Arts

Author Interviews
3:24 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

A Homecoming, Minus The Nostalgia, In Cole's Unsparing 'Thief'

Teju Cole is also the author of Open City.
Teju Cole

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 5:46 pm

"Like it or not, America has softened you" — such are the words of welcome to the unnamed narrator of Teju Cole's Every Day Is for the Thief. The young man is on a trip to his home country of Nigeria, and as he visits his family and friends in Lagos, what he finds isn't quite what he expected: He's pressed for bribes at every turn. He tries to reconcile Nigeria's history with the museums that appear to avoid it. He sees the "Yahoo boys" at an Internet cafe, tapping out scam email messages.

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The Salt
2:33 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Sandwich Monday: We Tackle The Army's 'Pork Rib' MRE

Designed by a Michelin four-star general
NPR

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 12:50 pm

We got our hands on an MRE — a "Meal, Ready to Eat" from the Department of Defense. It's a real marvel of engineering. In one flat bag, there's an imitation McRib, clam chowder, a couple of drinks, and some trail mix, and some note about how by eating this you consent to joining the Marines. All in one flat bag!

Special Guest Mike Pesca: This meal disgusts me more before 8 a.m. than most meals disgust me all day.

Miles: I'm going to imitation eat this imitation pork rib.

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Monkey See
1:56 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Book Club Meeting: Come Talk About 'Grapes Of Wrath,' Chapters 11-20

A family prepares to leave Oklahoma for California in 1939, just as the Joads did in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
Russell Lee Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 3:44 pm

We made it to California! And if you're reading along, you, like us, are two-thirds of the way through John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl classic. So it's time again for us to gather and share our thoughts.

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Author Interviews
12:01 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

New Yorker Cartoon Editor Explores What Makes Us Get It

Bob Mankoff/The New Yorker Collection/Condé Nast

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 3:43 pm

Bob Mankoff has been contributing cartoons to The New Yorker ever since 1977 and now, as cartoon editor, he evaluates more than 500 cartoons submitted to the magazine each week.

Mankoff is proud of the many cartoons that have been published under his aegis. "Sometimes I take my aegis out of my drawer just to admire it," he writes.

His most well-known cartoon shows an executive looking at his desk calendar, saying to someone on the phone: "No, Thursday's out. How about never — is never good for you?"

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Arts & Life
10:55 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Spring Into #TMMPoetry

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 2:20 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now. It is almost April and that means it is time for TELL ME MORE's annual tribute to National Poetry Month. This is the fourth year of our Muses and Metaphor series. Throughout the month we will combine two of our passions - poetry and social media. We ask that you hop on Twitter and tweet us your original poems. Poems using no more than 140 characters of course. If you are not quite sure how all this works, take a listen to some of our favorite submissions from last year.

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The Salt
10:01 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Gastrodiplomacy: Cooking Up A Tasty Lesson On War And Peace

Here's one way to get students talking about global affairs: Teach it through food.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 3:45 pm

It's often said that the closest interaction many Americans have with other countries' cultures is through food. That kind of culinary diplomacy is particularly common in Washington, D.C., where immigrants from all over the world have cooked up a diverse food scene.

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Monkey See
7:54 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Ugh: 'Good Wife,' Bad Idea

Josh Charles as Will Gardner and Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sherma on The Good Wife. In a word, "Ugh."
CBS

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 4:13 pm

[CAUTION: Do not, under any circumstances, read any farther unless you want to know what happened on Sunday night's The Good Wife. Do not say you were not warned.]

