Arts

Author Interviews
6:04 am
Sun June 24, 2012

The Fight For The Right To Hear, 'Yes, Chef'

Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 24, 2012 1:50 pm

As you walk in the doors of Red Rooster, you immediately see a key piece of design: a bar dominates the front room, nearly touching the street, as if to say to the people of Harlem, N.Y., "Come on in."

The story behind the restaurant's owner, celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, is more about life than food.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
6:24 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Rich Reads: Historical Fiction Fit For A Queen

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 11:33 am

I have always loved a great story set in the past. Give me a high-powered historical plot, and I will keep turning those pages until my eyes cross. Kings or consuls, functionaries or janissaries, it doesn't matter, only that it pounds onward to the conclusion β€” volcano explosion, battle or market crash. It's literary dessert, and I devour every bite.

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Author Interviews
6:23 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Lessons For Europe From 'The Second World War'

STF AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 12:47 pm

For most people, the start of World War II means German soldiers marching into Poland. Historian Antony Beevor begins and ends his new book, The Second World War with something different: the story of a German soldier who was actually Korean, was captured in Normandy, and wound up living in Illinois.

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NPR Bestseller List
6:15 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of June 21, 2012

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

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
6:02 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of June 21, 2012

Michael Ondaatje's seafaring coming-of-age tale, The Cat's Table, debuts at No. 12.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
6:01 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of June 21, 2012

Alan Furst's Hollywood-infused prewar spy thriller, Mission to Paris, debuts at No. 2.

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
5:58 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of June 21, 2012

Destiny of the Republic, about the assassination of President James Garfield, debuts at No. 11.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
5:53 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of June 21, 2012

Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand's true tale of survival in WWII, is on the list for an 83rd week.

Deceptive Cadence
4:47 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: June 22, 2012

Gustavo Dudamel applauds the youngsters of Scotland's Big Noise Orchestra after their Thursday performance in Stirling.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images
  • This week, Gustavo Dudamel was in Scotland to visit Raploch, Stirling, the "former haunt of notorious crime-clan Β­matriarch Big Mags Haney and once so educationally deprived it was dubbed a 'higher-free zone.'" It now is the home of Big Noise, a classical music project for kids run by Sistema Scotland.
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Deceptive Cadence
11:58 am
Fri June 22, 2012

America's Got Palate

Pablo Helguera

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:42 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.

Deceptive Cadence
10:19 am
Fri June 22, 2012

'Next!' How Do You Reduce Audition Anxiety?

The difference between being first sax and fourth is nailing the audition β€” and you can give your child the advantage of careful preparation.
iStock

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:44 pm

All this week, we've been exploring the ways families help kids learn to play music. Along the way, we've gleaned lots of great tips on everything from choosing an instrument to tantrum-free practice from our readers, as well as young musicians who have appeared on From the Top and their parents.

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Books
12:03 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Will Your Children Inherit Your E-Books?

Goddard works with a steel combustion chamber and rocket nozzle, around 1915.
Fotosearch Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:05 pm

In 1898, a man bought a book for his 16-year-old nephew. "Many happy retoins [sic]. Uncle Spud," he wrote on a blank page at the front.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:57 am
Thu June 21, 2012

How Do You Encourage Your Kid Without Being A Crazy Stage Parent?

If your child's happy and she knows it, then her practice time will surely show it.
iStock

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:44 pm

All this week, we've been exploring ways to encourage kids' enthusiasm in learning music, from picking an instrument to finding a teacher to practicin

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Thu June 21, 2012

'Windeye': Gripping Tales Of Horror And Mystery

iStockphoto

As if wooing Sisyphus, I push hungrily through the 25 stories in Brian Evenson's new collection, Windeye, trying each time to get to The Answer. Is the man a maniacal killer, or trapped in an experiment? What happens in the caves? Will the dead boy be avenged? Can Halle survive until the end of the oxygen shortage?

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Deceptive Cadence
9:40 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Getting Kids To Practice Music β€” Without Tears Or Tantrums

How do you encourage your kid to practice with a smile instead of a scream?
iStock

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:45 pm

When friends learn that my nearly six-year-old has been playing violin for three years, their voices shift a bit, especially if they also have a child learning an instrument. Two questions come in quick succession: "Does she like it?" and "How do you get her to practice?" There's a nervous energy to their queries, and usually a little laugh, too. Either they've been struggling with kids who have a hard time practicing, or they recall their own childhood boredom.

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In Practice
9:19 am
Wed June 20, 2012

In Practice: New York Polyphony

New York Polyphony perform Renaissance songs for an In Practice recording session.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:01 pm

The four-man vocal ensemble New York Polyphony sings ancient music built for big resonant spaces. Since they can't just pop into St. Patrick's Cathedral any time they need to practice a renaissance mass, the group rehearses sometimes in the Jackson Heights home of bass singer Craig Phillips. There, in a modest-sized living room, they can hear every detail. "It's a very different experience rehearsing in a dry room and a small room," says tenor Geoffrey Silver. "You actually hear what you and your colleagues are singing, there's no watercolor wash over what you are doing."

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In Practice
9:16 am
Wed June 20, 2012

In Practice: Jonathan Biss

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:04 pm

It's tough to concentrate on the rigors of Beethoven with jackhammers pounding in your ears. So when they started demolishing the building next to Jonathan Biss, he moved his piano out of his apartment into a separate studio, away from the commotion. "I would get up in the morning, the piano wasn't there, and I had to leave my apartment to go practice and I've decided that's a much more productive way of working," he says. Biss needs a good working environment for his massive project.

