Arts

PG-13: Risky Reads
6:03 am
Sun August 10, 2014

Albert Camus' Poker-Faced 'Stranger' Became A Much Needed Friend

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 11:09 am

I grew up on a mortgaged cattle ranch with a grandmother, who spoke in tongues, and a mother addicted to prescription pills: Percodan, Valium, Vicodin, you name it. My father was killed when I was just an infant (pickup, train tracks), and my grandfather was an oil pipeline worker in the Middle East. He had a Kurdish bodyguard named Abdul who once killed a man with a knife.

At the age of 14, I stumbled across The Stranger, Albert Camus' famous novel of absurdity and detachment. It was hard not to relate.

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Author Interviews
4:28 am
Sun August 10, 2014

Sept. 11 Changed Everything: Following 3 Women In The National Guard

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 10:54 am

In spring 2001, three women enlisted in the Indiana National Guard. Each had her own idea of what a stint in the Guard might mean — free education, a sense of purpose, extra money. But just months after they signed up, the Sept. 11 attacks occurred and what they thought would be a couple days of drills each month turned into long overseas deployments.

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Book Reviews
6:03 pm
Sat August 9, 2014

A Beautiful Book, Whether Or Not It Makes You 'Happy'

Lies! Deceit and rank mendacity! Eleanor Davis promises what current pop music insists is perfectly possible — that you can be happy — and then she doesn't deliver. Instead she draws comics full of hilarious surrealism, gut-tugging tropes and eloquent despair. How dare she?

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Author Interviews
4:15 pm
Sat August 9, 2014

'Building A Better Teacher': Dissecting America's Education Culture

Elizabeth Green is the cofounder of Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news site that covers education.
Daniel Deitch W.W. Norton

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 4:18 pm

Teacher effectiveness is a hot topic in education circles right now. How do you measure it, and how can you improve it? What type of teachers should schools keep, and who should they let go?

Elizabeth Green says that it's not, as some people assume, a question of personality or charisma. Great teachers are not born, they're made, she says — and there's much more to teaching than being "good" or "bad" at it. Her book, Building a Better Teacher, explores teaching as a craft and shows just how complicated that craft can be.

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Religion
7:49 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Effort To Preserve Yiddish Works Not 'Bupkes'

Visitors look at an exhibit at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass.
Courtesy of the Yiiddish Book Center

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 10:40 am

The preservation of Yiddish as a spoken language gets more attention, but Yiddish once had a vibrant written tradition as well.

Plays, poetry, novels, political tracts — all were published in Yiddish until the Holocaust. A great deal of these works can now be found at the National Yiddish Book Center in Western Massachusetts.

The center was founded by Aaron Lansky, who began his efforts to save Yiddish books in 1980, while enrolled in a Jewish Studies program at McGill University in Montreal.

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The Salt
7:03 am
Sat August 9, 2014

For A Proper Pretzel Crust, Count On Chemistry And Memories

Bavarian pretzels baked at the Goetz bakery in Taufkirchen, Germany, for the Oktoberfest beer festival.
Miguel Villagran Getty Images

As Oktoberfest starts in Munich every September, my mom starts making pretzels in Michigan. She says the soft pretzels in the U.S. aren't like what she was used to in Germany, and if she's going to be hosting a backyard Oktoberfest, her food should be authentic.

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Book News & Features
4:10 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Lev Grossman: A 'Magician' Grows Up

Lev Grossman's bestselling Magicians series was inspired by the long wait between books five and six of the Harry Potter series.
Mathieu Bourgois

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 10:40 am

The final book in Lev Grossman's Magicians trilogy comes out this week — The Magician's Land. It's a literary fantasy, inspired by Narnia and Harry Potter, that tells the story of what happens to brilliant young wizards when they grow up and have to deal with the world.

Grossman was promoting the novel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, and as I discovered, he's a fantastic — and slightly terrifying — person to see Comic-Con with. He has no problem taking unspoken insecurities and dragging them out into the light.

