Arts

Arts and culture

There are a lot of reasons to shop locally this holiday season, but my favorite one is that, in some small way, it helps keep alive the promise of the uncanny. The sensation that something's not quite right, perhaps even taboo, is serendipity's mysterious sibling. It's a feeling that's endangered in our painfully transparent era, and completely absent from the hygienic, efficient process of shopping via search term.

"It was on a dreary night of November, that I beheld my man completed ..."

In the two centuries since publication, Mary Shelley's novel about an obsessive student and his creation has taken on, fittingly, a life of its own. But it is in itself a mystery, eluding attempts to produce a definitive version — and as with other modern myths, it has been shaped anew with every generation. It's a story, both on the page and behind it, that refuses to be simple.

John Adams might be called the "documentarian" among American composers. His works have traced the birth of the atomic bomb, President Nixon's trip to China and the 9-11 attacks. Now, Adams turns to the California Gold Rush.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Food waste is a huge problem globally — starting with our own refrigerators. Over this Thanksgiving week, Americans will throw out almost 200 million pounds of turkey alone, according to figures from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

But before you toss that bird, read on. We asked Massimo Bottura, one of the world's best chefs, to help us figure out what to do with our holiday leftovers.

When was the last time you picked up a book and really looked at how it was made: the typeface, the feel of the paper, the way the words look on the page? Today, when people can read on their phones, some books never even make it to paper.

Once, bookmaking was an art as refined and distinct as the writing it presents. And in some places, like Larkspur Press in Kentucky, it still is.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In the family drama The Tribes of Palos Verdes, in theaters this week, the warmly maternal actress Jennifer Garner plays a mother from hell. Not that her Sandy Mason is one of those ubiquitous gorgons who have eaten friends and family for dinner since movie time began, from Bette Davis's coldly bullying mater in 1942's Now, Voyager through the ice- queens in two incarnations of The Manchurian Candidate (1962 and 2004), all the way to (coming December 8th!) a wickedly funny and scary Allison Janney as Tonya Harding's monster mom in I, Tonya.

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