Arts & Life

Decades before he became a best-selling children's book author, Dr. Seuss, a.k.a. Theodor Geisel, created a series of sculptures he called his "Unorthodox Taxidermy." Using real horns, beaks and antlers, he fashioned whimsical creatures which look like they jumped right out of his books.

A traveling show of replicas, called "If I Ran the Zoo", has landed at a gallery in Long Island. Today we bring you that story (how else?) in verse:

A federal appeals court says Brendan Dassey, who was 16 when he confessed to helping his uncle rape and kill a woman, must remain in prison while the state appeals a lower judge's decision to overturn his conviction.

The crime is the subject of the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer.

Growing up in Cambridge, Mass., Casey Affleck began acting as a way to get out of going to school. His mom's best friend was a local casting director, and every now and then a movie would come to town and a call would go out for extras.

"So me and my friends ... we'd get to be an extra in a movie, which to us meant nothing more than a day off from school," Affleck tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Hey Glen, did you hear? Last night, March: Book Three by Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell — the final book in their graphic novel trilogy about young Lewis' experiences in the civil rights movement — won the National Book Award for young people's literature!

On April 3, 1983, terrorists associated with the Maoist guerilla group Shining Path invaded the small hamlet of Lucanamarca, Peru, and murdered 69 villagers. The slayings, retaliation for the killing of a Shining Path leader, were especially brutal — the victims, including infants and children, were hacked to death with machetes. It would not be the last time that Peruvians were slaughtered en masse, either by the Shining Path or the Peruvian military.

Updated at 9:50 a.m. ET

At a gala ceremony in New York City, the 67th National Book Awards gathered many of literature's leading lights in celebration of just a few authors: Colson Whitehead, who won in the fiction category; Ibram X. Kendi, in nonfiction; Daniel Borzutzky, in poetry; and Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell in young people's literature.

When he was growing up in New York, All Things Considered host Robert Siegel always knew that Bellevue Hospital was a city institution.

But it wasn't until he read David Oshinsky's book Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America's Most Storied Hospital, that he realized the hospital was a pioneering institution for all of American medicine.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Francis Ford Coppola signed on to direct The Godfather when he was just 29 years old. The film centers on a fictional Sicilian crime family in New York City and Coppola knew nothing about the Mafia, but he did understand Italian-American culture and tradition — and he was determined to avoid stereotypes.

Bob Dylan says he will not travel to Stockholm to pick up the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature.

The Swedish Academy, which gives out the Nobel prizes, says it received a personal letter from Dylan saying he had "pre-existing commitments," NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports. She adds:

"There was a lot of speculation whether Bob Dylan even wanted his Nobel Prize in Literature. It took him more than two weeks to even acknowledge that he'd won. When he finally did, Dylan wrote to the Swedish Academy that the news left him 'speechless.'

The setup of the film Arrival is familiar to anyone who's watched first-contact science fiction about aliens before: ships hover. Little is known. The military assumes the worst, and scientists thrum with curiosity. Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a linguist, and Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), a theoretical physicist, are summoned to try to figure out the answer to a question that seems to be about aliens but hides in plain sight as a nod to philosophy: What is your purpose on Earth?

'Platinum Age' Is An Engaging Guide To Great TV

Nov 16, 2016

As the longtime television critic for NPR's Fresh Air, the founder of TVWorthWatching.com, and a professor of TV and film, David Bianculli has spent decades waxing passionately about his favorite entertainment medium. But his new book, The Platinum Age of Television, does more than simply reaffirm that passion.

Superheroes are democratic ideals.

They exist to express what's noblest about us: selflessness, sacrifice, a commitment to protect those who need protection, and to empower the powerless.

Superheroes are fascist ideals.

They exist to symbolize the notion that might equals right, that a select few should dictate the fate of the world, and that the status quo is to be protected at all costs.

Both of these things are true, and inextricably bound up with one another — but they weren't always.

In his belligerently funny novel The Sellout – the first American novel to win Britain's top literary award, the Booker Prize – Paul Beatty eviscerates racial politics in the U.S. by aiming some of his sharpest stabs at that old and vicious shaming device: the food slur.