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In Practice
9:15 am
Wed June 20, 2012

In Practice: Jeremy Denk

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:06 pm

Jeremy Denk has his own personal "piano boot camp." Actually, it's his cramped Manhattan apartment. Beside his beloved books, a trusty coffee pot and a laptop, there's not much to do except practice. Which Denk does, hours and hours a day on a Steinway wedged into his living room. On a good day, he brews pot of coffee number one at about 11, then plays for about five hours. Perhaps a run to the gym, then pot number two is brewed at about 6, followed by more playing β€” until the neighbors complain.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Wed June 20, 2012

A Question Unanswered: 'How Should A Person Be?'

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 10:36 am

The unexamined life isn't worth living, according to Socrates, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a writer who disagrees. Few, though, have taken it to the extreme that Toronto author Sheila Heti does with How Should a Person Be? The relentlessly introspective "novel from life" earned critical raves when it was released in Canada in 2010. The book chronicles Heti's struggle β€” sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking β€” to answer the seemingly simple questions: "What was the right way to react to people? Who was I to talk to at parties? How was I to be?"

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New In Paperback
7:03 am
Wed June 20, 2012

New In Paperback June 18-24

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Michael Ondaatje, Lev Grossman and Ron Suskind.

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

Book Reviews
5:14 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Review: 'How Should A Person Be'

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 6:59 pm

Author Sheila Heti has a fresh pulsing voice in her new novel, How Should a Person Be?

Deceptive Cadence
4:27 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

The Cleveland Youth Orchestra: On The Road In Mozart's Hometown

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra embarks on its first European tour.
Roger Mastroianni Cleveland Orchestra

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 1:19 pm

Nurturing young talent is a long tradition in the classical music world, and many professional orchestras have their own youth orchestras. But it stands to reason that an organization with the kind of international stature the Cleveland Orchestra enjoys would have a top-notch youth ensemble. It does. And it's called, not surprisingly, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra β€” COYO for short. The young musicians have just embarked on a European tour.

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Author Interviews
11:01 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Edible Fermentables: Wine, Beer, Cheese, Meat

Beer may be the oldest fermented beverage on the planet.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 10:15 am

In the beginning, the self-described "fermentation fetishist" Sandor Katz loved sour pickles.

"For whatever reason, I was drawn to that flavor as a child," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And then when I was in my 20s, I did quite a bit of dietary experimentation and ... I started noticing that whenever I ate sauerkraut or pickles, even the smell of it would make my salivary glands start secreting."

After Katz moved from New York City to a rural community in Tennessee, his fascination with all things fermented increased.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:29 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Finding The Right Teacher For Your Music-Loving Kid

How do you match your child with someone competent, trustworthy and inspiring?
iStock

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:45 pm

With the current school year wrapping up and our thoughts turning to how to make next year even better, we're teaming up with our friends at From the Top to create "The Young Person's Guide to Making Music." All this week, we're tackling topics for music-loving kids and their families, from how to choose the right instrument to vanquishing the audition monster, with lo

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Divorce, 'Disgrace' And One Steamy Victorian Diary

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 10:16 am

If Isabella Robinson had a Facebook account in 1858, her relationship status would be "It's complicated." Unhappily married to civil engineer Henry Robinson β€” a most "uncongenial partner" β€” Isabella set her lonely sights on the dashing and very much attached hydropath Dr. Edward Lane. In a perfect world, Isabella and Edward's respective spouses would die quick and painless deaths, freeing the paramours to be joined in holy, socially sanctioned matrimony. But Victorian England was not a perfect world.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
7:03 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Summer's Best Sci-Fi: Planets, Politics, Apocalypse

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 3:40 pm

Science fiction is a genre of contradictions. It's an entertaining escape from the dreary everyday, but it also invites you to rethink your everyday life. It can be cheesy but profound, fantastic but sharply political. And like all literature, it's rarely about what it seems to be on the surface. That's why the best sci-fi writers manage to turn space battles into philosophical debates, and zombie hordes into political satire.

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Book Reviews
12:41 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

'Beautiful Ruins,' Both Human And Architectural

In Jess Walter's new novel, Beautiful Ruins, there's a beaten-down character named Claire who works in Hollywood reading scripts for a living. Claire is inundated with reality TV show pitches, many of them featuring drunk models or drunk sex addicts β€” in short, scripts so offensive that, Claire thinks, to give them the green light for production would be akin to "singlehandedly hastening the apocalypse."

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Author Interviews
12:41 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A New Superman Bio!

Christopher Reeve played Superman in Richard Donner's 1978 film. Larry Tye has written a new biography of the Man of Steel.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 10:15 am

Eighty years ago, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the iconic comic book character Superman, but it took several years of rejections before they finally sold him to Detective Comics Inc. in 1938. The distinctive superhero made his first appearance in the comics in June 1938 β€” and since then has appeared in radio dramas, TV shows, video games, newspaper comics and countless films.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
10:15 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Teenage Brain: Gateway To A 'Bright And Dark' World

Cover detail

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 5:27 pm

Meg Wolitzer is a novelist whose most recent works include The Uncoupling and a book for young readers, The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman.

You know how people talk about so-called gateway drugs β€” drugs that lead to harder ones? I think some books can be considered gateway books, because reading them leads you to start reading other books that are similar but more intense. Lisa, Bright and Dark, John Neufeld's 1969 novel for young adults, is one of these.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:52 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Finding True Love: Helping Your Kid Choose The Right Instrument

Can you fall in love with the sound of a plastic recorder?
iStock

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:46 pm

Whether it's learning saxophone in school band, taking Saturday piano lessons, or participating in a top-flight youth orchestra, there are tens of millions of kids in the United States learning to play instruments. Way back in 2003, Gallup pollsters figured that at least 84 million Americans play an instrument β€” and at least a third of those players were then between the ages of 5 and 17.

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