Arts

Books
6:00 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

A Comics Crusader Takes On The Digital Future

A panel from part one of Insufferable, the first title offered by the comics website Thrillbent.com. The site's creator, comic-book writer Mark Waid, hopes it will redefine comics in the era of smartphones and tablets.
Courtesy of Thrillbent.com

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:40 pm

He wouldn't make the claim himself, but when it comes to comic-book writers, Mark Waid is one of the greats.

"I've pretty much hit all of the pop culture bases," Waid says, surrounded by comic-book memorabilia in his Los Angeles home. Batman, Spider-Man and even The Incredibles have all had adventures dreamed up by Waid.

"Jan. 26, 1979, was the most important day of my life," Waid says. "Because that's the day that I saw Superman: The Movie. I came out of it knowing that no matter what the rest of my life was going to be like, it had to involve Superman somehow."

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Book Reviews
4:35 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Review: 'At The Mouth Of The River Of Bees'

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 6:00 pm

Alan Cheuse reviews a collection of science fiction short stories by Kij Johnson, "At the Mouth of the River of Bees."

Book Reviews
2:01 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

'Dreamland': Open Your Eyes To The Science Of Sleep

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 2:06 pm

Step, if you will, into my bedroom at night. (Don't worry, this is a PG-rated invitation.) At first, all is tranquil: My husband and I, exhausted by our day's labors, slumber, comatose, in our double bed. But, somewhere around 2 a.m., things begin to go bump in the night. My husband's body starts twitching, like Frankenstein's monster receiving his first animating shocks of electricity. Thrashing about, he'll kick me and steal the covers. In his dreams, he's always fighting or being chased; one night he said he dreamt Dick Cheney was gaining on him.

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Author Interviews
1:35 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

'Antietam' Dissects Strategies Of North And South

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 2:23 pm

In the earliest days of the Civil War, the Union Army focused on cutting off key supply lines on the periphery of the South. The approach was designed to hurt the South's economy and convince its citizens to return to the Union.

Even though President Lincoln said slavery was unjust, in the earliest days of the war he told the Southern states that he wouldn't interfere with slavery as an institution.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:13 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Magdalena Kozena's Labor of 'Love And Longing'

Mezzo-soprano Magdalena KoΕΎenΓ‘ collaborated with a conductor she knows well, the Berlin Philharmonic's Simon Rattle β€” who's also her husband.
Mathias Bothor DG

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 12:18 pm

One of the toughest tricks for a singer to pull off is putting a fresh face on each composer in a program. All too often, the Handel starts sounding like the Mozart, which in turn takes on too much of the Verdi and it all becomes indistinguishable.

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100 Best Books
7:22 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Your Favorites: 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 2:50 pm

It's almost a cliche at this point to say that teen fiction isn't just for teens anymore. Just last year, the Association of American Publishers ranked Children's/Young Adult books as the single fastest-growing publishing category.

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Book Reviews
7:18 am
Tue August 7, 2012

'Dog Stars' Dwells On The Upside Of Apocalypse

We're in the middle of a golden age (if that's the right term for it) of doomsday narratives.

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Books
7:03 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Top 100 Teen Books

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:14 pm

More than 75,000 ballots were cast in our annual summer reader's survey β€” click here to see the full list of 100 books, complete with links and descriptions. Below is a printable list of the top 100 winners. And for even more great reads, check out the complete list of 235 finalists.

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling

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You Must Read This
4:34 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

An Apocalyptic Romp Through The 'Golden' State

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 6:44 pm

Gabrielle Zevin's latest book is All These Things I've Done.

Forgive me, Facebook! I do not always want to tell people what I like. This flaw in my character puts me at odds with much of modern life, which is, of course, organized around a relentless cycle of recommendation.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:44 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Remembering Ruggiero Ricci: A Virtuoso Soloist Spurred By Army Service

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:58 pm

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You Must Read This
7:03 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Monsters In Black Tie: A World Of Cliques And Class

cover detail

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:51 pm

Mark Harril Saunders is the author of the novel Ministers of Fire.

