Arts/Life

PG-13: Risky Reads
12:14 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Teenage Tales: Sneaking Looks In Sexy Books

Cover detail

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 3:22 pm

Emily Danforth is the author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

I was at a garage sale with my grandmother when I found a paperback copy of Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle.

I was, without much enthusiasm, rummaging through a pile of books. And then I turned over a small paperback. There, on the back, was a reviewer praising this "account of what it's like growing up lesbian ..." I flinched — such a private word to place in such prominence on a book cover.

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Monkey See
12:04 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

'February House': When Musicals Whisper Rather Than Shout

Julian Fleisher and Kristen Sieh as editor George Davis and author Carson McCullers in February House.
Joan Marcus Public Theater

I'll always love big musicals. Shows like Hairspray and Anything Goes just want to make me happy, and if they don't change my life, then so what? There are worse things than smiling for two hours while 35 hotties nail a synchronized tap number on the prow of a boat.

But sometimes, I love a musical that makes me come to it. Instead of singing in my face, a show like that whispers in my ear, giving me a private message to consider on the way home.

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Monkey See
10:59 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: On Endings And Road Trips

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's show, we start with endings — because we're ironic that way. Various shows have ended this spring, and we thought it was a good time to talk about how you wrap up a TV show, a book series, or whatever needs closure. The "visceral need for narrative closure"? We're on it. Whether it "satisfies you upon reflection"? We're on that, too.

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Monkey See
9:55 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Let's Rush To Judgment: Baz Luhrmann's 'The Great Gatsby' In 3-D

This week, we got our first look at the trailer for The Great Gatsby, the Baz Luhrmann 3-D extravaganza starring Tobey Maguire as Nick, Carey Mulligan as Daisy, and Leonardo DiCaprio as ... well, you know. It will come out at Christmas, so that gives us more than six months to make semi-informed predictions about its quality.

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Movie Reviews
9:30 am
Fri May 25, 2012

A Wes Anderson 'Kingdom' Full Of Beautiful Imagery

Edward Norton plays a scoutmaster in search of his lost charge in Wes Anderson's latest film, Moonrise Kingdom.
Focus Features

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:11 pm

Many people are rapturous over the work of Wes Anderson, and for them, I expect, Moonrise Kingdom will be nirvana. The frames are quasi-symmetrical: a strong center, often human, with misaligned objects on each side suggesting a universe that's slightly out of balance, like a series of discombobulated dollhouses.

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NPR Story
8:49 am
Fri May 25, 2012

About Cabinet of Wonders

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 11:11 am

Cabinet of Wonders, hosted by musician and novelist John Wesley Harding, is an irreverent and innovative variety show, recorded before a live audience at the City Winery in New York City. Each show is a unique, witty and intimate compendium of brilliant musical performances, robust storytelling, engaging repartee and surprising collaborations. It features nationally renowned and emerging musicians, writers, raconteurs and comedians.

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Author Interviews
8:11 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Examining 'The Leftovers,' After The Rapture

Tom Perrotta is the author of several novels, including Election and Little Children.
Mark Ostow Courtesy Tom Perrotta

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:11 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on August 25, 2011. The Leftovers is now available in paperback.

Last year, California-based preacher Harold Camping announced that the beginning of the end of the world would take place on May 21, 2011. The date passed by with no apparent rapture, and Camping became the butt of many late-night talk show jokes.

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TED Radio Hour
7:55 am
Fri May 25, 2012

How Can Law Be Simplified?

"We've been trained to be fearful of ordinary choices." — Phillip K. Howard
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:22 am

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Fixing Our Broken Systems. Watch Phillip K. Howard's full TEDTalk — "Four Ways To Fix A Broken Legal System" — on TED.com.

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TED Radio Hour
7:55 am
Fri May 25, 2012

How Do Rules Fail Us?

"Rules are like a road map that get you to the right city, but not the right street." — Barry Schwartz
Asa Mathat TED

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:22 am

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Fixing Our Broken Systems.

About Barry Schwartz's TEDTalk

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TED Radio Hour
7:55 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Can Video Games Solve Real Issues?

