Arts

Deceptive Cadence
4:35 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: July 6, 2012

Soprano Evelyn Lear, circa 1965.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 1:32 pm

  • American soprano Evelyn Lear — whose roles ranged from title role in Berg's Lulu to Mozart to Sondheim — died at age 86 Monday at a nursing home, though the cause was not announced. (Her late husband of more than fifty years, the bass-baritone Thomas Stewart, died six years ago.)
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Author Interviews
3:51 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Science, The Supernatural Key To 'Night's' Alchemy

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 4:46 pm

Deborah Harkness is not only an enormously successful novelist who writes about trendy things like vampires. She's also a respected historian of science — a professor at the University of Southern California — and a wine expert.

In fact there's a lot of wine appreciation in Harkness' breakthrough novel, A Discovery of Witches. Her academic work involves the study of alchemy — the transformation of matter. She says wine is like alchemy, too.

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Opinion
3:13 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Wish You Were Here: City Kayaking In Seattle

The view of Seattle from Lake Union.
Razvan Orendovici

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 4:14 pm

Novelist Jess Walter's most recent novel is Beautiful Ruins.

At dawn, the sun curls across the lake's placid surface like a twist of lemon on a gin martini. Easing into my kayak on this glacier-cut, 12,000-year-old lake, I feel as I always do on its water: alone in the world.

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Books
1:38 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

SciFri Book Club Talks Silent Spring

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

I hope you're having your cup of coffee, your beverage of choice, maybe a little snack, sitting in your comfy reading or driving chair, settled in now because the first meeting of the SCIENCE FRIDAY Book Club is about to go underway. And for our first book, we have chosen the Rachel Carson classic "Silent Spring."

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Deceptive Cadence
12:03 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Behind The Music: Charles Ives

Pablo Helguera

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:23 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.

Books
7:06 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Mark Billingham Is A Fan Of The Dark Side Of London

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 12:10 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Three weeks from today, the 2012 London Summer Olympics begin. London will show off its cathedrals and castles, it's parliament and palaces, all that is splendid in one of the world's greatest cities. There is a seedy side of London, however, one that Olympic organizers presumably will not present. That is where we'll be going today with this encore presentation from our Crime in the City series.

Mystery writer Mark Billingham took reporter Vicki Barker to some of the places that inspired his dark twisted thrillers.

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Books News & Features
4:25 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Jamaica Does Literary Fest With A Caribbean Twist

Ethiopian novelist Maaza Mengiste reads from her latest novel on the second night of this year's Calabash festival. Mengiste says the audience at Calabash is one of a kind.
Hugh Wright

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 6:23 pm

There's a stretch of beach in the small Jamaican fishing village of Treasure Beach where booths sell poetry books right alongside jerk chicken, and local villagers mix with international literati. On a weekend in late May, some 2,000 people sit entranced as author and poet Fred D'Aguiar reads them his work from a bamboo lectern.

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New In Paperback
4:23 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

New In Paperback July 2-8

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 7:19 pm

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Erin Morgenstern, Rachel DeWoskin, Dean Bakopoulos, Amit Majmudar and James Carroll.

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

PG-13: Risky Reads
1:58 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Bull Fights, Bankruptcy And A Damn Dangerous Book

promo image
iStock Photo

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 6:23 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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NPR Bestseller List
12:44 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of July 5, 2012

The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
12:39 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of July 5, 2012

Nora Ephron's essay collection, I Feel Bad About My Neck, returns to the list at No. 10. Ephron died June 26.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
12:35 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of July 5, 2012

Amor Towles' Rules of Civility, a novel of 1938 Wall Street, debuts at No. 8.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
12:33 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of July 5, 2012

Kwaku Alston Random House

Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson's memoir, Yes, Chef, debuts at No. 14. Born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, the James Beard award-winning chef has been a judge on Top Chef, Iron Chef America and Chopped.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
12:27 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of July 5, 2012

Karen Thompson Walker's The Age of Miracles, a fantastical coming-of-age tale, debuts at No. 4.

