Arts

Deceptive Cadence
2:03 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Tracing The Trail Of Musical Fathers

Fathers have played an important role in shaping musical history.
Matthew Scherf iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 10:56 am

With Father's Day coming up this weekend, Morning Edition music commentator Miles Hoffman has been thinking about a few musical dads and their children.

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Three Books...
6:27 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

3 Books That Enhance Steve Inskeep's Journey

Mohammed Abed AFP/GettyImages

The area from Carthage to Cairo has commanded the world's attention. Since the Arab Spring last year, it has been filled with protesters, journalists, rebels, and change. It would be hard to put together a reading list for this area without thinking of politics, but writing from the region often surprises us — it suggests the variety and vitality of social life. Here are three books that show why this long-time locale of dictators has suddenly become one of hope.

Book Reviews
4:52 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Review: 'Truth Like The Sun'

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 5:39 pm

In Truth Like The Sun, author Jim Lynch traces the growth of Seattle after it hosted the 1962 World's Fair. The novel deals with themes of idealism versus pragmatism and high idealism versus raw ambition.

New In Paperback
9:33 am
Thu June 14, 2012

New In Paperback June 11-17

Girls in White Dresses book cover

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Jennifer Close, Christopher Plummer and Mohamed ElBaradei.

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

Book Reviews
7:03 am
Thu June 14, 2012

'Redshirts:' A Love Letter To Sci-Fi Fans

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 3:24 am

Science fiction is often a genre in conversation with itself; from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels to Galaxy Quest, from The Walking Dead to The Purple Rose of Cairo, it thrives on metatext and a love of details. It's a place inhabited by loyal, passionate fans who are nonetheless acutely aware of — and happy to question — the minutiae of what they love.

In fact, it's a show's biggest fans who are most likely to be watching a starship crew suit up for a mission and asking the screen, "All three top-ranking officers are going? Really?"

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
7:03 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Sail Into Summer With Novel Picks From Alan Cheuse

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 6:23 pm

Head to the bookstore or pick up your Nook or Kindle or iPad, and prepare, if you will, to make some decisions about your summer reading life. My suggestions this year tend to be fine new fiction, the kind that not only flows on the page but also makes a sort of music in your mind. So, word music it is! Strike up the orchestra! It's going to be a big summer for big broad American literary voices, voices that leap from the page and linger with you, echo through your summer and perhaps even beyond.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
4:32 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Teenage Tales: Sneaking Looks In Sexy Books

Cover detail

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 5:22 pm

Emily Danforth is the author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

I was at a garage sale with my grandmother when I found a paperback copy of Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle.

I was, without much enthusiasm, rummaging through a pile of books. And then I turned over a small paperback. There, on the back, was a reviewer praising this "account of what it's like growing up lesbian ..." I flinched — such a private word to place in such prominence on a book cover.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:26 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

NPR Classical's Favorite Albums Of 2012 (So Far)

SFS Media

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 12:50 pm

If the classical music record industry is trouble, you'd never know it by looking at my desk, or that of my colleague Anastasia Tsioulcas — mountains of good old-fashioned compact discs, ready for listening. And our digital space is also getting crowded by more and more downloads. It all adds up to a super broad range of music and musicians. As the year is half over, we've taken stock of a few (of our many) favorites and surprises so far. Listen to our discussion above and hear longer excerpts below of some of the best classical releases of 2012.

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Fresh Food
12:16 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

'Fermentation': When Food Goes Bad But Stays Good

Yogurt is produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk. "Bacteria in our gut enable us to live," says author Sandor Katz. "We could not survive without bacteria."
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 3:48 pm

The list of fermented food in our lives is staggering: bread, coffee, pickles, beer, cheese, yogurt and soy sauce are all transformed at some point during their production process by microscopic organisms that extend their usefulness and enhance their flavors.

The process of fermenting our food isn't a new one: Evidence indicates that early civilizations were making wine and beer between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago — and bread even before that.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Wed June 13, 2012

'Red House': A Kaleidoscope Of Family Dysfunction

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 8:03 am

You can get to know people awfully well by spending a week with them on vacation. In The Red House, Mark Haddon brings together two long-estranged siblings and their disjointed families for a shared holiday at a rented house on the Welsh border six weeks after their mother's funeral. Seven days comes to feel like an eternity — for his characters and his readers.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:03 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Analog For Astronauts: An Ambient Classic Reimagined

The Apollo 11 space module above the surface of the moon.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:02 pm

(Classical Detours meanders through stylistic byways, exploring new recordings from the fringes of classical music.)

