Arts

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
5:03 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of July 17, 2014

At No. 4, Diane Muldrow's Everything I Need To Know I Learned From A Little Golden Book combines lighthearted advice with illustrations from 60 favorite children's books.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
5:03 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of July 17, 2014

California, Edan Lepucki's debut novel, follows a young, pregnant couple struggling to survive after the apocalypse. It debuts at No. 4.

NPR Bestseller List
5:03 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of July 17, 2014

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

This Week's Must Read
4:47 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Surviving An Adult World In Fairy Tales, And Real Life

cover detail

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

I live in Tucson, Ariz. National news about thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border β€” some as young as 2 years old β€” is local news here. A front-page headline from this week's Arizona Daily Star reads, "Immigration tension boils over in Oracle." It's subtitled "Protesters, supporters, clash; bus carrying children fails to show."

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Movie Reviews
3:54 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

In 'Wish I Was Here,' Well-Covered Territory And Familiar Pitfalls

Zach Braff directs and stars in Wish I Was Here -- the followup to Garden State -- as Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor and father to two kids, Grace and Tucker, played respectively by Joey King and Pierce Gagnon.
Merie Weismiller Wallace Focus Features

It seems pretty clear what Zach Braff is up to. Ten years after his breakout debut as a writer/director, Garden State, Braff has returned with Wish I Was Here, a partially Kickstarter-funded film that is neither a sequel nor a remake, but feels as much like both of those as a film with no narrative connection to Garden State possibly could.

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Movie Interviews
3:40 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

In New Film, Zach Braff Asks: How Long Can You Pursue Your Dreams?

In Wish I Was Here, Braff plays a father who embarks on a chaotic attempt to home-school his kids, Tucker (Pierce Gagnon ) and Grace (Joey King).
Merie Weismiller Wallace, SMPSP Focus Features

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

Zach Braff is currently performing on Broadway, and for a time he starred in the TV comedy Scrubs. But he's also known for directing and starring in the 2004 film Garden State, a model of 20-something angst.

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Pop Culture
3:40 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

So, Thor Is A Woman And Cap Is Black: Is This A Big Deal Or Not?

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
3:40 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

'Newburgh Sting': Terrorist Cell, Or Group Sold On A Trap By FBI?

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 4:47 pm

Filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner discuss their new documentary The Newburgh Sting, which covers the FBI investigation and conviction of four American men for plotting an act of domestic terrorism.

Pop Culture
12:07 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Anthony Mackie: Marvel Brings Humanity To Its Characters

Step aside Steve Rogers, the Falcon is the new Capt. America. Anthony Mackie plays Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and he talks to about the character's cultural significance.

The Two-Way
10:17 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Amazon Launches Subscription Service For E-Books

Amazon launched a new subscription service for e-books and audiobooks on Friday called Kindle Unlimited.

The service, which will cost subscribers $9.99 per month after a free initial 30-day trial, offers access to more than 600,000 e-books and about 2,000 audiobooks. The reading and listening experiences can be linked through a syncing service.

Such "all you can eat" subscription models have become common for music and video. Amazon now enters into a space already occupied by unlimited reading services such as Scribd, Oyster and Entitle.

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TED Radio Hour
8:08 am
Fri July 18, 2014

How Do Our Near-Wins Motivate Us To Keep Going?

"Success motivates us, but a near-win can propel us in an ongoing quest" β€” Sarah Lewis
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Champions.

About Sarah Lewis' TEDTalk

Not everyone can win the gold medal, and historian Sarah Lewis says that's a good thing. It's the near-wins and bare losses that truly motivate us to master our destinies.

About Sarah Lewis

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TED Radio Hour
8:08 am
Fri July 18, 2014

What Does It Take To Dive Into Dangerous Waters?

"When I stand on that shore, the main thing is, I want that destination, I want it" β€” Diana Nyad
Marla Aufmuth TED

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 1:35 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Champions.

About Diana Nyad's TedTalk

In pitch-black, stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water, hallucinating, Diana Nyad kept swimming. She describes the journey of her historic 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, at age 64.

About Diana Nyad

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TED Radio Hour
8:08 am
Fri July 18, 2014

How Do We Use Our Challenges To Live Beyond Limits?

"It's fulfilling to me to find out what those limitations are, or to blow through the limitations that you thought you had" β€” Amy Purdy
Courtesy of TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Champions.

