Arts

Author Interviews
6:50 am
Sun August 31, 2014

This Time It's 'Personal': Lee Child Writes His 19th Jack Reacher Novel

Lee Child is the author of 19 Jack Reacher novels — and is currently working on the 20th.
Sigrid Estrada AP/Random House

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 12:31 pm

As Lee Child writes new installments in his Jack Reacher series, he thinks back to something his father said: When it came to books and films, "he would say he wanted the same but different," Child tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer. And that, for Child, is the fun and the challenge of it all.

Personal is his 19th novel starring Jack Reacher, the retired U.S. military policeman who puts his folding toothbrush in his shirt pocket and boards a bus to wherever that bus is going.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Rescuing Science From The Military ... With Comics?

Pouty lips, flowing hair and ... oligonucleotide synthesizers? Two of these things don't seem to belong — at least, not in a comic that seeks to expose high-level Defense Department research to the critical light of day. Human physicality seems somehow out of place in the sterile confines of a government lab.

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Author Interviews
4:20 am
Sun August 31, 2014

'Why Not?' David Mitchell On Mixing Fantasy And Reality In 'Bone Clocks'

David Mitchell's previous books include The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and Cloud Atlas.
Paul Stuart

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 12:31 pm

The Bone Clocks is David Mitchell's newest book — he's best known for 2004's Cloud Atlas, which was made into a movie with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. Mitchell's many fans have been eagerly waiting for this new one, hoping it would present the same kind of fascinating puzzles as Cloud Atlas, which featured a very complicated set of nesting plots.

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Author Interviews
5:48 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

The Other Rock History

Singer Ian Curtis on stage in 1980 with Joy Division, whose song "Transmission" is among those explored in Greil Marcus' book The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs.
Rob Verhorst Redferns

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 2:54 pm

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Animals
5:37 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

When Wildlife Documentaries Jump The Shark

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 4:54 pm

This summer's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel was the highest-rated in the special's 27-year history. But that success has also brought complaints.

The network has been criticized for pushing entertainment at the cost of science, with "documentaries" that advance dubious theories — or are entirely fake. Discovery Channel has aired specials about everything from mythical monster sharks in Louisiana's rivers to long-extinct Megalodons supposedly still swimming the seas.

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All Tech Considered
4:29 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

New GoPro Camera Harness Captures Dog's-Eye View

The GoPro Fetch can fit dogs as small as 15 pounds and as large as 120 pounds.
GoPro

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 10:43 am

There are few things more popular on YouTube than a good pet video.

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Books
4:11 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Travelling Books: Vintage Van Carries Literature Around Lisbon

Francisco Antolin, the driver and co-founder of Tell A Story, speaks to a couple of Danish tourists who purchased some books from his mobile bookstore. The converted van travels around Lisbon and sells translations of Portuguese literature.
Laura Secorun Palet Ozy.com

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 11:23 pm

You're probably well-acquainted with the idea of the food van. The more sartorially minded may have even visited a fashion truck. Now, it's translated into literature aimed at tourists.

In June 2013, three entrepreneurial literature lovers from Portugal's capital created a nomadic bookstore that moves around the city all year long, bringing Portuguese literature to international visitors.

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Simon Says
7:08 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Syrian Artists Denied Visas, And A Voice In The U.S.

Syria: The Trojan Women inserts current events into an ancient Greek tragedy, performed here in Amman, Jordan, in 2013.
Lynn Alleva Lilley Lynn Alleva Lilley

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 11:31 pm

The Trojan Women, by Euripides, is a Greek tragedy written 2,500 years ago that war keeps timely.

It's about a group of women who struggle to survive in Troy after the town has been sacked. When one of the women cries out, "Our country, our conquered country, perishes ... O land that reared my children!" it's hard not to hear those words echo today, through Syria, in Iraq and in Ukraine.

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Around the Nation
6:47 am
Sat August 30, 2014

The Abercrombie Logo Loses Its Luxe

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 11:33 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Author Interviews
6:47 am
Sat August 30, 2014

If These Shorts Could Talk ... New Book Tells 'Worn Stories'

Ally Lindsay Courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 3:00 pm

Clothes may not necessarily make the man, but they sure make memories. In her new book, Worn Stories, Emily Spivack compiles reflections from Rosanne Cash, Piper Kerman, Marcus Samuelsson and others about the meaningful articles of clothing stored in their closets.