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Book News: Hitler As A Comedian? Comic Novel Tests Limits Of Humor

Adolf Hitler, pictured delivering a speech circa 1936.
Keystone/Getty Images

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

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My Big Break
4:15 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

To Mike Birbiglia's Parents: It's OK If Your Son Sticks To Comedy

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 6:37 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

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Author Interviews
2:43 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

With Sobering Science, Doctor Debunks 12-Step Recovery

Courtesy of Beacon Press

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 1:27 pm

Since its founding in the 1930s, Alcoholics Anonymous has become part of the fabric of American society. AA and the many 12-step groups it inspired have become the country's go-to solution for addiction in all of its forms. These recovery programs are mandated by drug courts, prescribed by doctors and widely praised by reformed addicts.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:41 am
Sun March 23, 2014

Changing The World One Letter At A Time

NPR

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 10:36 am

On-air challenge: For each geographical place provided, change one letter to make a new, common word that has a different number of syllables than the geographical name. Note: The answer word can have either fewer or more syllables than the geographical name.

Example: Lima = limp, limb, lime (for some of the names, multiple answers are possible)

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You Must Read This
6:03 am
Sun March 23, 2014

'Little, Big' Delights With A Little Magic And A Big, Strange Story

Paul Hakimata iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 8:45 am

John Crowley's Little, Big, an extraordinary, sweeping and strange novel, can perhaps be best described through the metaphor of its central setting: Edgewood, the house in which many generations (and permutations) of the Drinkwater family live. Edgewood is designed by the patriarch, a renowned architect, to be many houses within a single structure. It unfolds, as the viewer circles around it, to reveal many different facades — Victorian, modern, gothic — like a complex piece of origami.

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Sun March 23, 2014

The Most Powerful Nerd In The Universe Is A Scientific Anomaly

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is remarkable, in part because he's a black astrophysicist — seemingly as elusive a phenomenon as the Higgs boson.
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:41 pm

Neil deGrasse Tyson — astrophysicist, irreverent tweeter, vanquisher of Pluto, frequent Stephen Colbert foil — is America's "It" Nerd.

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Author Interviews
4:23 am
Sun March 23, 2014

'Parentology': Bribes, Behavior And The Science Of Raising Kids

Dalton Conley lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
Stephen P. Hudner Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 10:36 am

Raising kids is hard. It just is. And there's a whole industry out there trying to help parents figure out how to do it. There are all kinds of books on the very basics — sleeping, eating and talking — to those that deal with more complicated stuff, like how to teach self esteem and resiliency.

Adding to that aspirational reading list is Parentology: Everything You Wanted to Know about the Science of Raising Children but Were Too Exhausted to Ask, a new book by sociologist Dalton Conley.

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Pop Culture
5:31 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Why Comedian Hari Kondabolu Is 'Waiting For 2042'

Brooklyn-based comic Hari Kondabolu
Courtesy of Hari Kondabolu

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 10:44 am

Hari Kondabolu is an Indian-American comedian whose "Konda Bulletins" you might have seen on the FXX show Totally Biased.

Kondabolu's new comedy album is Waiting For 2042 — the year when white people will be the statistical minority in the United States. On the cover, Kondabolu stands proudly perched on a rickshaw, pulled by a white guy in a suit.

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Code Switch
4:15 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

They Cast Whom?! Actor Choices To Offend Every Racial Sensibility

From a mixed heritage, Adam Jacobs plays Aladdin in the Disney Broadway production of the same name.
Cylla von Tiedemann AP

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 11:48 am

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Movies
3:33 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Fatal Accident Fuels Safety Concerns On Hollywood's Sets

A candlelight march honors Sarah Jones, a camera assistant who was killed by a train in February while shooting the film Midnight Rider.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 7:47 pm

There's growing concern in Hollywood over film crews' safety, as crews feel mounting pressure to push their limits on set. The call for attention to the issue amplified after the death of 27-year-old Sarah Jones.

On Feb. 20, the camera assistant was killed in an accident on the set of the film Midnight Rider, a biopic about the musician Gregg Allman.

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Author Interviews
1:44 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Jimmy Carter Issues 'Call To Action' Against Subjugation Of Women

Jimmy Carter's other books include Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, Sharing Good Times and Our Endangered Values.
Prakash Methema AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 10:36 am

Editor's note: To hear our full interview with Jimmy Carter, tune into Weekend Edition on Sunday, March 23.