There are many reasons not to read the five novels that make up the Patrick Melrose cycle by Edward St. Aubyn. Each part is short in duration, covering no more than a few carefully orchestrated days, but taken together the action β€” if you can call witty British aristocrats blithely destroying each other action β€” spans more than 30 years and 900 pages.

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Author Interviews
3:01 am
Mon August 6, 2012

'American Dream,' Betrayed By Bad Economic Policy

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 7:33 am

A lot is at stake in the current election, but no matter who wins, the victor will stay committed to policies that cripple the middle class. That's according to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Donald Barlett and James Steele, who've been covering the middle class for decades.

In their new book, The Betrayal of the American Dream, Barlett and Steele criticize a government obsessed with free trade and indifferent toward companies that outsource jobs.

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Crime In The City
3:00 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Author Peter James And Sidekick Track Seaside Crime

After turning over a book to his publisher, Peter James wakes up the next day and starts on the next one.
Gareth Ransome

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:39 am

Any tour of Brighton, England, has to begin at the Royal Pavilion, according to crime writer Peter James. Built by a king for his mistress 200 years ago, its Taj Mahal-like spires are the city's best-known landmark.

James' latest novel, Not Dead Yet, features β€” spoiler alert! β€” a pivotal scene in the pavilion's dining room, with its one-and-a-half ton crystal chandelier. Without giving too much away β€” the book won't be released in the U.S. until November – let's just say it might have something to do with the aforementioned chandelier.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:30 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Headbanging Bruckner And Debussy In Black And White: New Classical Albums

The young pianist Inon Barnatan plays Debussy and Ravel with striking assurance.
Avie Records

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 5:14 pm

Some people are intimidated by the vastness of classical music. And while the prospect of more than 1,000 years of hits to consider may be daunting, just think instead of how many musical journeys of discovery can be made.

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Author Interviews
1:53 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

A Story Of Ancient Power In 'The Rise of Rome'

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:11 pm

Over the past decade, there's been a revival in popular histories of ancient Rome; not the academic tomes once reserved for specialists and students, but books and movies designed for the rest of us.

Anthony Everitt has written three biographies about some of the major players in ancient Rome: Cicero, Augustus and Hadrian, all full of intrigue and treachery.

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Author Interviews
7:34 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Murderous 'Thugs' From India To London

Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with Tabish Khair about The Thing About Thugs, his new novel about the myths of murderous Indian cult of "thugees."

Books News & Features
6:10 am
Sun August 5, 2012

In The E-Book World, Are Book Covers A Dying Art?

Designed by Chip Kidd, the book jacket for Haruki Murakami's 1Q84, when removed, reveals a woman's face.
Courtesy of Chip Kidd/Alfred A. Knopf

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 5:01 pm

In the olden days, a reader might pick up a book because the cover was exciting, intriguing, maybe even beautiful. But in the brave new world of e-books and e-readers, the days when an artist named Chip Kidd could make us reach for a book may be gone.

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Author Interviews
4:52 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

The Thomas Eagleton Affair Haunts Candidates Today

Sens. Thomas Eagleton (left) and George McGovern celebrate their candidacy for vice president and president, respectively, at the Democratic National Convention in 1972.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 12:51 pm

Sometime before the end of the month, when Republicans hold their convention in Tampa, Fla., Mitt Romney will announce his vice presidential running mate.

There's a good chance the finalists for that spot are wading through mountains of paperwork, and answering deeply personal questions about finances, past statements, friendships β€” and medical history.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:39 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Gathering Of The Viols: The 50th Annual Viola Da Gamba Conclave

Jack Ashworth, Tina Chancey, Lisa Terry and Phillip Serna perform Sunday during the closing banquet of the weeklong conclave at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del.
Scott Mason

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:59 pm

Viola da gamba players are a special breed β€” a tiny subset in the already small world of early classical music. They rarely meet their own kind, but once a year they come together for a week in July at an annual jam session they call a conclave. Wendy Gillespie, who just finished her term as president of the Viola da Gamba Society of America, says attending the event is the highlight of her year.