"The more hours we spend play games, the more we build up that desire to surprise ourselves and surprise others and to do extraordinary things." -- Jane McGonigal
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:31 am

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Fixing Our Broken Systems. Watch Jane McGonigal's full Talk — Gaming Can Make A Better World -- on TED.com

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Ask Me Another
7:15 am
Fri May 25, 2012

The Gregory Brothers: The Masters of the Internet

The Gregory Brothers: Andrew Rose Gregory (left), Evan Gregory, Sarah Fullen-Gregory and Michael Gregory.
Denny Renshaw. Courtesy of the Gregory Brothers

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 1:21 pm

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Cabinet of Wonders
7:03 am
Fri May 25, 2012

A Starbucks... Where The Starbuck Used To Be

"You know that horrible feeling when you've just made a new friend in your 40's? And you're like - ugggghhh!! One more person to feel bad about not seeing."-- Sarah Vowell
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 5:45 pm

  • Listen to this Episode

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Books
5:42 am
Fri May 25, 2012

15 Summer Reads Handpicked By Indie Booksellers

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:36 am

Booksellers know how important a good story is — one that reaches out, pulls you in and keeps you reading late into the warm summer night. As readers seek out recommendations for their summer travels, booksellers are scouring their shelves for the stories that shine.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

'Men In Black 3': A Cartoonish Blast To The Past

Galaxy Defenders: Ten years after Men In Black 2, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reunite to play Agents J and K, partners in a covert organization dedicated to monitoring Earth's secret extraterrestrial population.
Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 2:30 pm

From the Department of Inessentiality, Summer Division, comes Men in Black 3, one of those franchises that lost all creative life in the first sequel but keep drawing breath anyway, thanks to an iron lung powered by a half-billion dollars in worldwide grosses.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

'Moonrise Kingdom': Quirk, And An Earnest Heart

Cousin Ben (Jason Schwartzman) leads Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) down a dock in Moonrise Kingdom. The film, set in 1965, follows Sam and Suzy when they elope together into the wilderness of the fictitious New Penzance island.
Niko Tavernise Focus Features

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 2:41 pm

In the first few minutes of Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, the camera tracks horizontally and vertically along the cross-sectioned rooms of a house. It's one of the writer-director's signature visual tics, one that, like many of his techniques, announces his art as something artificial. Anderson isn't breaking the fourth wall, he's eliminating it, literally: all these rooms have only three, in order that we might glimpse the carefully choreographed ballet he has arranged for us inside.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

An Unlikely Friendship, Made For The Movies

Paralyzed after a paragliding accident, wealthy daredevil Philippe (Francois Cluzet) hires Driss (Omar Sy), a cocky ex-con, despite the concerns of his aides, including Yvonne (Anne Le Ny).
Weinstein Co.

During The Intouchables' opening sequence, a black driver takes a white passenger on a wild ride through contemporary Paris at speeds that attract the police. When pulled over, the motorist claims he's hurrying to the hospital, and his charge — who turns out to be quadriplegic — pretends to be having a seizure. After the cops depart, the two men share a laugh and a cigarette; then they roar off, blasting 1970s funk.

Driving Miss Daisy this ain't.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

'Oslo, August 31st': A Long Day In A Gray Hour

A once-promising writer turned heroin addict, Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie) is released from his rehabilitation center for a day for a job interview in Oslo. Even as he goes out into the world, his melancholy mood continues to plague him.
Strand Releasing

Joachim Trier's first film, Reprise, was a giddy, hyperstylized account of the delights and despairs of Norway's young literary set. His follow-up, Oslo, August 31st, features some of the same themes and one of the previous movie's stars. But the writer-director's mood has downshifted dramatically.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

'OC87': A First Film, Personal And Hard-Won

Buddy Clayman
Fisher-Klingenstein Films

Bud Clayman is not the sort of person who typically attracts cameras. Pudgy, with a droning voice and a cackle his own father says makes him sound like a chicken, Clayman harbored dreams of becoming a filmmaker in Los Angeles after college — dreams complicated by his Asperger's syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and depression.

Three decades and several breakdowns later, he's made his first film: a document of his own struggles with mental illness.

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The Salt
11:06 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Estonia's Fake Chocolate: Born Of Necessity, Reborn In Nostalgia

courtesy Kalev

Some of the world's most interesting food products have been born out of the innovation that comes with deprivation. Take chicory, for example. It's a trendy New Orleans coffee blend you can buy anywhere now, but it was first used during the Civil War when those caffeinated beans were scarce.

And when chocolate became scarce in Estonia and other Baltic states during a supply crisis in the 1970s, an enterprising company stepped into the breach with a substitute chocolate bar.

