Arts & Life

Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed March 11, 2015

'B & Me' Is Intelligent, Immoderate, And A Bit Belabored

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 4:18 pm

J.C. Hallman's audacious B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal, is a textbook example of "creative criticism" — a highly personal form of literary response that involves "writers depicting their minds, their consciousnesses, as they think about literature." Hallman, who has championed creative criticism in two anthologies, has written a wildly intelligent, deeply personal, immoderate — and somewhat belabored — exploration of Nicholson Baker's entire oeuvre, reading in general, and the state of modern literature.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:33 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Got To Give $7.4 Million Up: Jury Finds Pharrell And Thicke Copied Marvin Gaye Song

A jury in Los Angeles decided Tuesday that Robin Thicke (left) and Pharrell Williams lifted parts of Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit "Got To Give It Up."
Jamie McCarthy Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 7:01 pm

Read more
The Two-Way
6:18 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Coming Out In A Galaxy Far Far Away: Star Wars Gets Its First LGBT Character

Star Wars Lords Of The Sith will feature the first official LGBT character.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 12:17 pm

Star Wars is getting its first official LGBT character. Her name is Moff Delian Mors, and she's a character in Paul S. Kemp's upcoming Star Wars: Lords of the Sith novel. Penguin Random House describes Mors as

Read more
Architecture
4:37 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Museum Asks Visitors To Listen To New York's Buildings

Karen Van Lengen and James Welty created a multimedia installation to encourage visitors to experience buildings like Grand Central Terminal not only through their eyes, but also their ears.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 6:16 pm

When you're walking around New York City, you probably won't find people looking up. Even the majestic main concourse of Grand Central Terminal can rarely stop a native New Yorker in her tracks.

But, tourists like Lidize Mora from Las Vegas are a different story.

Read more
Book Reviews
4:07 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Shockwaves Of A Kidnapping Echo In 'Barefoot Dogs'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
4:03 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China's Tea Empire

Robert Fortune was a 19th-century Scottish botanist who helped the East India Trading Company swipe the secrets of tea production from China.
Apic/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 10:44 am

Editor's Note: A version of this story originally ran in March 2010.

In the mid-19th century, Britain was an almost unchallenged empire. It controlled about a fifth of the world's surface, and yet its weakness had everything to do with tiny leaves soaked in hot water: tea. By 1800, it was easily the most popular drink among Britons.

The problem? All the tea in the world came from China, and Britain couldn't control the quality or the price. So around 1850, a group of British businessmen set out to create a tea industry in a place they did control: India.

Read more
Television
1:55 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

New HBO Now Streaming Service Shows Consumer's Will Is King

Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO, talks about HBO Now during an Apple event Monday in San Francisco.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 6:40 pm

There's a lesson at the heart of the announcement Monday by HBO that it was finally starting the standalone video streaming service they have been talking about for five months, HBO Now.

In a media world fragmented by digital technology, the consumer's will is king.

Read more
The Salt
1:25 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

'Test Kitchen': How To Make Vegetarian Dishes Pop With A Little Umami

Jack Bishop says it's the soy sauce in the Mushroom Bolognese that really makes it pop.
Joe Keller Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 10:46 am

Just because a meal is vegetarian doesn't mean it can't be "meaty." One trick to heighten the depth of flavors in plant-based dishes? Use ingredients that offer a pop of umami, say Bridget Lancaster and Jack Bishop of America's Test Kitchen, who have released the new cookbook The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook.

Read more
Monkey See
10:50 am
Tue March 10, 2015

An Interview With A Regular Watch

Not necessarily the watch being interviewed, as it chose to remain anonymous.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 11:15 am

Ever since we interviewed the Monopoly iron in 2013, we have occasionally published fever-dream interviews with newsworthy inanimate objects. In light of yesterday's Apple announcement of its smart watch — and in light of the fact that it is neither the first nor the last such watch to be developed — we thought we would check in with a regular, ordinary watch.

Read more
Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue March 10, 2015

A Tale Of Two Captains On A Tragic Journey In 'Dead Wake'

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 10:11 am

Pier 54 on the Hudson River in Manhattan is padlocked and forgotten now. Like whispers of the past, the engraved names of the shipping companies Cunard and White Star remain barely legible atop its rusted iron gate. Few of the present-day joggers and cyclists who pass by might recall that a century ago, on May 1, 1915, the Lusitania set sail from this berth on her last doomed voyage.

Read more
Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue March 10, 2015

From The Gathering Of Juggalos To Farthest Australia In 'Timid Son'

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 11:41 am

"I am homesick most for the place I've never known," writes Kent Russell in his debut essay collection. He's referring specifically to Martins Ferry, Ohio, his father's childhood hometown — but it could be anywhere. The essays in I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son find the young author miles away from his native Florida, at a music festival in Illinois, on a small island near Australia, and other out-of-the-way locales. He never seems to feel quite at home, or maybe he hasn't yet decided what home really is to him.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:24 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Forget Big Sky And Cowboys: 'Crow Fair' Is Set In An Unidealized Montana

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 7:07 pm

"I think there's only one interesting story ... and that's struggle," says writer Thomas McGuane. Loners, outcasts and malcontents fill the pages of McGuane's latest book — a collection of short stories titled Crow Fair. There's a divorced dad who takes his young son out for an ill-fated day of ice fishing; A restless cattle breeder who takes a gamble on a more lucrative and dangerous line of works; A guy who abandons his blind grandmother by the side of a river to go get drunk, and chase after a corpse he's spotted floating by.

Read more
Book News & Features
4:24 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Straight To Audiobook: Authors Write Original Works Meant To Be Heard

Alexandru Petrea iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 9:57 am

In recent years while e-books were plowing their way through the publishing industry like a big noisy steam engine, audiobooks were chugging along in the background like the Little Engine That Could. These days, that sometimes overlooked segment of the book business is growing at a rapid pace and the industry is looking for new ways to catch listeners' ears.

Read more
Television
2:08 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

'Better Call Saul' Breathes New Life Into 'Breaking Bad' Characters

Jonathan Banks' character Mike Ehrmantraut (left), a hit man and fixer, was a natural to bring back to Breaking Bad's prequel Better Call Saul. Co-creator Peter Gould says he was the right contrast with Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk (right).
Ben Leuner AMC

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 6:58 pm

The new show Better Call Saul imagines what slip 'n fall lawyer turned criminal attorney Saul Goodman's life was like before he met Walter White, the main character of Breaking Bad. It tells the story of how Saul, played by Bob Odenkirk, started out as Jimmy McGill, a public defender who is so broke that his home and office are the backroom of a nail salon.

Better Call Saul co-creator Peter Gould, who also wrote for Breaking Bad, says that centering a new show on Saul Goodman was completely organic.

Read more
Newscast
8:56 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Turnaround Tuesday anniversary, Obama in Selma and same-sex marriage update

Selma City Councilman Benny Lee Tucker

The City of Selma remembered the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” over the weekend. But today marks another milestone in the civil rights movement.

Saturday was the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in 1965. Today marks 50 years since the second march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge called Turnaround Tuesday. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led that protest himself, but turned back before state troopers could attack like they did just two days prior.

Selma city councilman Benny Lee Tucker was a teenager in 1965. He says he had a specific job during King’s march…

Read more

Pages