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Author Interviews
4:02 am
Sat August 9, 2014

In 'Dirty Work,' A Doctor Turns To Fiction To Talk About Abortion

Wavebreak Media LTD iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 10:40 am

All surgeons must pick the organ they'll spend their career protecting, Gabriel Weston writes in her new novel, Dirty Work. And as Nancy, the obstetrician-gynecologist at the center of the book, explains, "We gynecologists have the womb to look after. ... And whichever specialty we choose, each of us has to do something ruthless to keep our patient safe: We have to forget about the human significance of the organ we're operating on."

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Movies
3:35 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

As Film Stocks Dwindle, Movie-Makers Weigh What May Soon Be Lost

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 5:57 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Book News & Features
3:35 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Over 900 Authors Lend Their Names To A Letter Backing Hachette

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 5:57 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of August 7, 2014

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

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of August 7, 2014

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

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of August 7, 2014

A Spy Among Friends cover art
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of August 7, 2014

Lucky Us cover photo
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Bestseller List
3:03 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of August 7, 2014

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

Movie Reviews
2:41 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

The Shaggy Story Of A Real-Life 'Dog'

In 1972, John Wojtowicz robbed a bank to pay for his lover Ernie's sex-reassignment surgery. The robbery and his subsequent imprisonment inspired the movie Dog Day Afternoon.
Seed & Spark

Originally published on Sat August 9, 2014 8:24 am

A Brooklyn bank, a sweltering crowd, swelling cheers as Al Pacino's charismatic bank robber baits the police with chants of "Attica. Attica. Attica. Attica."

That scene, along with the rest of Sidney Lumet's 1975 classic Dog Day Afternoon, was based on a true story. Now, an odd — and oddly compelling — documentary called The Dog brings us the story behind that true story, and if you're anything like me, it'll leave you alternately amused and slack-jawed in astonishment.

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Movie Reviews
1:43 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

In The Irish Film 'Calvary,' A Priest's Crisis Of Faith Is Weirdly Jokey

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 1:57 pm

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

Transcript

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Author Interviews
1:42 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

For Novelist Jonathan Lethem, Radicalism Runs In The Family

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 1:44 pm

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

Transcript

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The Hoogland
12:25 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

'Greater Tuna' Brings Low-Brow Humor To Town

Rich McCoy and Darin Harms star in 'Greater Tuna'

The popular comedic play, Greater Tuna, takes two actors and thrusts them into the world of a fictional Texan town. The actors play a host of characters, who come together and create a world ripe with low-brow and politically incorrect humor. The play opens in Springfield at the Hoogland Center for the Arts Friday night. WUIS was recently joined by the cast members Rich McCoy and Darin Harms to talk about it: 

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Monkey See
12:11 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

'The Knick': Cinemax's Quality Play Opens Its Eyes To Race

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 2:33 pm

Cinemax's The Knick is an amazing bit of TV filmmaking: a gritty look at a turn of the century hospital, with explicit scenes showing how brutal early discoveries in surgery and medicine must have been in the year 1900.

But as much as I savored director Steven Soderbergh's innovative way of making a period drama feel modern, alongside Clive Owen's masterful take on a gifted, driven surgeon who is secretly a cocaine addict, my eye was drawn to a different character: Andre Holland's Dr. Algernon Edwards.

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The Salt
10:28 am
Fri August 8, 2014

What Are Those Parabens Doing In My Tortilla?

A package of corn tortillas listing propylparaben as an ingredient.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 5:25 pm

When I invited people over for brunch not long ago, the last thing I expected was a wander into the murky world of food preservatives. It started off so simply — with enchiladas, in fact. Enchiladas are my go-to brunch dish, mostly because a little store near me stocks incredible tortillas from a local factory in Maryland called Moctec.

