

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Author Interviews
1:51 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

From Tea To T-Shirts: The History Of U.S.-China Trade

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 3:25 pm

You probably don't give much thought to the phrase "Made in China" when you see it written on the bottom of your coffee mug, or on the tag of your T-shirt, but Americans have traded with China for hundreds of years.

In his new book, When America First Met China, Eric Jay Dolin takes us back to the beginning of the long and complicated trade relationship between the two countries.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:04 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Seeing Double

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 4:13 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a six-letter word or name that has a repeated two-letter pair, like "eraser," which has E-R twice, or "regret," which has R-E twice. The repeated pair of letters can appear anywhere in the word. You'll be given the pair of letters and a clue, and you provide the words.

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Author Interviews
5:45 am
Sun September 30, 2012

How Humans Are Facilitating More Disease 'Spillover'

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 6:04 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

About 10 years ago, doctors in southern China started seeing a lot of patients with signs of what looked like a new illness.

DAVID QUAMMEN: It's like a very, very bad flu that gets people coughing and wheezing and with lung blockage.

MARTIN: That's David Quammen. He's a science writer who writes about the emergence of human diseases in his new book, "Spillover."

QUAMMEN: It causes a throbbing headache and a high fever. And then in some cases, if I recall correctly, it begins to cause organ shutdown, as well.

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Author Interviews
4:20 am
Sun September 30, 2012

The 'Future' Of Movies? Critic Says It's Not So Bright

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 6:04 am

According to David Denby, 1979's Apocalypse Now came "out of a movie world so different from our own that sitting through it again is almost a masochistic experience."

The New Yorker film critic clearly loves movies, but in his new book, Do the Movies Have a Future?, he argues that complex films like Apocalypse Now are becoming more and more of a rarity. Denby joins NPR's Rachel Martin to discuss promising directors, what it means to be a film critic and the future of film.

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Author Interviews
4:19 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Inverting 'King Lear' In 'Goldberg Variations'

Scribner

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 6:04 am

Author Susan Isaacs has written 13 books; 12 of them have been best-sellers. The women who inhabit Isaacs' books are smart, sexy, a little snarky, and filled with some serious chutzpah.

The center of Isaacs' latest novel, Goldberg Variations, is no exception. Gloria Garrison owns a multimillion-dollar makeover business, and she is not exactly an easy lady to get along with.

Isaacs talks with NPR's Rachel Martin about writing strong women and growing up wanting to be a cowgirl.

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Movies
4:04 am
Sun September 30, 2012

'Looper' Director: Memory A Form Of Time Travel

Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt play different versions of the same character in the time-travel thriller Looper.
Alan Markfield Sony Pictures

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 6:04 am

Looper is a time traveling action flick set in the year 2044. Star Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a paid assassin who makes the startling discovery that his next target is actually himself — an older version of himself from the future.

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Arts & Life
3:17 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction Round 9 Stories: 'Butterflies'

Nemanja Zivancevic iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 5:05 pm

Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction has closed and the judging process is now under way. Susan Stamberg reads an excerpt from one standout story, Butterflies, written by Jennifer Dupree. You can read the full story below along with other stories at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.

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Author Interviews
2:28 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Actor Robby Benson Is 'Not Dead ... Yet!'

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 9:34 am

Robby Benson began his career at the age of 12, on the Broadway stage, and became a teen heartthrob in the '70s, starring in films such as Ode To Billy Joe, Ice Castles and One on One, which he co-wrote. He was also the voice behind the Beast in the 1991 Disney film, Beauty and the Beast.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:24 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Vikings Punter Chris Kluwe Plays Not My Job

AP

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 9:07 am

ESPN writer Kevin Seifert recently described Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe this way: "Kluwe would fit in perfectly in a group of impossibly smart California mensas who spend half their time working out and (most of) the rest playing video games." Which leads us to believe Kluwe's either the nerdiest player in the NFL, and/or the most athletic nerd in history.

We've invited Kluwe to play a game called "Eureka! I have found it!" Three questions about the 2012 Ig Nobel prizes, which honor some of the more ridiculous breakthroughs in science.

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NPR Story
5:43 am
Sat September 29, 2012

'Instant' Recounts The Magic Of Polaroids

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Decades before people would camp out for days, to get the latest next-big-thing in new technology, there was the magic of pictures you could snap and see instantly - or almost. Edwin Land created a company in his garage - sound familiar? - that would be both a success, and an inspiration, to Steve Jobs and other inventive entrepreneurs of a new era, Polaroid. Its products were considered elegant, original and desirable. The company was miles and dollars above any other, in innovative technology. So why couldn't it last into the 21st century?

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NPR Story
5:43 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Online And In The Open: Transparent Novel Writing

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Writing's often depicted as a private act - scribbling, crossing out, then crumpling two sheets into a fireplace; trial, error and angst - all of which is best kept private. Silvia Hartmann is now writing on a kind of electronic stage - in an open document, a Google doc - so that readers can see her story appear line by line, edit by edit. Silvia Hartmann joins us from the south coast of England. Thanks so much for being with us.

SILVIA HARTMANN: Hi.

SIMON: So what are you trying to do here, write a novel?

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The Salt
4:37 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Bouillabaisse: From Humble Beginnings To High-Class Tourist Meal

The ingredients for a vrai bouillaibaisse at Le Miramar in Marseille, France.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:17 pm

The southern French city of Marseille on the Mediterranean Sea has long been famous for its spicy fish soup, known as bouillabaisse. The soup started as a poor man's meal, made with leftover fish scraps, but these days, it's evolved to the point that it can run connoisseurs about $75 for a generously sized meal.

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Author Interviews
4:11 am
Sat September 29, 2012

'Listening In' To JFK's Secret White House Recordings

Listening In, a new book and CD set, includes more than 260 hours of transcribed conversations and 2.5 hours of audio from inside the Kennedy White House.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:41 pm

In the spring of 1963, as the U.S. was mired in conflicts with Vietnam and Cuba and the Soviet Union, President John F. Kennedy called his old friend David Hackett to express his frustration at the U.S. men's ice hockey team — and their miserable record overseas.

JFK: Dave, I noticed that in the paper this morning that the Swedish team beat the American hockey team 17-2.
Hackett: Yeah, I saw that.
JFK: Christ! Who are we sending over there? Girls?

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Monkey See
4:07 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Damian Lewis On The Conflicts And Complexities Of 'Homeland'

Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in Showtime's Homeland.
Bob Leverone Showtime

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:17 pm

There weren't a whole lot of upset winners at last Sunday's Emmy Awards, but one of the few was Homeland star Damian Lewis, who beat out, among others, Mad Men's Jon Hamm and three-time winner Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad to take home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Lewis' co-star, Claire Danes, won for her lead performance as well, and the show ended a four-year Mad Men streak when it was named Outstanding Drama Series.

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NewsPoet: Writing The Day In Verse
2:50 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

NewsPoet: Philip Schultz Writes The Day In Verse

Philip Schultz visits NPR headquarters in Washington on Monday.
Ryan Smith NPR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 5:24 pm

Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.

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