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Book Reviews
4:46 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Reviews: 'The Fallen Angel' And 'A Foreign Country'

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

August is here and, for many, that means vacation and a last minute scramble for a good book to pass the quiet hours. Well, take heart. Our reviewer Alan Cheuse has reached deep into his pile of new books and found two spy thrillers, perfect, he says, for brisk summer reading.

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Author Interviews
3:19 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Living The 'Cat Life' In Brazil

Author Clarah Averbuck says Brazil has a long way to go in its treatment of women.
Paula Ragucci Courtesy Clarah Averbuck

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 9:39 am

Camila, the leading lady in Cat Life by Brazilian author Clarah Averbuck, may spend nearly 90 pages pining over the love of her life, Antonio, but that doesn't make her weak.

Averbuck says her heroine is somewhat based on her own life experience. "I fell in love, I was young. ... You know, the first time you realize [it's] not going to work the way you think it's going to work, you get all crushed," she tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More.

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Author Interviews
12:41 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Crum: Lee Maynard's 'Love Letter' To His Hometown

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 3:10 pm

Lee Maynard's 1988 semi-autobiographical novel Crum is set in the small, poor West Virginia town where he grew up. The people of Crum who know the book tend to love it or hate it. It was even banned for several years in a state-run store. The sequel, Screaming With the Cannibals, which came out five years later, got his protagonist Jesse Stone out of West Virginia, across the Tug River into Kentucky.

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Remembrances
12:40 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Fresh Air Remembers Writer And Critic Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal authored the historical novels Burr and Lincoln, wrote plays and provocative essays, ran for office twice β€” and lost β€” and frequently appeared on TV talk shows. His play The Best Man currently has a revival on Broadway.
AP

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 3:03 pm

In Gore Vidal's New York Times obituary, Charles McGrath described the writer as "the elegant, acerbic all around man of letters who presided with a certain relish over what he declared to be the end of American civilization." Vidal died Tuesday at the age of 86.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:24 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Olympic Musicians, Abandoned Pianos And Stravinsky's Scotch

Conductor Daniel Barenboim (lower right) was one of eight notables chosen to carry the Olympic flag at the July 27 opening ceremony of the London Games.
Paul Gilham Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 7:23 pm

  • Why yes, that was indeed Daniel Barenboim carrying the Olympic flag at the opening ceremonies.
  • Filmmaker Danny Boyle's sprawling opening ceremonies pageant featured a cameo by the London Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle and comedian Rowan Atkinson, aka Mr. Bean, in the theme from Chariots of Fire.
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Deceptive Cadence
11:56 am
Fri August 3, 2012

It's Easy Being Green

Pablo Helguera

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:00 pm

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

World
11:52 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Living The 'Cat Life' In Brazil

Brazil's economy is fast developing and it will garner more attention as it gears up to host the next summer Olympics in 2016. As part of Tell Me More's series looking at fiction from countries on the rise in the global arena, host Michel Martin speaks with Brazilian author Clarah Averbuck. She's the author of "Cat Life."

NPR Bestseller List
11:14 am
Fri August 3, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of August 2, 2012

Compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
10:58 am
Fri August 3, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of August 2, 2012

In its fourth week on the list, young magicians fall in love in Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
10:55 am
Fri August 3, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of August 2, 2012

A Dublin detective investigates a triple murder in Tana French's Broken Harbor, which debuts at No. 2.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
10:49 am
Fri August 3, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of August 2, 2012

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 11:14 am

Days Of Destruction, Days Of Revolt is a scathing portrait of American poverty. It debuts at No. 4.

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