Arts

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
11:02 am
Fri February 7, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of February 6, 2014

At No. 13, Maeve Binchy's A Week in Winter brings together the guests at an Irish holiday resort.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
11:02 am
Fri February 7, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of February 6, 2014

In My Life in Middlemarch, Rebecca Mead delves into her favorite novel. It debuts at No. 12.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
11:02 am
Fri February 7, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of February 6, 2014

Courtesy of Random House

Debuting at No. 3, Anna Quindlen's Still Life With Bread Crumbs tells a story of unexpected love.

NPR Bestseller List
11:02 am
Fri February 7, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of February 6, 2014

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

Monkey See
10:02 am
Fri February 7, 2014

A Typewriter In The Grass And The Beat Generation On The Edge

American writer William Seward Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch.
Evening Standard Getty Images

I woke up Wednesday, drank some coffee, and learned (thank you, Frank Morris and Morning Edition) that it was the 100th anniversary of William S. Burroughs' birth. Burroughs was born in St. Louis and died in Lawrence, Kansas – improbable geographic bookends to his really out-there life.

But this post is not so much about William Burroughs as about William Burroughs' typewriter.

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Monkey See
8:54 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Watching Sports, Philip Seymour Hoffman, And Poisoned Wells

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's show, we turn to a topic near and dear to exactly half of our hearts: the wide world of sports. Glen explains how he came to feel the same way about sports that he feels about Fred Basset. Stephen envisions an actor breaking his leg and the play falling into a "clown show," and I wax rhapsodic about those great little Olympic stories about somebody's excited mom. It's the Super Bowl, the Olympics, and the nature of enthusiasm, all in one sportsy chat.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Book News: It's The End Of The Story For Sony's E-Bookstore

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:32 am

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

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Movie Reviews
6:24 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Lanzmann's 'Last Of The Unjust' A Provocative Holocaust Film

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 10:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Director Claude Lanzmann is a known for making long documentaries about the Holocaust. In 1985, he released a nine-and-a-half hour film called "Shoah," about concentration camps in Poland. Now Lanzmann is back with another look at the Holocaust.

Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan says "The Last of the Unjust" is worth your time.

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Book Reviews
6:02 am
Fri February 7, 2014

You'll Get Lost In The Haunted World Of 'Annihilation'

Eric Nyquist Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 10:25 am

I sat down with Jeff VanderMeer's new book, Annihilation, on a snowy afternoon, cracked it open, and hated it from word one.

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Code Switch
6:02 am
Fri February 7, 2014

'Blazing Saddles,' The Best Interracial Buddy Comedy, Turns 40

Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder in a scene from Blazing Saddles in 1974.
Time & Life Pictures Time

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:41 am

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Race
4:27 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Coke Ad Sparks Cries On Social Media To 'Speak English'

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 10:26 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

At some point during tonight's opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, NBC will run a much-talked about television ad for Coca-Cola.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: (Singing) Oh, beautiful, for spacious skies...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: (Singing in foreign language)

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Middle East
3:58 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Civil War Puts Syria's Cultural Heritage In Peril

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 10:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Fine Art
2:28 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Behind The Movie, Tales From The Real-Life 'Monuments Men'

Ettlinger at age 22, after his stint in the army.
Courtesy George Ettlinger

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 3:17 pm

It's not often that a big-budget Hollywood film turns its attention to art historians and curators. But that's the subject of The Monuments Men, opening this weekend at a multiplex near you.

George Clooney stars in and directs the story, about a special group of soldiers tasked with protecting the masterpieces of European culture during the chaos of World War II and its aftermath. But as you might expect, the real story of the Monuments Men — and women — is messier and less glamorous than the Hollywood version.

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Movie Reviews
6:16 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Plenty Of Heart, Not Much Art In 'Monuments Men'

Frank Stokes (George Clooney), Walter Garfield (John Goodman) and Sam Epstein (Dimitri Leonidas) are part of a World War II platoon ordered to rescue stolen art from the Nazis in The Monuments Men, directed by George Clooney.
Claudette Barius Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 8:04 pm

There's a fascinating tale to be told in The Monuments Men, George Clooney's new film based on the true story of a search for looted art stolen by the Nazis during World War II. In real life, with fighting still raging on the battlefields of Europe, a small team of art experts searched urgently for tens of thousands of missing paintings and sculptures. The movie's audience will search for something a little different.

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The Edge
5:29 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

In Sochi, An Olympic Artist Sees The 'Possible'

Artist Marc Ahr has been drawing at all the Olympic Games since 1992, but for him, Sochi is special.
Sam Sanders NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:50 pm

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Movie Reviews
5:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

'Lego Movie': A Goofy Toy Story That Genuinely Clicks

In The Lego Movie, ordinary-guy Emmet (Chris Pratt) is expected to save the world with the help of a rebellious crew that includes Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman).
Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:24 pm

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Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

A Horror Comedy With 'Everything' And Then Some

Simon Pegg (Sean of the Dead, Star Trek) plays Jack, a writer gone paranoid while working on a book about 19th-century murderers.
Gaiam Vivendi

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Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

The Holocaust Recalled, Again, Through The Eyes Of 'The Unjust'

In 1975, Shoah director Claude Lanzmann interviewed Benjmain Murmelstein, the last surviving Elder of the Jews of the Czech Theresienstadt ghetto, at his home in Rome. The resulting film is The Last of the Unjust.
Cohen Media Group

With a running time of more than nine hours, Claude Lanzmann's monumental 1985 documentary, Shoah, was never destined to become a mass audience draw. But this sober, taxing, utterly absorbing attempt to document the Holocaust grows ever more essential precisely as our collective memory is increasingly eroded by the reductive shorthand of emaciated bodies or piles of shoes discarded by concentration-camp inmates as they went to their terrible fate. For Lanzmann, understanding trumps empathy.