About Amy Purdy's TEDTalk

Paralympic snowboarder and "Dancing With the Stars" finalist Amy Purdy tells how losing her legs at age 19 enabled her to achieve more than she ever dreamed.

About Amy Purdy

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The Two-Way
6:09 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Book News: 15 Unpublished Elmore Leonard Stories Coming Out Next Year

Author and former adman Elmore Leonard smiles during an interview at his home in Bloomfield Township, Mich., in September 2012.
Paul Sancya AP

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

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Remembrances
4:41 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Broadway Legend Elaine Stritch Dies At 89

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 7:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Broadway has lost a legend. She's Elaine Stritch, who died yesterday at the age of 89. Even recently she was gaining new fans with a guest role on the TV series "30 Rock." But as we're about to hear, Stritch made her name on the stage. Jeff Lunden has this appreciation of a singular talent.

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NPR Story
4:30 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Actor Kurt Russell Talks About The Family Business: Baseball

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 7:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Portland Mavericks were a minor league baseball team that played in the 1970s. Their story is told in a new documentary on Netflix. It's called "The Battered Bastards Of Baseball." This team was irreverent, unorthodox. The roster included a bunch of hopefuls and has-beens.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Mavericks were founded by a baseball outsider, the actor Bing Russell probably best known for his role as Deputy Clem on "Bonanza." But he was also a serious student of baseball.

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Goats and Soda
5:41 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Sizing Down Food Waste: What's The Worst Thing To Toss?

Throwing out a pound of boneless beef effectively wastes 24 times more calories than throwing out a pound of vegetables or grains. Egg and dairy products fall somewhere between the two extremes.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:11 pm

Sometimes I feel like a broken record at home: "Let's eat the leftovers for dinner, so they don't go to waste,"

But inevitably, Sunday night's pasta and meatballs get tossed out of the refrigerator to make way for Friday night's pizza.

Now scientists at the University of Minnesota offer up another reason to put those leftover meatballs in the tummy instead of the garbage: There are hidden calories in the beef that go to waste when you toss it.

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Book Reviews
4:29 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

William T. Vollmann's Ghost Stories Are Frighteningly Self-Indulgent

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

In certain writers, the sense of profound moral inquiry is like a bell tower in a country church: You can see it from a long way off, and even when it's not making a sound, you can hear its reverberation. William T. Vollmann's work is like that: Regardless of his subject, he writes from a place of grave moral seriousness. In his masterpiece, the 2005 novel Europe Central, he wrestled the 20th century into one huge, luminous tome that bristled with insight and dread.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

'I Origins': There's More Than One 'I' In 'Ridiculous'

In I Origins, Michael Pitt (left) plays a molecular biologist who becomes emotionally and philosophically entranced by free-spirited "Sofi" (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) and her speckled eyes.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Viewers of earnest sci-fi dramas like I Origins are required to suspend disbelief, but the scripters of such movies have responsibilities, too. They can't introduce ideas so ridiculous, or suddenly twist their premises so illogically, that audiences are fatally distracted.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

In 'Mood Indigo,' A Luscious And Literal Feast Of Feeling

Set in surreal Paris, Mood Indigo, based on the French novel of the same title by Boris Vian, follows Colin, played by Romain Duris, as he falls into a whirlwind courtship hoping to find love.
Drafthouse Films

About halfway through Mood Indigo, a film of inexhaustible creativity directed by Michel Gondry, the apartment that Colin (Romain Duris) and ChloΓ© (Audrey Tautou) call home begins to change dramatically β€” the ceiling starts closing in, and a thick layer of cobweb starts covering the walls and windows. "My place is doing the same thing, but I think it's an illusion," says a friend when she drops in for a visit. "As you go through life, places seem smaller."