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Author Interviews
12:10 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Under The 'Nuclear Shadow' Of Colorado's Rocky Flats

cover detail: Full Body Burden

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 3:40 pm

Kristen Iversen spent years in Europe looking for things to write about before realizing that biggest story she'd ever cover was in the backyard where she grew up. Iversen spent her childhood in Colorado close to the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons factory, playing in fields and swimming in lakes and streams that it now appears were contaminated with plutonium. Later, as a single mother, Iversen worked at the plant but knew little of its environmental and health risks until she saw a feature about it on Nightline.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:07 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Conducting Business: Crowdfunding Classical Music

Better than busking or writing endless grant applications? Raising funds via sites like Kickstarter.
iStock

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:47 pm

Dress shirts inspired by NASA technology, gourmet pepper mixes and ... a new recording and study guide for Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time? That's just a tiny sample of Kickstarter's current array of "creative projects" seeking funding. Forget writing endless grant applications and long dinners with angel investors, the thinking goes — just tap into your social networks to raise money instead.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Alan Furst's New 'Mission' Delivers Spy Thrills

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 8:09 pm

Alan Furst is fixated on a place on the verge of all-out war — and his many readers are grateful for his obsession.

Furst is the wonderfully inventive author of a series of novels set in Europe on the eve of World War II. He's often been compared to John le Carre, Graham Greene and other masters of fictional espionage. But it's time to consider him on his own merits.

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Author Interviews
2:50 am
Tue June 12, 2012

What Animals Can Teach Humans About Healing

When wildfires swept across Australia in February 2009, this photo of a firefighter sharing his water with an injured koala captured hearts around the world. The koala later died — not of fire-related injuries, but of chlamydia. Koalas in Australia are suffering from an epidemic of chlamydia, says Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz. "There's no such thing as safe sex in the wild."
Mark Pardew AP

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 8:18 am

When Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz was asked to treat an exotic little monkey with heart failure at the Los Angeles Zoo, she learned that monkeys can suffer heart attacks from extreme stress — just like humans. That's when the cardiologist realized she'd never thought to look beyond her own species for insights into disease.

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The Salt
3:36 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Food Truck Lingo Might Be Just Around The Corner

Taking a sip of the official drink of the food truck movement, Mexican Coke
courtesy John T. Edge

New words and phrases and new uses for words we already know creep into our everyday language from the most unlikely places, much to the displeasure of our English teachers.

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Book Reviews
12:14 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Book Party For One: A Loner's Summer Survival Guide

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:48 pm

Summer is a season when people get hypersocial — with barbecues and neighborhood fairs, graduations and pool parties. In short, it's an especially trying time for those of us who'd rather stay indoors and read a book. My early summer reading list, therefore, takes the form of a loner's survival guide.

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Author Interviews
11:51 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Joan Rivers Hates You, Herself And Everyone Else

Joan Rivers says her material has only gotten stronger with age. "I always say, 'What are you going to do? Are you going to fire me? Been fired. Going to be bankrupt? Been bankrupt.'"
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 12:18 pm

Joan Rivers doesn't hold anything back.

Over the course of her 50-year career, Rivers has made fun of her bankruptcy, her many facelifts, her husband's suicide and the sacrifices she made over the years as a female standup performer.

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Author Interviews
2:08 pm
Sun June 10, 2012

Bear Grylls on Family, Faith And Drinking Pee

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 8:31 am

Survivalist Bear Grylls has been an almost inescapable figure on the Discovery Channel for years.

His show Man vs. Wild has a global audience of millions and peaked as the highest-rated cable show in the U.S. But in March, Grylls and the Discovery Channel parted ways over a contract dispute.

He's currently taking some time away from television, developing ideas for a return, and spending time with his wife, Shara, and their three young sons, Jesse, Marmaduke and Huckleberry.

