Arts

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of July 24, 2014

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

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of July 24, 2014

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

NPR Bestseller List
3:03 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of July 24, 2014

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

Movie Reviews
12:13 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman Leaves Indelible Bond In 'Most Wanted Man'

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 9:18 am

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

Movie Reviews
10:06 am
Fri July 25, 2014

'Lucy': Hot Buttered Popcorn, With Plenty Of Nuts

Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 1:48 pm

What would you do if you could access 100 percent of your brain's potential processing power? Reverse climate change? Pick up new languages while you sleep? Pay your rent on time? Invent an iPhone capable of making and receiving telephone calls?

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Book News: Amazon Reports Big Quarterly Loss

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

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Planet Money
6:09 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Self-Published Authors Make A Living — And Sometimes A Fortune

The cover of Michael Bunker's self published book Pennsylvania Omnibus.
Michael Bunker

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 10:44 am

Five years ago, printing your own book was stigmatized and was seen as a mark of failure.

"But now," says Dana Beth Weinberg, a sociologist at Queens College who is studying the industry, "the self-published authors walk into the room, and they say, oh, well, 'I made a quarter million dollars last year, or $100,000, or made $10,000.' And it is still more than what some of these authors are making with their very prestigious contracts."

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Movie Reviews
6:09 am
Fri July 25, 2014

'Most Wanted Man' A Worthy Addition To Le Carre's Film Adaptations

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:14 am

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

NPR Story
4:02 am
Fri July 25, 2014

It's Time For Comic-Con!

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:14 am

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

Music News
4:02 am
Fri July 25, 2014

'Purple Rain' Taught Me How To Be In A Band

"I never wanted to be your weekend lover": Prince and his Purple Rain costar Appolonia Kotero.
Warner Bros. Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 9:54 am

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Movie Reviews
4:46 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

'A Most Wanted Man': A Parable Grounded In The Real World

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in A Most Wanted Man, director Anton Corbijn's adaptation of John le Carré's 2008 novel, as German intelligence officer Günther Bachmann.
Roadside Attractions

Fittingly, one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's final performances is in a movie about role-playing. The masterly actor mutters and growls his way through A Most Wanted Man as a spy who's simultaneously fighting two losing wars: against the West's enemies as well as his own putative allies.

Further deepening the movie's ambiguity, the American actor plays a German in a story whose payoff is pungently anti-American.

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The Salt
4:30 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

The Weird, Underappreciated World Of Plastic Packaging

Food companies spend a lot of time and resources coming up with the perfect plastic packaging to keep their products fresh.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 2:51 pm

Like it or not, plastic packaging has become an ingrained part of the food system.

While it's clearly wasteful to buy salad, sandwiches and chips encased in plastic and then promptly throw that plastic away, we take for granted how it keeps so much of what we eat fresh and portable.

And behind many of those packages that allow us to eat on the go or savor perishable cookies or fish imported from the other side of the globe is a whole lot of science and innovation.

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Movie Reviews
4:04 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Maturity And Improvisation In 'Happy Christmas'

Cast members including Anna Kendrick (center) and Lena Dunham (left), seen here with filmmaker Joe Swanberg's son Jude (right), improvised many of the film's scenes.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:01 am

Reckless immaturity in young people is generally diagnosed across generations, most often by parents worried about their supposedly underachieving kids. That makes the premise of Joe Swanberg's Happy Christmas relatively refreshing, even as it covers well-known ground.

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Movies
4:04 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Revisiting An 'Endless Summer'

Widely considered one of the best surfer movies in American history, The Endless Summer celebrates its 50th anniversary this week.
Monterey Media Inc.

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 6:49 am

"This is Bruce Brown, thank you for watching, I hope you enjoyed my film."

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Author Interviews
3:21 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

When It Comes To Creativity, Are Two Heads Better Than One?

Brothers and aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright walk together in 1910.
National Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 5:22 pm

Joshua Wolf Shenk doesn't believe in the myth of the lone genius. "What has one person ever done alone?" he asks NPR's Robert Siegel. "We think of Martin Luther King and Sigmund Freud and Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs as these great solo creators, but in fact, if you look into the details of their life, they are enmeshed in relationships all the way through."

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Monkey See
3:19 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

5 Things I Learned About TV's Future From The Critics Press Tour

Noah Hawley (left) and Warren Littlefield, executive producers of the FX series Fargo, speak at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 6:09 pm

The voice came from over my shoulder, a shouted greeting in a room crowded with journalists, publicists, network executives, producers and stars.

I tuned to see David Boreanaz, star of the Fox TV show Bones, calling out to me like a long-lost friend. I knew he had mistaken me for someone else — in a party held by Fox at the exclusive Soho House club, where everyone from Kelsey Grammer to David Tennant was sipping cocktails and talking shop, it wasn't hard to make that kind of mistake.

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Book Reviews
3:15 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

'Tigerman' Will Get Its Claws Into You

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 5:22 pm

How do you know when a book has hooked you? When it really gets you in the guts and won't let go?