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Theater
3:44 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Actress Elaine Stritch, 'Her Own Greatest Character,' Dies At 89

Stritch first appeared on Broadway in 1944 β€” and was still performing occasionally even at age 89. She is pictured above in 1955.
AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 2:19 pm

Elaine Stritch β€” one of Broadway's boldest and brassiest performers β€” has died. With that gravelly voice β€” and those long legs β€” and that utter command of the stage, Stritch was a bona fide Broadway star. Not as a classic leading lady, necessarily, but as the hardened-yet-vulnerable performer audiences couldn't forget. Stritch died of natural causes Thursday morning at her home in Birmingham, Mich. She was 89.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Actress And Singer Elaine Stritch Has Died

Elaine Stritch in her final engagement at the Cafe Carlyle in New York in 2013. Stritch bade farewell to New York with a series of concerts last spring; she died Thursday in Michigan.
Walter McBride/The O M Co. AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 2:45 pm

Elaine Stritch, an actress whose talent led to a substantial and long career on Broadway and in cabarets, died Thursday at age 89. She had been living in her native Birmingham, Mich., where she moved last year after spending decades in New York. Stritch's publicist says she died of natural causes; her health had been failing in recent months.

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Books
1:33 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves': A Modern Manual By And For Trans People

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 2:18 pm

The growing number of people who identify as transgender is raising a lot of interesting and complicated questions about gender identity.

The new book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a collection of essays describing the varied experiences of transgender people β€” and the social, political and medical issues they face. It's written by and for transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

The idea was inspired by the groundbreaking 1970s feminist health manual Our Bodies, Ourselves.

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Arts & Life
11:23 am
Thu July 17, 2014

How That Pinkish Goo Called Silly Putty Came Out Of Its Shell

One of the wonders of Silly Putty.
Tom Copeland AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 12:29 pm

Silly Putty abides.

While it may have escaped the notice of anyone under 40 years old, the pinkish goo in the red plastic egg stomped into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2001, where, with more than 300 million units or 4,000 tons sold since 1950, it's not likely to be supplanted by video games anytime soon.

Backed by a certain design simplicity, the 0.47 ounces of putty can be balled up and bounced, used to pull pictures off of comics and newsprint paper, pick up lint and pet hair, and be used for a variety of physical therapies.

So, silly? Hardly.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Thu July 17, 2014

After Thor, Marvel Announces Big Change To Captain America

Sam Wilson, the new Captain America.
Marvel

Sam Wilson will carry Captain America's shield.

It's the second major announcement from comics publisher Marvel, which also said this week that the new Thor will be female.

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Ask Me Another
9:37 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Really Hard Edition 2: Part 1

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:49 am

In this hour, take on some of our trickiest games in recent memory with host Ophira Eisenberg and puzzle editor Art Chung. Do your best to remember two things at once in "International Doppelgangers" as puzzle guru John Chaneski asks you to combine celebrities with the names of countries, like that South American star, Argentina Fey. Then, try a twist on the mash-up in "Russian Dolls" by "nesting," or placing words inside a different one to make a longer word β€” putting a LAMB inside of a CAKE creates a CLAMBAKE.

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Ask Me Another
9:37 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Really Hard Edition 2: Part 3

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:53 am

In the final segment, we pull out all the stops for a Very Important Puzzler and some special musical guests. In "Accidental Science," we challenge Radiolab host in the puzzle hot seat for a quiz about unintentional scientific discoveries. Then, They Might Be Giants devise a game literally filled with trick questions, appropriately titled, "Wrong, Wrong, Wrong."

Ask Me Another
9:37 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Really Hard Edition 2: Part 2

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:52 am

Host Ophira Eisenberg and puzzle editor Art Chung continue the hour with a trio of games that push the limits on your ability to recall cultural references. In "Nick Names," identify famous people and fictional characters named "Nick." (See what we did there?) Sing along with house musician Jonathan Coulton in "Jingle All The Way," as he performs favorite commercial jingles...in Italian. Plus, insert comic strip characters into your favorite novels in "Literary Comic Strips."

The Two-Way
7:02 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Book News: Apple May Pay Consumers $400 Million In E-Book Settlement

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

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu July 17, 2014

A Supernatural Family Reunion In 'The Book Of Life'

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:25 am

One upon a time, historian Deborah Harkness was doing research at Oxford's Bodleian Library when she accidentally discovered a lost book that had belonged to 16th-century astronomer John Dee. A few years later, her first novel, A Discovery of Witches, told the story of Diana Bishop, a historian who accidentally discovers a lost manuscript called Ashmole 782 in the Bodleian Library, and realizes it's a magical text of crucial importance to the daemons and vampires that crowd the streets of Oxford β€” not to mention the witches (a group to which Diana reluctantly belongs).

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