"I asked them to look for something that they couldn't part with," she tells NPR's Scott Simon. "Something that held some memory, whether it was something spectacular, momentous, wonderful, unusual that happened to them while they were wearing that piece of clothing."

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Book News & Features
6:03 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Hopscotching To 100: An Appreciation Of Julio Cortázar

An informal monument to Julio Cortázar on the streets of Buenos Aires.
Getty Images

First thing I noticed on the cover was his mouth, which was half open, midlaugh. Next, his teeth; not the best set I'd ever seen. After that, of course, his pronounced unibrow — thick and equally unbecoming. There was the cat, too, posted on the windowsill. Its eyes were dead set on the playful man with the camera and the mouth and the teeth and bushy eyebrow. All this and the words Save Twilight. I thumbed through the little book some and paid for it — cost me about a dollar at the used book shop.

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Author Interviews
4:23 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Hip-Hop In Print: Brooklyn Publisher Looks To 'Reverse Gentrify' Literature

Rapper Prodigy, shown above performing in New York City, published his debut novel, H.N.I.C., in 2013.
Mike Lawrie Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 11:33 am

At this summer's Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica, thousands turned up for readings by big-name authors: Salman Rushdie, Jamaica Kincaid, Zadie Smith and Albert Johnson. Odds are the name Albert Johnson doesn't ring a bell. But if you're a hip-hop fan, you might recognize the author by another name: Prodigy. Off and on for the past 20 years, he's been one half of the acclaimed Queens, N.Y., duo Mobb Deep.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:33 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Not My Job: Gov. Deval Patrick Gets Quizzed On Burning Man

Eric Haynes Photo Courtesy of Gov. Deval Patrick's Office

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 11:10 am

Deval Patrick was elected governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2006. He's finishing his second and final term, and he clearly no longer cares because he's agreed to join us to play our quiz.

We've invited him to answer three questions about Burning Man, the annual art festival/hippie magnet taking place in the desert of northern Nevada.

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This Week's Must Read
3:29 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

In An Earthquake, History Fuels One Writer's Anxiety

San Francisco on fire in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

While most of America is thinking burgers and swimming this Labor Day weekend, I can't stop thinking about earthquakes.

Last Sunday, a shaker registering magnitude 6.0 struck the Napa Valley in Northern California. It injured dozens and caused about $1 billion in damages. National media coverage focused on how the quake affected the area's famous wine industry — because America needs to know that our stock of cabs and zinfandels is safe.

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Latin America
3:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Cantinflas, With His Puns And Satire, Is Back (And Still Relevant)

Mario Moreno, known as Cantinflas, is a beloved icon in Latin America. A new biopic about the comic opens this weekend in the U.S.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:40 pm

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Indie Film
2:03 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

'Belleville' The Movie Is NOT A Documentary

Credit Courtesy of Belleville the movie

Belleville is a small agriculture-based city about 90 miles south of Springfield - not the average setting for a movie. But indie filmmakers decided it was the perfect place for a story about a farmer who is grappling with his wife's death. While that may sound pretty heavy, the mood is lightened when an out-of-world stranger shows up on the farmer's property. Dan Steadman wrote and directed the film, he recently joined us to talk about it.

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Author Interviews
12:14 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Florida-Grown Fiction: Hiaasen Satirizes The Sunshine State

Novelist and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen writes with passion and purpose about the state he loves. His latest book, Bad Monkey, is an offbeat murder mystery set in Key West.

Originally broadcast June 13, 2013.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Author Interviews
12:14 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, And Lives To Write About It

The 68-year-old film director hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco for his book Carsick. He says hitchhiking is "the worst beauty regimen ever" and admits he always kept his luggage with him.

Originally broadcast June 10.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Movie Reviews
11:45 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Not Quite Bond, Pierce Brosnan Is Back In Action In 'The November Man'

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:50 pm

Sean Connery was 53 when he downed his last vodka martini as James Bond (though he'd previously walked away from the role and been lured back twice). Roger Moore was 57 at the time of his last mission on Her Majesty's Secret Service (though he didn't look a day over 90). Pierce Brosnan was a spry 49 in his final Bonding session, and his departure was bittersweet: He'd started later than he'd wanted, almost a decade after he was first announced as Moore's successor in the mid-80s.

