Arts

Arts and culture

NPR Staff Confesses Love for "Teen" Reads

May 31, 2012

We've all experienced it: the shiver of nervous excitement as each turn of the page unveiled new, provocative ideas.

Pause. Get your mind out of the gutter!

Increasingly, Internet users are working "in the cloud" — creating and sending data that isn't stored on local hard drives. It's easy to imagine our emails and photos swirling around in cyberspace without a physical home — but that's not really how it works. Those files are still stored somewhere, but you can only find them if you know where to look.

Every summer for the past 33 years, a widely scattered group of close friends my husband made in summer camp in the 1960s has rented a beach house on the Jersey Shore for two weeks. I was enfolded into the group some five years into its existence. Apart from the camaraderie — which is precious beyond measure — one of the pleasures of returning to the same place every year lies in observing the subtle changes in the landscape: some new sand on a beach that's suffered erosion; the appearance of a new coffee-and-bagel joint within jogging distance of the rental house.

'Me The People': A Less Than Perfect Parody

May 31, 2012

At the beginning of Me the People: One Man's Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America, Kevin Bleyer calls our founding document "a God-sanctioned, fully realized, blessed, immutable, rock-solid, entirely glorified and purely calcified ... piece of [censored]." And despite what our current batch of lawmakers might have you believe, he's not alone in that opinion.

Growing Up And Grasping Gone With The Wind

May 30, 2012

Jesmyn Ward's novel Salvage the Bones was the 2011 winner of the National Book Award for Fiction.

When I was 13 I went to a small, mostly white, Episcopalian, junior high school.

Much of my free time was spent lurking in the library. I'd transferred from a more diverse public school, and as a working-class black kid, I felt out of place.

That's about the time I pulled Gone With the Wind from the library shelf.

Summer Books 2012: Cool Reads For Hot Days

May 30, 2012

Summer is glorious and far too short to waste on the wrong book. Let the NPR critics you know and trust help you find the year's best fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, cookbooks and more.

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

Jodi Picoult's latest novel is Between the Lines.

One of my first childhood memories is of the moment I got my own library card, so it's clear that I grew up in a family of readers. I always had a book in my hand, and as I grew into my preteen years I began to veer away from the All-Of-A-Kind Family series to more modern Judy Blume novels, whose heroines held a mirror up to my own life. You can imagine my shock, then, when one day I came home from the library with Forever by Judy Blume — and was told by my mother that I wasn't allowed to read it.

German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who died earlier this month at age 86, was a paragon of excellence for generations of singers and fans. After his passing, we called American baritone Thomas Hampson for his memories of Fischer-Dieskau, whom he has called "a Singer for the ages, an Artist for eternity."

Franz Kafka published just a few short stories and a novella during his lifetime, yet he was considered one of the 20th century's most influential writers.

The rest of his work was largely kept secret, and literary scholars have long wondered what gems they might find among Kafka's papers.

The answer may ultimately lie on Tel Aviv's Spinoza Street, inside a small, squat apartment building covered with dirty, pinkish stucco that looks like it's seen better days.

Pages