Arts/Life

PG-13: Risky Reads
11:58 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Bull Fights, Bankruptcy And A Damn Dangerous Book

promo image
iStock Photo

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 4:23 pm

Ben Mezrich is the author of Sex on the Moon.

Around the time I turned 12, I figured out exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up: an alcoholic.

I didn't actually know what it meant to be an alcoholic, but I knew that one day, I would drink copious amounts and dash around the streets of Paris, preferably in the company of bullfighters, bankrupts, impotent newspaper correspondents, and morbidly depressed, exotically beautiful divorcees.

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Books
9:45 am
Thu July 5, 2012

What Happens When The Honeymoon Is Over?

From the flowers, to the dress, to the cake, it's easy for brides to get caught up in planning the wedding. But after the honeymoon, a lot of couples ask, "now what?" Wedding Cake for Breakfast features essays by 23 brides in the year after they say "I do." Host Michel Martin talks with co-editor Wendy Sherman and contributor Andrea King Collier.

Interviews
9:45 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Morgan Freeman: No Black President For U.S. Yet

Morgan Freeman plays Monte Wildhorn in The Magic of Belle Isle.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 1:33 pm

Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman joined Tell Me More host Michel Martin to discuss his new movie, The Magic of Belle Isle. But the prolific actor, famous for his roles in films such as The Shawshank Redemption, Million Dollar Baby and The Dark Knight, also had a lot to say about politics. He was especially interested in talking about President Obama, and why Freeman thinks he should not be called America's first black president.

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Monkey See
8:36 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Life In Juxtopia

Katie Kiang sits by an electrical outlet and a quiet spot to study inside the air-conditioned Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Md., on Monday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 12:48 pm

For five full days — following Friday night's nasty wind-and-rain flashstorm — you were without electricity in the Washington suburbs. Dodging felled trees and fallen power wires, you made daily forays to nearby cafes and coffee shops, establishments that did have power. There you could recharge the batteries in your laptop and smartphone and take care of various electronic chores, such as banking, sending gifts, ordering necessities and sorting through email.

But mostly you stayed home, reading books and actual newspapers, just like in the Olden Days.

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The Salt
7:56 am
Thu July 5, 2012

In Lean Times, Creative Bakers Turn To Desperation Pies

Some desperation pies, like green tomato pie, still enjoy niche popularity today.
Kevin Turner Flickr

Imagine yourself as a resourceful farmer during the Great Depression. You'd like to make a dessert for your family, but traditional pie ingredients, like cherries or pecans, are too expensive or not available.

Desperate times call for desperation pies (or starvation recipes, if you happen to be in Greece).

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Dethroning The 'Drama Queen Of The Mind'

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 11:26 am

Here's one less thing for Daniel Smith to worry about: He sure can write. In Monkey Mind, a memoir of his lifelong struggles with anxiety, he defangs the experience with a winning combination of humor and understanding.

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Southword
1:15 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Meet Al Black: Florida's Prison Painter

Al Black is one of Florida's 26 officially recognized "Highwaymen" — a loosely affiliated group of artists who began painting in the 1960s, some of whom are still at it today.
Courtesy of Gary Monroe

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 8:25 pm

In the 1960s, Al Black could be found cruising up and down Route 1 in his blue-and-white Ford Galaxy — with a trunk full of wet landscape paintings.

At the time, he was a salesman who could snatch your breath away and sell it back to you. As artist Mary Ann Carroll puts it, he could "sell a jacket to a mosquito in summer."

"A salesman is a con-man," Black readily admits himself today. He's a storyteller. And does he have stories to tell.

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Books
1:08 am
Thu July 5, 2012

August 'Snow-Storm' Brought Devastation To D.C.

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 8:25 pm

In 1835, Washington, D.C., was a city in transition: Newly freed African-Americans were coming north and for the first time beginning to outnumber the city's slaves. That demographic shift led to a violent upheaval — all but forgotten today.

Few of the city's buildings from that time remain, but you can still sense what it was like, if you sit in a park by the White House, as NPR's Steve Inskeep did with writer Jefferson Morley.

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Books
12:53 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

The 5 Best Book Stories You Must Read This Week

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 4:15 pm

If you're like me, you probably have stacks of books sitting around your home waiting to be cracked open.

Despite my apartment's messy milieu, the piles are actually carefully curated in the order of what I plan to tackle next. Of course, the stacks tend to grow faster than I can read, but no matter.

Here are this week's five best stories from NPR Books. They'll grow your piles, but I promise, these books are worth it.

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Arts & Life
10:24 am
Wed July 4, 2012

The Highwaymen: Segregation And Speed-Painting In The Sunshine State

Courtesy of Gary Monroe

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 2:03 pm

In the 1960s and '70s, if you were in a doctor's office, or a funeral home, or a motel in Florida, chances are a landscape painting hung on the wall. Palms arching over the water, or moonlight on an inlet. Tens of thousands of paintings like this were created by a group of self-taught African-American artists, concentrated in Fort Pierce, Fla.