President Jimmy Carter has written more than two dozen books over the course of his career, about everything from the art of aging to how to achieve peace in the Middle East. All his writing is anchored by a deep-seated belief in the equality of all people.

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Movie Interviews
6:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Bertrand Tavernier, Playing Geopolitics For Laughs

Director Bertrand Tavernier (center) with Thierry Lhermitte and Raphael Personnaz on the set of The French Minister, a comedy about a dervish of a diplomat trying to head off a war.
Sundance Selects

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:18 am

French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier has done some serious work. In The Clockmaker, a man's adult son commits an act of terrorism. In 'Round Midnight, an aging jazz musician struggles with addictions. And Sunday in the Country is about a man visiting his aging father.

But Tavernier's new film, The French Minister, is a comedy, inspired by both real life and old movies. It's based on a graphic novel the director read in a single night, in the first week the book was published.

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Movie Interviews
6:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

When Scripture Hits The Screen, Filmmakers Say Their Prayers

Russell Crowe, the lead in Darren Aronofsky's forthcoming biblical epic Noah, may have received a quick blessing from Pope Francis at a recent public audience, but the movie is drawing criticism in some quarters.
Niko Tavernise Paramount Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:18 am

The film Noah, with Russell Crowe in the title role, opens in the U.S. March 28. It's already been banned in several Muslim countries for portraying a man considered a prophet, and here in this country it's stirred controversy among some Christians for not being a sufficiently literal telling of the Bible story. NPR's Scott Simon spoke with Rajinder Dudrah, senior lecturer in screen studies at the University of Manchester, on why religious figures in film can cause both fascination and offense.

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Author Interviews
6:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Father Searches For Dead Son 'Out Of Time'

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
6:50 am
Sat March 22, 2014

'Flaco And Max' Keep A South Texas Musical Tradition Thriving

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 10:45 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Conjunto music can be as American as cherry pie - with Mexican and German flavoring:

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

FLACO AND MAX: (Singing in foreign language)

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Extraordinary Ladies Battle Across Berlin In 'Roses'

Grab your spats and your ray gun! It's time for another volume of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen's adventures. Nemo: The Roses of Berlin has everything one looks for in Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's saga: steampunk, alternate history, elements from boys' adventure tales and the flavor of '30s movie serials. The latest episode might better be called the League of Extraordinary Ladies, actually: There's a female protagonist, a female villain and a female robot — the latter none other than the false Maria from the 1927 film Metropolis.

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Movie Interviews
4:00 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Doomed 'Dune' Was Generations Ahead Of Its Time

Artwork created for Dune by British science fiction artist Chris Foss.
Courtesy of Chris Foss/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 10:18 am

Dune, by Alejandro Jodorowsky, was an ambitious and expensive film that was going to change cinema — and, the filmmaker imagined, the world.

Jodorowsky had already made a name for himself with El Topo in 1970 and The Holy Mountain in 1973, two movies that more or less invented the "midnight movie" phenomenon back when that was a euphemism for tripping.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:49 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Not My Job: We Ask Football And Old Spice Star Terry Crews About Cruises

Anderson Group

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 11:03 am

Before he was the star of a hilarious series of Old Spice commercials, Terry Crews played for the championship Western Michigan University Broncos in Kalamazoo, where we are taping the show this week. He went on to play in the NFL and have a successful acting career, including roles in Everybody Hates Chris, Idiocracy, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

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Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
5:13 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:18 am

Debuting at No. 4, Blood Will Out chronicles Walter Kirn's friendship with a murderous imposter.

NPR Bestseller List
5:13 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of March 20, 2014

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:18 am

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

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
5:13 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:18 am

The Girls of Atomic City, at No. 9, is Denise Kiernan's account of the women of the Manhattan Project.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
5:13 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction

St. Martin's Press

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:18 am

In Z, which appears at No. 13, Therese Anne Fowler imagines what Zelda Fitzgerald's life was like.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
5:06 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:22 pm

A literary agent receives a dangerous manuscript in Chris Pavone's The Accident. It debuts at No. 9.

Pages