When you can't stop telling people about it. When you catch yourself inserting the title of the book into conversations where it has no place, breathlessly insisting to all your friends and relations that they need to read this book right now, and waving it around on elevators and hoping that someone asks you about it.

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Book Reviews
1:27 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

'Panic In A Suitcase' Puts A Fresh Spin On A Coming-To-America Story

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 9:17 am

There's a wonderful 1982 memoir called An Orphan in History by the late Village Voice writer Paul Cowan. It's about Cowan's search for his European Jewish roots, and in it he says something about the sacrifices of older generations of immigrants that's always stayed with me. Cowan says: "Millions of immigrant families . . . left the economically and culturally confining Old World towns where they were raised, and paid for the freedom and prosperity this country offered with their pasts."

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Movies
11:38 am
Thu July 24, 2014

How To Name Your Sequel II: Not Just Roman Numerals Anymore

If you want to move beyond just numbers for your sequel titles, critic Bob Mondello says there are a few informal rules you need to follow.

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 6:53 am

Remember when movie companies just put Roman numerals at the end of titles when they made sequels? Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV. Well, not anymore.

This summer, we've had X-Men: Days of Future Past, with no mention that it's either the sixth or seventh X-Men movie, depending on how you're counting. Also 22 Jump Street, the across-the-street follow-up to 21 Jump Street. And Begin Again (which ought to be a sequel, but isn't).

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Interviews
11:23 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Performer Rita Moreno's Famed Career Was 'Meant To Be'

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

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Ask Me Another
9:36 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Andy Serkis: God Save The Queen's English

Andy Serkis.
Amanda Schwab/Starpix

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 3:45 pm

In his Ask Me Another Challenge, Andy Serkis (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Lord of the Rings) helps expand your vocabulary to include a spot of British slang. Any idea what the "collywobbles" are, or what happens when you throw on a "boob tube" before leaving the house? You'll be speaking like a Brit in no time.

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Ask Me Another
9:27 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Random Questions With: Andy Serkis

"I don't know if I'm the best at it, but I have a go." -Serkis on performance capture
David James Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 4:24 pm

Andy Serkis is a renowned actor, but you may not recognize his face. The most famous of his roles include the "ring-junkie" Gollum in The Lord of the Rings films and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and this summer's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Serkis disappears completely into his characters, thanks to performance capture technology that films his face and body movements, and translates them to digitally created avatars.

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Ask Me Another
9:19 am
Thu July 24, 2014

How To Succeed At Trivia

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:41 am

Is listening to our show the secret to succeeding at trivia games? And how! In this quiz, the answers are common phrases and titles that begin with "how," such as How I Met Your Mother.

Heard in Episode 322: A Primate Example

Ask Me Another
9:19 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Fair-Weather Friends

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:11 am

There's a trivia storm in the forecast: All the answers in this quiz are celebrities and characters whose names are weather-related. Which poet's travels were blocked by ice crystals? Robert Frost!

Heard in Episode 322: A Primate Example

Ask Me Another
9:19 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Place That Band

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:11 am

Geography rocks! Jonathan Coulton sings songs by classic rock bands named after cities, states, countries and continents, while rewriting the lyrics to hint at the locations.

Heard in Episode 322: A Primate Example

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Ask Me Another
9:19 am
Thu July 24, 2014

The Most Unusual Tea Shop In The World

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:11 am

At the Ask Me Another tea shop, we don't sell chai, but we do have tea that encourages faith and devotion: "loyal-tea." That's because all answers in this game sound like "tea." Share a cup with us!

Heard in Episode 322: A Primate Example

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Ask Me Another
9:19 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Patriotic Language

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:11 am

Why do we call them "French fries" even though they aren't French? When you're done pondering that question, you'll find that all answers in this final round contain nationalities.

Heard in Episode 322: A Primate Example

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Pop Culture
7:35 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Thanks To Backpack's Revival, Lugging Stuff Is Fashionable Again

So trendy. Again.
Shutterstock

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 12:33 pm

Backpacks are making a comeback. Which shouldn't be surprising. We're so obsessed with athletic wear designed to be worn everywhere but the gym, so it would seem inevitable that sports bags would make an appearance, too.

But it's not the bag filled with American history books that kids heave to school. Nor is it the rugged, nylon thing athletes carry around. These backpacks are clever examples of fashion following function.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Book News: Amazon Exec Says Hachette Is Using Authors 'As Human Shields'

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 7:44 am

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

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Book Reviews
6:04 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Can I Get A Do-Over? Shadow Selves And Second Chances

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:01 am

Two remarkable graphic novels being released this week are themed around shadow-selves, legacies and second chances: Bryan Lee O'Malley's Seconds is about a woman given the opportunity to magically undo past mistakes, while Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew's The Shadow Hero revises a mysterious golden-age superhero called the Green Turtle by fleshing out his Asian-American origins.

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