Two brown girls from North London council estates want to be dancers. In the same dance class, the same shade of nut-brown, they are "two iron filings drawn to a magnet," friends before they speak. One, Tracey, is a natural dancer: intuitive, genius, even. The other, the narrator of Swing Time, is talented in another direction: She is an observer, a wallflower given structure by stronger, surer women around her. Unnamed, unsure, neither black nor white, the narrator is fittingly indistinct in this brilliant novel about the illusions of identity.

Fox News host Megyn Kelly became known to many people across the country in 2015, when she moderated the first Republican presidential debate and pressed then-candidate Donald Trump about his disparaging comments about women.

In the summer of '65, Leonard Cohen, the great poet-singer who died last week, spent many happy hours in a warehouse by the St Lawrence River in his hometown, Montreal. As he watched the boats go by, his friend, a young bohemian dancer named Suzanne Verdal, whose warehouse it was, served him tea and oranges that came all the way from China.

I was boarding a plane to Istanbul when a friend recommended the Yashim series of mystery novels.

Great reads, he told me, about a Turkish detective who whips up marvelous feasts in between solving crimes. That sounded promising, so I downloaded the first book for the flight. And I was hooked, racing through chapters with Yashim as he prowls Istanbul's dark alleys, spice markets and kitchens.

In Bernie Sanders' new book, Our Revolution, the Vermont senator tells the story of his life, his career and his run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

He also spells out the programs he believes the country should adopt to combat such ills as inequality, discrimination and lack of opportunity, not to mention the burdens of college and health care costs.

Sanders says he was not shocked by Donald Trump's victory. But he says the election results show it is time for the Democratic Party to undergo a fundamental reassessment.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Growing up, Anna Kendrick was a diminutive child with a powerful singing voice. When she was 6, she began performing in community theater, and by 12 years old she had made it to Broadway, where she was nominated for a Tony Award for her role in the musical High Society.

When Amelie Ning Kang opened her restaurant MáLà Project in New York's East Village at the tail-end of 2015, she had only a few rules: She refused to have dragons decking its walls, and there would be no dumbing down of her eatery's signature dish, the Sichuan specialty mala xiangguo, a stir fry heavy on the numbing spice that gives Sichuanese food its bite.

Grapefruit's bitterness can make it hard to love. Indeed, people often smother it in sugar just to get it down. And yet Americans were once urged to sweeten it with salt.

Ad campaigns from the first and second world wars tried to convince us that "Grapefruit Tastes Sweeter With Salt!" as one 1946 ad for Morton's in Life magazine put it. The pairing, these ads swore, enhanced the flavor.

This year, the National Book Awards ceremony comes at a time when the nation has rarely seemed more divided. The bitter presidential campaign exposed a fault line in the United States that will not easily be repaired. And while there's no one simple answer, Lisa Lucas, head of the National Book Foundation, recommends one way to understand the other side: read.

"My life is small" she says, "and I think books are a way to make your life larger."

Editor's note: We identified Slave Punk and Sunset Park as already published; they were announced in 2015 but are not yet out.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

When the Cubs won the World Series on Nov. 2 — remember that? — the person who told the world it had happened was sportscaster Joe Buck. He has been broadcasting the NFL on Fox since 1993 and Major League Baseball since 1995. He has now written a memoir about his life in broadcasting, called Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, and the Things I'm Not Allowed to Say on TV.

We thought everyone could use a little distraction this week, so we've invited Buck to play a game called "It's all just kittens and rainbows!"

bfishadow [Flickr]

The reason this little cat (along with its fellow shelter residents) has a chance for a new forever home and a loving owner is because the shelter workers are there to feed her and take care of her until her new owner finds her.  That's something to appreciate! 

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Since 1996, sportscaster Joe Buck has been announcing Super Bowls, golf tournaments, bass fishing, motorcycle jumps and, of course, baseball. In fact, he did the play-by-play for seventh game of the World Series this year between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs — a game that drew the largest audience in a generation.

Even a well known story depends on where you begin to tell it.

In the summer of 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy visiting Mississippi, was lynched by white men who said he'd flirted with a white woman. Till's body was returned home to Chicago where his mother insisted on an open casket. Photos were wired around the globe and the world saw his mutilated body. His murderers would be free within a month.

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