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Books
6:05 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Two Poems From The Nation's New Top Poet

English professor Natasha Trethewey was named the 19th U.S. poet laureate last week.
Jalissa Gray Creative Commons Image

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 6:14 pm

Natasha Trethewey is the newly announced, 19th U.S. poet laureate. The position is described by the Library of Congress as "the nation's official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans."

Trethewey tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin that it's a lot of responsibility.

"Just trying to be the biggest promoter of poetry; someone who's really got to do the work of bringing poetry to the widest audience possible," she says.

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Books
6:04 am
Sun June 10, 2012

No One In 'The Red House' Gets Away Unscathed

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 12:50 pm

Ah, the family getaway. All of you together in one space — maybe a cabin in the mountains or a beach house. Delightful family meals, maybe some Scrabble. A time of togetherness and familial harmony.

That is decidedly not the kind of family vacation writer Mark Haddon draws inspiration from. In his latest novel, The Red House, Haddon peers inside the messy dynamics of a group of relatives, each grappling with their own fears and trying to make sense of themselves as a family, all while stuck in a vacation house in the remote English countryside.

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Books
6:03 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Audiobooks That'll Make The Family Road Trip Fly By

Chris Silas Neal

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 3:50 pm

It's time to rev up the old minivan and hit the road for summer vacation. One way to stave off those "are we there yet" questions is to get 'em hooked on an audiobook.

It just so happens that this is the season when there are a lot of new audiobooks to choose from. Last week, prizes for the best audiobooks of the year were announced at the annual Audie awards.

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Author Interviews
4:13 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Steve Guttenberg Writes His Own 'Bible'

Steve Guttenberg (left), Michael Winslow (center) and G.W. Bailey star in 1987's Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol, part of the film franchise launched by 1984's Police Academy.
Warner Bros./Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:41 pm

When Steve Guttenberg was 16, he went to see an agent about starting his acting career.

That agent told him: "You are the last guy I would pick to be a movie star."

Guttenberg decided to become an actor anyway.

The summer before he was supposed to start the University of Albany, he moved from Long Island to Los Angeles to try his luck. Once there, he tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, he snuck onto the Paramount Studios lot, set up his own office, and started making phone calls to agents and producers.

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Author Interviews
6:10 am
Sat June 9, 2012

'Mission': Secrecy And Stardom On The Edge Of War

Mission to Paris book cover

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Fredric Stahl is "the sympathetic lawyer, the kind aristocrat, the saintly husband, the comforting doctor, or the good lover." At least onscreen.

He's an American movie star, born in Vienna, and says "my dear" with a kind of dreamy, trans-European cosmopolitan allure that makes him seem "a warm man in a cold world." He's also the hero of Alan Furst's new novel, Mission to Paris, set in Furst's favorite locale: Europe on the brink of war.

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Author Interviews
2:03 am
Sat June 9, 2012

How 'The Queen Of British Ska' Wrestled With Race

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 7:44 am

The British ska-revival band The Selecter formed in the late 1970s, playing what can be described as rock fused with calypso and American jazz.

Much of what set the band apart was its charismatic lead singer, Pauline Black. As one of few women in a musical movement dominated by men, she was called "The Queen of British Ska."

That experience is one of many recounted in her new memoir, Black by Design, which has just been released in the U.S.

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Book Reviews
4:24 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Review: 'The Lower River'

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 12:35 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Paul Theroux has published more than a dozen works of nonfiction, mainly travel books, as well as more than two dozen novels. Our reviewer, Alan Cheuse, says Theroux's latest novel - it's called "The Lower River" - is a must read.

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Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:52 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of June 7, 2012

Mitchell Zuckoff's Lost in Shangri-La, a World War II rescue adventure, debuts at No. 9.

The Salt
3:52 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Food Truck Cookbook Tracks Best Meals Served On Wheels

The crew of Shindigs sets up shop in a parking lot in Birmingham.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 6:59 pm

With recent news that even Paris has one, food trucks are certainly in vogue these days. In the U.S., they're now spreading from the hot scenes in Los Angeles and New York to smaller cities, like Milwaukee and Madison. Even school systems are jumping on the food truck bandwagon.

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NPR Bestseller List
3:44 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of June 7, 2012

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

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
3:26 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of June 7, 2012

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 3:55 pm

The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning look at self-delusion, debuts at No. 6.

Pages