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Monkey See
7:24 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' And So Bad It's Good

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We're settling back into our regular schedule post-lots of travel and post-Comic-Con, and we find ourselves in the studio this week with Chris Klimek to talk about the runaway success of Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy. We talk about the movie's shaggy charms, its savvy development, and why it gives me joyful reason to gloat over past avowals of loyalty.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Book News: Hachette's Deal For Perseus Falls Through

Visitors walk through the Hachette Book Group's exhibition in May at BookExpo America, the annual industry convention in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

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

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Book Reviews
6:08 am
Fri August 8, 2014

'Joss Whedon': Biography Of A 'Shiny' Geek King

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 3:04 pm

Published in Britain as Joss Whedon: Geek King of the Universe and in the U.S. less cheekily as Joss Whedon: The Biography, Amy Pascale's portrait of pop culture's man of just about any recent hour may not make her title subject any new converts, but it is hero-worshipping enough to make devoted Whedonites feel they're being inducted into the Scooby Gang.

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Movie Reviews
4:26 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Movie Review: 'The Hundred-Foot Journey'

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 10:15 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Food and romance. That's the recipe in the new film "The Hundred-Foot Journey." Here's Kenneth Turan's review.

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Book News & Features
2:31 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Aye, Sassenach — Gabaldon's Appeal Is Timeless

Caitriona Balfe as time-traveling Claire Randall, and Sam Heughan as her Highlander lover Jamie Fraser in the new television adaptation of Outlander.
Sony PicturesTelevision

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 11:02 pm

Novelist Diana Gabaldon writes books that sell like crazy but are hard to categorize. Her Outlander series, featuring a determined heroine who falls backward through time to the 18th century Scottish Highlands, has made Gabaldon both wealthy and famous.

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The Two-Way
6:53 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

If A Monkey Takes A Photo, Who Owns The Copyright?

This 2011 image captured by a cheeky black macaque after turning the tables on a photographer who left his camera unmanned has ignited a debate over who owns the photo.
David J Slater Caters News Agency/Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 7:04 pm

An argument is brewing between British photographer David Slater and the folks at Wikimedia over who owns the rights to a photo a monkey took with Slater's equipment. The website says the famous photo should be freely distributed, because it believes the animal's self-portrait isn't bound by copyright law.

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Code Switch
6:08 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

'Boondocks' Creator Asks, 'What Would Black Jesus Do?'

Black Jesus is the latest from Aaron McGruder, who created the politically charged comic strip and animated series The Boondocks.
Adult Swim

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 7:16 pm

Black Jesus, a new show premiering Thursday on Adult Swim, is about, well, a black Jesus. Set in contemporary south Los Angeles, it presents a Jesus roaming around a neighborhood filled with liquor stores, mini-marts and people praying for help.

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Movie Interviews
5:02 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Helen Mirren: Like Night Follows Day, Roles For Women Will Reflect Real Life

In The Hundred-Foot Journey, Helen Mirren plays an imperious French restaurant owner.
Francois Duhamel DreamWorks II Distribution Co.

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 9:14 am

When she was in her 20s, Helen Mirren says, she yearned to be a French actress: "They fascinated me more," she tells NPR's Melissa Block.

In her new film, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Mirren gets the next best thing — she plays Madame Mallory, the frosty French owner of an elegant restaurant in a tiny village in the south of France. When an Indian family comes to town and opens their own restaurant 100 feet away, Mallory has nothing but disdain for the family and the food they're cooking.

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Movie Reviews
4:10 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

James Cameron Takes The 'Deepsea Challenge' At The Ocean's Bottom

Fillmmaker James Cameron wanted to travel the depths of the ocean since he was a child. He attempts to make his boyhood dreams a reality in National Geographic's Deepsea Challenge.
Mark Thiessen AP

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 5:40 pm

Building a submersible that can travel to the ocean's deepest point is a budget buster, even for the guy who made Titanic and Avatar. So it makes sense that the Deepsea Challenger, James Cameron's depth-taunting craft, would be designed for just a single passenger. Still, viewers of Deepsea Challenge may think of another reason the vessel's cabin was built for one: Cameron didn't want anyone else intruding on his close-up.

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