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The Salt
8:14 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Chess Pie's Past And Present

Linda Wertheimer shows off her chess pie with blueberries at the NPR headquarters pie contest.
Morning Edition NPR

To me, chess pie is an Oklahoma pie with definite Southern accents. For NPR's recent pie contest, I started with my mother's family recipe for Lemon Chess Pie — with a variation inspired by my Aunt Jane.

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Arts & Life
3:08 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Art, Race And Murder: The Origins Of Florida's 'Highwaymen'

The top painting, by A.E. Backus, suggests his influence on The Highwaymen, including his pupil Alfred Hair. Hair painted the landscape below.
Courtesy of the A.E. Backus Museum and Gallery

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 11:59 am

The story of The Highwaymen is one of biracial friendships and lingering racism, of painting and a murder — culminating in a contemporary clash over an artistic legacy.

Only loosely allied, they are credited with churning out some 200,000 landscape paintings in the area of Fort Pierce, Fla., since the 1960s. The strategy behind their enterprise: Paint a lot, and paint fast. Often, the oil paintings were sold before they had even dried. And a teenager named Alfred Hair was the mastermind behind the whole operation.

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Interviews
1:28 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Jimmy Fallon's Tribute To Neil Young

Jimmy Fallon says he spends almost 12 hours each day at the Late Night offices, which makes the rest of his life difficult. "If I want to play video games now, I have to schedule it," he tells Terry Gross.
Virginia Sherwood NBC

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 9:08 am

We're replaying a portion of this interview today. Specifically, it's the part where Jimmy Fallon imitates Neil Young. Why? Because we're also playing our Neil Young interview today. If you're like to listen to the full Jimmy Fallon interview, you can do so here.

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Author Interviews
1:28 am
Wed July 4, 2012

A Pie For All Regions: Serving Up The American Slice

A Northeastern Bakewell Pie (left) and Western Chocolate Raisin Pie cool on author Adrienne Kane's Connecticut kitchen counter.
Adrienne Kane

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 9:09 am

We hold this truth to be self-evident: America loves pie. We, the people, a nation of bakers and eaters, value the art of creating that crispy, gooey, fluffy, fruity dessert — and each region reserves the right to bake the treat in its own individual style.

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Kitchen Window
3:43 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Thinking Outside The Bento Box

Originally a convenient lunch for Japanese field workers, bentos today can be high art, with flower-petal carrots, hard-boiled eggs shaped into bunnies, broccoli sculpted into trees. But you don't have to cook Japanese food — or make cute cutouts — to reap the benefits of the bento.
Debra G. Samuels

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 1:44 pm

I'm sure you're a very good cook. But if you want to feel bad about yourself, spend five minutes cruising the Internet for photos of bento boxes.

They won't be hard to find. Originally just a convenient boxed lunch for Japanese field workers, bentos today can be high art, with flower-petal carrots, hard-boiled eggs shaped into bunnies, broccoli sculpted into trees. The moms who make them — because they're mostly moms, and not necessarily Japanese — are eager to share their edible masterpieces.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
2:48 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Bordellos, Bandits And One Big Mississippi Adventure

cover detail
cover detail

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 5:06 pm

W. Ralph Eubanks is the author of Ever Is a Long Time and The House at the End of the Road. He is director of publishing at the Library of Congress.

The work of William Faulkner looms as a mountain too high to climb for many readers, with his long, complex sentences and shifting point of view. But Faulkner's famously tangled mix of literary techniques meant nothing when I was about 12 years old and picked up a copy of The Reivers.

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The Salt
11:22 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Three Ways Pie History Is Like HBO's Game Of Thrones

Going medieval in the kitchen: The recipe for this sweet pork pie came from the new, official Game of Thrones cookbook.
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 10:21 am

Much has been written about the real-life historical people and events that inspired Game Of Thrones. Many fans of the hit HBO series and the fantasy books on which it is based know that author G.R.R.

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Remembrances
10:55 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Andy Griffith: A TV Icon From 'Matlock' To Mayberry

In the drama Matlock, Kene Holliday (top left), Nancy Stafford, Julie Sommars, Griffith and Kari Lizer played a criminal defense team that often came out on top.
NBCU Photo Bank

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 5:06 pm

In a career that spanned half a century, actor and comedian Andy Griffith starred in five different television series, made more than 30 movies and even recorded a Grammy Award-winning gospel album. He died Tuesday morning in North Carolina at the age of 86.

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Fresh Food
10:23 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Summer Cooking Tips From 'America's Test Kitchen'

Grilled short ribs are a delicious addition to any summer barbecue.
Carl Tremblay America's Test Kitchen

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 11:34 am

Tired of regular old hamburgers and hot dogs for July 4?

You're in luck. On Tuesday's Fresh Air, Jack Bishop and Bridget Lancaster from America's Test Kitchen join Terry Gross to highlight some of their favorite grilling techniques and summer recipes — everything from meats to vegetables to, yes, even desserts.