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Monkey See
10:03 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Cannes Diary: Audacious 'Motors,' But Not Much Of A 'Road' Trip

James Gandolfini is a hard-partying hit man in Killing Them Softly, which critic Raj Ranade says is "a tight, melancholy mob thriller."
Melinda Sue Gordon Metropolitan Filmexport

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 2:07 pm

The movies at the Cannes Film Festival are really bringing the house down — no, actually, that was the thunderstorm.

Having to cope with the elements, of course, makes the press corps think they're Werner Herzog hacking through the jungle with a machete. "Oh, you waited in line for the Resnais for an hour in the rain? I waited an hour and a half for the Kiarostami — and I didn't even have any snacks."

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Music Interviews
10:02 am
Thu May 24, 2012

How Wes Anderson Soundtracks His Movies

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman star in Wes Anderson's latest film, Moonrise Kingdom.
Courtesy of Focus Features

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 2:28 pm

If you see the new Wes Anderson movie Moonrise Kingdom, you'll hear background music from composers Benjamin Britten and Alexandre Desplat, as well as several songs from Hank Williams.

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Digital Life
10:01 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Keeping Your Kids Safe Online: It's 'Common Sense'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 12:44 pm

If you're a parent, you may have wondered what your kids are texting to each other or posting on their Facebook pages. Or maybe you've thought about it and decided you don't want to know.

That's not the best approach, says child advocate James Steyer. Steyer runs Common Sense Media, an organization that helps parents decide which kinds of technology are age-appropriate for their kids.

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Monkey See
9:03 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Your New 'American Idol' Is (Surprise!) A Laid-Back Dude With An Acoustic Guitar

Phillip Phillips was crowned the winner of American Idol on Wednesday night.
Michael Becker Fox

Being named "Phillip Phillips" kind of makes Phillip Phillips sound like he was created like a Cabbage Patch Kid, and after his manufacture, someone said, "What should we call him?" And somebody else said, "Phillip!" And then the first person said, "Phillip what?" But by then, the well of creativity had run dry. "Phillip ... Phillips!"

A star is born.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu May 24, 2012

'Pradeep Mathew': For The Love Of Cricket

istockphoto.com

I have just finished reading Sri Lankan writer Shehan Karunatilaka's debut novel, The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, and to be blunt, the business of writing this review is interfering with what I really want to do. Which is watch cricket.

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Books
5:03 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Literary Look Ahead: 13 Great Books On The Horizon

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 5:56 am

Despite what the book section of your local supermarket would have you believe, publishers don't really expect you to turn off your brain for the summer. Sure, every June brings a stampede of fluffy paperbacks with tired plots and hilariously unfortunate covers, but your summer reading experience doesn't have to be 50 shades of mediocre.

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Author Interviews
1:15 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Mohammed Hanif On Secrets And Lies In Pakistan

Mohammed Hanif is the author of The Case of Exploding Mangoes. He lives in Karachi.
Nirma Bucha

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 4:17 am

The Pakistani writer Mohammed Hanif is living proof that you can sometimes tell the truth more easily with fiction than facts. Hanif is a journalist in one of the world's more dangerous places to be a journalist: Pakistan. He's also become one of the country's most prominent and provocative novelists. His book A Case of Exploding Mangoes told the tale of real-life Pakistani dictator Zia-ul-Haq, who died in a plane crash in 1988. Few believed it was an accident, and Hanif's novel delved into the conspiracies (and conspiracy theories).

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Monkey See
2:38 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Cannes Diary: A Tacky Triumph, And A Gloriously Painful 'Amour'

Emmanuelle Riva in Amour, a Cannes Film Festival favorite from director Michael Haneke.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 3:03 pm

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Monkey See
12:49 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

In 'Max Payne 3,' Rockstar Games Makes A Shooter With A Story

Rockstar Games

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 2:09 pm

Here's an analogy: Rockstar for games is almost like Miramax was for movies at its prime.

While Rockstar is not as indie as Harvey and Bob Weinstein's company was when it was flying high, Rockstar is indie in spirit from the top down, and it shows in their latest effort, Max Payne 3.

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New In Paperback
11:20 am
Wed May 23, 2012

New In Paperback May 21-27

Penguin Group

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Denis Johnson, Tom Perrotta, Pete Hamill, Mark Adams, Melissa Coleman and Howard Means.

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

Fitness & Nutrition
9:45 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Happy Feet: Tips For Healthier Running

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:58 pm

After hearing a lot about barefoot running, New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds decided to try it out for herself. An amateur runner for several decades, Reynolds says she thought the transition would be easy. But almost immediately, she got injured.

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