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Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Family Matters, With A Dose Of Pharmaceuticals

Josiane Balasko and Michel Blanc
A BORREL Courtesy of Rialto

Josiane Balasko's Demi-Soeur suggests that modern pharmaceuticals can abet the storytelling in an old-fashioned sentimental farce: A dose of Ecstasy is all that's required to activate the relationship between Nenette (Balasko), a 60-year-old with the understanding of a first-grader, and her previously unknown half-brother Paul (Michel Blanc).

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Code Switch
3:59 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

'Vanity Fair' Adds Color To Hollywood's Golden Moment

Chiwetel Edjifor (from left), Julia Roberts, Idris Elba, George Clooney, Michael B. Jordan, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong'o, Naomie Harris, Brie Larson, Chadwick Boseman, Margot Robbie, Lea Seydoux.
Annie Leibovitz Via Vanity Fair

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:49 pm

Today, the March issue of Vanity Fair magazine hit newsstands in New York and Los Angeles; it will be available nationally on Tuesday. This is the 20th annual Hollywood issue, which showcases some of the industry's best talent. But this issue is quite different: Fully half the actors on the cover's three-panel foldout are black.

Befitting the occasion, the Oscar nominees on the cover are dressed in formal wear. George Clooney and Jared Leto are elegant in white tie and tails, and Julia Roberts wears the top half of a dinner jacket, a big grin and little else.

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Book Reviews
3:58 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Book Review: 'Trieste,' by Dasa Drndic

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's been nearly 70 years since the end of World War II, but Croatian writer Dasa Drndic makes the war and its countless horrors feel fresh and urgent in her latest novel "Trieste." Ellen Elias-Bursac translated the book into English.

Alan Cheuse with our review.

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Author Interviews
3:58 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Perfume's Scents Of Subversion? Sweat, Musk And Patchouli

A combination of musk with a traditional floral scent made Chanel No. 5 a revolutionary fragrance.
Hiroko Masuike AP

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:55 pm

Barbara Herman has spent the better part of the past six years taking a deep nosedive into the world of vintage fragrances. Her quest has been to find the bold, sexy and downright odd smells that have defined women over the decades.

The result is a book called Scent And Subversion: Decoding A Century Of Provocative Perfume. It explains how, at the turn of the 20th century, most perfumes were still just one note, floral. Then, a now-iconic perfume came along — one that combined musk with a traditional floral scent.

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Television
3:58 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Rest Easy, Bill: After 4,000 Clinton Jokes, Leno's Run Wraps Up

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:55 pm

Thursday marks Jay Leno's last night hosting The Tonight Show on NBC. He's told a lot of jokes over the years, but his most common target has been Bill Clinton — so says a study from the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. Professor Robert Lichter explains why he's spent more than 20 years of his life cataloging late night TV jokes.

Book Reviews
2:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

'Day Job' Aims For Romance In Real Life

Dutton/The Penguin Group

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:19 pm

A long time ago, in a world before email, cellphones and the World Wide Web, my girlfriends and I had a mantra: "Life is too short for annoying boys."

I was lucky. I met my own Mr. Perfect-For-Me when I was young enough to not feel desperate to find him, but old enough to have already lived a pretty interesting life. I had traveled. I had a college degree. I had a few "lessons learned" relationships in my back pocket.

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The Salt
11:51 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Subway Phasing Out Bread Additive After Blogger Flags Health Concerns

Sandwich chain Subway has announced plans to drop the additive azodicarbonamide from its fresh-baked breads. Above, Subway founder Fred DeLuca poses carrying bread for sandwiches.
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:19 pm

Food industry, beware of the power of the online petition.

Just a few days after food blogger Vani Hari, known as Food Babe, created a buzz with an online petition raising questions about the safety of a food additive commonly used in commercial baking, sandwich giant Subway has announced plans to phase it out of its fresh-baked breads.

The additive, azodicarbonamide, is used by the commercial baking industry to bleach flour and condition dough.

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Local Bands
10:51 am
Thu February 6, 2014

The Complaint Line: Love, Marriage And Rock & Roll

http://thecomplaintlinemusic.com

It's no secret that marriage, disagreements, and nagging can sometimes go hand-in-hand.

And, with lyrics highlighting the challenges of romantic relationships, a local wedded pair has started a band together - calling it 'The Complaint Line'.

The duo is joined by two others who complete the rock set. The group (Shawnda Phillips on bass and vocals, John Phillips on guitar and vocals, Dayton Cripe on guitar and vocals, and Randy Anderson on drums) recently joined Rachel Otwell in the Suggs Studio for this performance and chat: 

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Performing Arts
10:49 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Kicks Off New Tour

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 11:29 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Monkey See
9:46 am
Thu February 6, 2014

The Two Kinds Of Fairness, As Explained By 'Top Chef'

In the Top Chef finale, it was Nina versus Nick.
David Moir Bravo

Reality shows, at their best, give you little flashes of understanding, often in spite of themselves. A great example came around Wednesday night, as Top Chef crowned its winner.

[Hey: INFORMATION ABOUT THE FINALE AHEAD, in case that wasn't obvious. Stop reading if you're still planning on watching and you'd like to be surprised.]

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Monkey See
8:50 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Song And Dance: Of Course Clay Aiken Is Running For Congress

Clay Aiken, seen here in November, has announced that he's running for Congress.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 10:56 am

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The Two-Way
6:17 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Book News: Hundreds Of Writers Denounce 'Chokehold' Russian Laws

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:53 am

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

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