Bishop and Lancaster have been grilling for years. They love the technique because it concentrates flavors and makes food taste really, really good.

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Movie Reviews
10:07 am
Tue July 3, 2012

A Lanky Teenager On The Path To (Super) Power

Andrew Garfield stars in The Amazing Spider-Man, in which the nerdy, web-slinging superhero gets an overhauled origin story.
Jaimie Trueblood Sony Pictures

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 5:06 pm

I know you're skeptical. Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man was last slinging webs just five years ago. Broadway's Spider-Man started singing about webs less than two years ago. Now here comes another Spider-dude: This Andrew Garfield guy. So he'd better be really something, right? Well, as it happens, he is.

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Monkey See
9:30 am
Tue July 3, 2012

A Nerd Is Not A Geek: Two Spins On Spider-Man

Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man.
Jaimie Trueblood Sony Pictures

The biggest challenge The Amazing Spider-Man faces might be surprisingly existential for a summer blockbuster: Why should it be?

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
5:03 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Lesser-Known Lit: Seeking Summer's Hidden Gems

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 12:35 pm

I know, I know. You've already started tearing through Bring Up the Bodies, pre-ordered Canada and — since you pretend to have read the first few massive volumes of his LBJ bio — uploaded Robert Caro's latest history lesson to your Kindle. Spoiler: The pres dies in the end.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue July 3, 2012

'Gold' Offers A Winning Take On Cycling

iStockphoto.com

You're going to be hearing a lot about Chris Cleave's gold-medal performance in his first novel since his mega-best-seller, Little Bee. That's because Gold is a heart-pounding, winning tearjerker about three elite cyclists fiercely competing through three successive Olympics — including, most topically, the one about to take place in London this summer. If Olympic medals were awarded for dramatic stories about what drives athletes to compete and succeed, Cleave would easily ascend the podium.

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Books
1:28 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Dog Memoirs Will Fetch, Sit And Stay On Your Shelf

Gromit is the purebred Pembroke Welsh corgi belonging to NPR's Julie Rovner — who says she's hoping to eventually adopt a companion pooch named Wallace.
Julie Rovner

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 12:13 pm

The Morning Edition mailboxes are always overflowing with books sent by publishers. And recently, a fair number have fallen into a category you might call "dog memoirs" — books about how dogs transform their owners' lives.

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Author Interviews
1:20 am
Tue July 3, 2012

A Cautionary Tale About Transforming Afghanistan

Scores of Americans engineers worked in southern Afghanistan from the late 1940s to the late 1970s to build two large dams and a canal network. The development project soon became a vast experiment in social engineering. New villages were constructed, with schools and health clinics. A new, modern society was to rise from the desert.
Courtesy of the U.S. National Archives via Foreign Policy

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 11:05 am

The plan in Afghanistan was ambitious. Americans would set up a base in one of the most remote parts of one of the world's most isolated countries. The project would last many years and cost large sums of money. And in the end, Afghanistan, or at least one small part of it, would be a new, modern country.

When Americans think of large-scale U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, most would point to the Sept. 11 attacks that prompted the American invasion of the country in 2001.

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Book Reviews
10:16 am
Mon July 2, 2012

'The Age Of Miracles' Considers Earth's Fragility

iStock

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 10:39 am

The Age of Miracles is literary fiction, but it spins out the same kind of "what if?" disaster plot that distinguishes many a classic sci-fi movie. Too bad the title The Day the Earth Stood Still was already taken, because it really would have been the perfect title for Thompson's novel.

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Arts & Life
9:55 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Has The Big Day Lost Its Appeal For New Brides?

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 1:40 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, that 4th of July feast is just around the corner and many of us are hoping to load our plates with meat, but one cook is saying, why not go vegan? Anupy Singla will share her cookbook, "Vegan Indian Cooking: 140 Simple and Healthy Vegan Recipes." That's in just a few minutes.

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Food
9:55 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Wake Up Your Vegan Meals With Indian Fare

Courtesy Anupy Singla

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 1:40 pm

Anupy Singla wants to spice up your vegan diet with some Indian flare.

"If you look at Indian cuisine," the food writer tells NPR's Michel Martin, "it really is one of the only cuisines that highlights vegetarian food, so it's not a far stretch."

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Unicorns And Witches And Wild Mood Swings, Oh My!

Cover Detail

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 10:11 am

Petra Mayer is an associate editor at NPR Books.

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Crime In The City
1:33 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Philly Author's 'Confession': I Lived These Stories

Author Solomon Jones bases his work on his own experiences on the streets of Philadelphia.
Milton Perry

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 2:49 pm

Philadelphia may be called the City of Brotherly Love, but author Solomon Jones sees the sadder, more complex side of the city.

Jones' books feature Philly police detective Mike Coletti. When we meet him in The Last Confession, he's on the verge of retirement, but before he can head off into the sunset, he's got to confront some demons from his past and catch a serial killer calling himself the Angel of Death.

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