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Code Switch
8:42 am
Fri August 29, 2014

A Photographer Captures The Often-Overlooked 'Aunty' Couture

Poonam Aunty
Meera Sethi Upping the Aunty

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 12:07 pm

"Ugh, she dresses like SUCH an aunty!" is usually not something you'd want to hear about your style, if you're South Asian.

An "aunty" or "aunty-ji" (depending on where you want to fall on the graph of respect and familiarity) is what you call a lady roughly around your mother's age. So, the family friend who has seen you grow up, your mom's co-worker, the lady next to you in the grocery line or the nosy neighbor whose questions about your love life you endure because she makes a killer biryani — they all qualify.

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The Two-Way
6:18 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Book News: Born to Write? Bruce Springsteen To Publish A Children's Book

Bruce Springsteen performs in May in Century City, Calif.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images for USC Shoah Foundation

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:53 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Around the Nation
4:02 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Weekend Musher Finds Dogs Keep Her Hanging On

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:00 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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NPR Story
4:02 am
Fri August 29, 2014

'Life Of Crime' Has Authentic Elmore Leonard Snap

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 11:20 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Books
2:33 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Rep. Ryan Calls For 'Culture Of Inclusion' To Tackle Poverty

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan speaks during a news conference at the Union League Club of Chicago on Aug. 21.
John Gress Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:00 am

Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, used to have a habit of describing the American people in two categories. There were the "makers" — people paying taxes — and the "takers" — people getting government benefits.

Today, the Wisconsin Republican says he was wrong, and that the country needs to overhaul how it thinks about poverty. In his new book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea, he offers ways to redirect federal spending to fighting poverty.

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Men In America
4:22 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

What's A Writer Gotta Do To Get A Little Health Care Around Here?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 9:10 pm

In my teens, I stumbled onto the wide trail of "the writer's bildungsroman," the coming-of-age stories that often gave me too much to identify with. That whispered clear messages while I slept and while I tried to imagine a life far, far outside the heat and farmlands of where I grew up.

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Monkey See
4:03 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

New Amazon Series Pilots Fall Short Of A TV Revolution

Jay Chandrasekhar and Sarah Chalke are a married couple in the new Amazon Studios pilot Really.
Quantrell Colbert Amazon Studios

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 11:01 am

When it comes to original TV series, it's tough to understand exactly where Amazon is going.

At first, its strategy seemed simple: It went where big-ticket competitors like Netflix and HBO didn't, greenlighting comedies like Garry Trudeau's political satire Alpha House and the Silicon Valley series Betas, along with a raft of kids' shows.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

More Physical Than Plausible, 'Starred Up' Sharply Portrays Confinement

Within moments of arriving at an adult prison — "starred up" from a juvenile facility that couldn't handle him — Eric (Jack O'Connell) demonstrates how to use jail-issue toiletries to make a weapon. But it's not that toothbrush shiv that makes the 19-year-old deadly. It's his ferocious unpredictability, a quality mirrored by this edgy, naturalistic drama.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

'The Notebook': A Grim Fable Of Cruelty In Wartime

At first blush, the Hungarian film The Notebook (no relation, trust me, to that other Notebook) seems to be gearing up as a standard World War II weepie with clumsy plotting. It's 1944; the war is almost done; a father returns home on leave; brief scenes of domestic bliss follow. Then, out of the blue, Dad (Ulrich Matthes), seemingly worried that his twin sons would be "too conspicuous in wartime," packs them off to live with their grandmother in the countryside. Handing them a notebook, he tells them to record everything that happens to them.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

In 'The Congress,' An Animated Future Where Movie Studios Are Villains

The most interesting but remarkably understated aspect of The Congress, a half-live-action, half-animated trip of a film from Israeli director Ari Folman, is the increasing power accrued by the fake movie studio in its story, Miramount. When the film opens, Miramount is but a moviemaking venture, as you'd expect; by the end, it's the dominant power structure behind a futuristic dystopian society.

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Science
3:27 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

What We Really See When We Go See A Movie

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 11:34 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Let's say you're in a movie theater. You're watching an action movie - let's say "Iron Man 2."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "IRON MAN 2")

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