Arts

Arts and culture

When new CBS Entertainment President Glenn Geller faced TV critics in August to talk about the network's new fall shows, the first question he got was straight to the point.

"Why is it so difficult to get more inclusion for people of color in the top level of casting at CBS?" asked Maureen Ryan, chief TV critic for the trade magazine Variety. "And what message does it send that the leads of your shows are all heterosexual white men?"

The Book Concierge is back and bigger than ever! Explore more than 300 standout titles picked by NPR staff and critics.

Open the app now!

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

As an Asian-American woman, I've had any number of opportunities to see someone who looked like me on the big and small screen.

Since I was a little girl, I've seen Disney's Mulan, Trini Kwan from Fox Kids' Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy, to name a few. And while the portrayal of Asian-American women by Hollywood and television could use some work — too often they're oversexualized or rendered exotic — at least we're present and have some depth.

NPR's annual Book Concierge is back. And to mark the occasion, correspondent Lynn Neary joins Morning Edition's Rachel Martin to talk about the year in fiction — and to share a couple of her favorite titles from 2016.

If you're looking for the books mentioned on-air, here are links to:

Eleven Americans describe what it's like to be transgender in Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' new HBO documentary, The Trans List. Though the individuals in the film come from varied backgrounds, there is at least one common thread to their experiences: "We all come out publicly," lawyer Kylar Broadus tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "There is no hidden way to come out as a trans person."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

For writers of crime fiction, those vulnerabilities in the Internet of things present an opportunity. NPR's Art Silverman realized that when he picked up some of the new books coming into our office.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Season One of HBO's Westworld ended with several bangs last night, so Audie Cornish and I headed into a studio to unpack what happened, and, given the events of the finale, what seems likely to happen when the show returns ... in 2018.

We touch on the show's puzzle-box narrative infrastructure, its use of sex, violence and sexual violence, and how just how meta things get. (Spoiler: a whole lot.)

Meat was seldom on the menu when I was a kid. When we did eat it, my family's go-tos consisted of hot dogs (consumed once per year at my dad's work picnic), kung pao chicken from various local Chinese establishments, and my mom's tandoori chicken slathered in yogurt sauce. These dishes all followed my formerly vegetarian, reluctantly omnivorous Hindu parents' Cardinal Rule for Eating Meat: Meat should not resemble animal. Skin and bones were to be avoided, which meant that chicken wings and ribs were inherently problematic, as were Thanksgiving turkeys, which were replaced with lasagnas.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Surreal Cookbook Of Salvador Dalí

Dec 4, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "GILMORE GIRLS")

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Dava Sobel is as adept at spotting promising subject matter as the extraordinary women astronomers she writes about in The Glass Universe were at spotting variable stars. By translating complex information into manageable bites sweetened with human interest stories, Sobel makes hard science palatable for the general audience. Even more than her 1999 book Galileo's Daughter, this new work highlights women's often under-appreciated role in the history of science.

This week, we've invited Alan Cumming, actor, singer, author, director and proud son of Scotland, to play our quiz. He's currently on tour performing songs from his new album, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs.

Since Cumming plays Eli Gold on the TV series The Good Wife, we're asking him to answer three questions about bad wives.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Much of the world is getting to know the work of Kathleen Collins - all the more to regret that she's not around to hear the praise. Kathleen Collins was a writer and filmmaker who died in 1988 of breast cancer. She was 46 years old.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The last time New York's Metropolitan Opera presented a work written by a woman was 113 years ago. It's a drought that lasted longer than the years between the Cubs' World Series victories. That situation has finally been rectified this week with the New York premiere of the opera L'Amour de Loin by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Let's pause now to remember a British actor best known for playing a Spanish waiter in a 1970s BBC series that lasted only 12 episodes - Andrew Sachs. He died at age 86. As NPR's Ted Robbins tells us, his relatively small role left a big impression.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Bonnie Mackay has written an unusual sort of memoir: Tree of Treasures is the story of her life, told through Christmas tree ornaments.

Mackay is something of an ornament aficionado — starting with the first tree she decorated with a friend from college.

"We called it the tree of disarray ... " she tells NPR's Ari Shapiro. They adorned it with unconventional objects, including jewelry, scarves and kitchen items.

This is a story about love and transformation. But first, it starts with resistance.

At 75, Chanjae Lee absolutely hated the idea of learning this bizarre thing called Instagram. He had never used the Internet before, never once owned an email account, and never understood the concepts behind Google or Facebook. Why did he have to learn Instagram?

It was because he missed his grandchildren, dearly.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Epilogue

Dec 2, 2016

On a scale of one to ten of how she's doing, these days Lauren Weedman is a solid eight. But the author of Miss Fortune: Fresh Perspectives on Having It All From Someone Who Is Not Okay hasn't always been this 'okay.' In fact, she revealed to host Ophira Eisenberg, "When I started writing the book, I was way less okay. It was very much embracing ... what a mess [I am]."

Chapter One

Dec 2, 2016

There's nothing like retreating to your favorite secluded spot and indulging in a good book. Next best thing? Hearing Jonathan Coulton sing about other people who enjoy seclusion, too! Then, nonfiction books get the blockbuster movie trailer treatment. Finally, find the perfect reading snack with a mash-up game featuring book titles reimagined as foods.

Heard On Literary Favorites

Prologue

Dec 2, 2016

The first step in choosing a great book to read? Check the reviews. Guess classic novels like Moby Dick from their actual one-star Amazon reviews. Then, see if you can tell the difference between a Choose Your Own Adventure book and a Weekly World News headline in one of the very first This, That, or the Others written for the AMA stage.

Heard On Literary Favorites

Pages