Africa
11:45 am
Thu July 5, 2012

'African Booker' Defies Image Of Tragic Continent

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 12:01 pm

The Caine Prize for African Writing recognizes an African writer each year for a short story written in English. This year's prize went to Nigerian Rotimi Babatunde for "Bombay's Republic." It's about a Nigerian soldier who fought in Burma during World War II. Host Michel Martin talks with Babatunde and CNN's Nima Elbagir, one of the judges.

Books
11:45 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.

Deceptive Cadence
11:42 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Tanglewood, My Family's Transcendental Homeland

Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood.
Steve Rosenthal courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 5:02 pm

The barn reeked of mildew, wet wood in 90 degrees, an odious perfume with which I was familiar from a childhood in a Long Island canal town peppered with planked houses. I opened my instrument's case to see the hygrometer's needle stuck on the highest humidity level: assurance that my first professional-grade violin would not crack, or, to the great aural pleasure of Katja, my radiant Austrian stand partner with superb pitch, remain in tune.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Dethroning The 'Drama Queen Of The Mind'

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 1:26 pm

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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Books
3:08 am
Thu July 5, 2012

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

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 10:25 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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Book Reviews
4:08 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Review: 'The Dream Of The Celt'

Alan Cheuse reviews The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa. Cheuse teaches creative writing at George Mason University.

Books
2:53 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

The 5 Best Book Stories You Must Read This Week

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 6:15 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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Interviews
3:28 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 11:08 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
3:28 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 11:09 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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Deceptive Cadence
3:27 am
Wed July 4, 2012

From 'Glee' To Gettysburg: Brian Stokes Mitchell Speaks For Lincoln

Brian Stokes Mitchell records A Lincoln Portrait at NPR's Studio 4A in April.
Doriane Raiman NPR

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 5:08 am

Aaron Copland is considered one of America's greatest composers. Among his most famous works is a tribute to an iconic figure in American history. In 1942, Copland wrote A Lincoln Portrait, which features a full orchestra playing while a narrator reads excerpts from Lincoln's speeches and other writings.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
4:48 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Bordellos, Bandits And One Big Mississippi Adventure

cover detail
cover detail

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 7:06 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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Deceptive Cadence
2:31 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

'Dead Man Walking' Sings Again

Joyce DiDonato as Sister Helen Prejean and Philip Cutlip as Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie's opera Dead Man Walking.
Felix Sanchez courtesy of Houston Grand Opera

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 8:03 pm

It's so rare for a new opera — let alone a new American opera — to be recorded even once. But few new operas have been so rapturously received as Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, which recounts the true story of a Catholic nun, Sister Helen Prejean, and the convicted rapist and double murderer Joseph De Rocher before he was executed by the state of Louisiana.

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Books
1:30 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

'Monkey Mind': When Debilitating Anxiety Takes Over

Author and journalist Daniel Smith teaches English at the College of New Rochelle in New York.
Tyler Maroney

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 11:18 am

There's a lot to be anxious about — an upcoming job interview, a first date or perhaps a big presentation at work. For some, anxiety can be much more than just sweaty palms and quivering hands. It can be a debilitating condition with severe physical and mental effects.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that nearly 40 million American adults suffer from a wide range of anxiety disorders — from acute nervousness and increased heart rate to full-on panic attacks.

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Politics
11:05 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Marco Rubio Draws On Family To Keep Him Grounded

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we'll talk about the latest chapter in the work/family debate that's taken off from a provocative magazine piece written by former State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter. She resigned her high profile post after two years saying she needed to spend more time with family. And she meant it. We'll ask our panel of regulars in our parenting segment to join her to talk about her piece "Why Women Still Can't Have It All."

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Author Interviews
9:57 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Henry Louis Gates Jr.: A Life Spent Tracing Roots

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is perhaps best known for his research tracing the family and genetic history of famous African Americans. A selection of his writings on race, politics and culture appear in The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Reader. Originally broadcast May 8, 2012.

Author Interviews
9:57 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Cooking Everything? Bittman Gets Back To 'Basics'

In his new book, How to Cook Everything: The Basics, Mark Bittman explains with careful instructions and 1,000 colorful photos how to stock your pantry, how to dice vegetables, which knives you should buy �" and to really get back to basics �" how to boil water. Originally broadcast March 19, 2012.

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