Arts & Life

Book Reviews
6:03 am
Sat January 17, 2015

Resurrections, Do-Overs, And Second Lives: A 2015 Poetry Preview

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 2:23 pm

Since 9/11, folks have been saying we need poetry more than ever, but perhaps now we need poetry even more than "more than ever." 2014 will go down as the year of Ferguson and Eric Garner, of the CIA torture report, of lost elections and more than a few dashed hopes.

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Monkey See
4:26 am
Sat January 17, 2015

Can A 'Whitney' Biopic Beat Watching Whitney Houston?

Yaya DaCosta as Whitney Houston in Lifetime's Whitney.
Jack Zeman Lifetime

The high bar that a biopic about Whitney Houston has to clear is essentially this: Is it better than just watching YouTube videos of Whitney Houston singing? Does it somehow tell you more, open her up more, explain her legacy more? Because honestly, all it takes is watching her sing to understand why she was as beloved as she was, from her arrival as a 21-year-old phenomenon through her The Bodyguard superstardom and the shocking news that she had died the night before the 2012 Grammy Awards.

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Author Interviews
3:50 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

'Thieves Of State' Reveals Tremendous Power Of Global Corruption

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 5:32 pm

Audie Cornish talks to former NPR reporter Sarah Chayes about how corruption can create the fertile ground for religious extremism. Chayes is a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program and the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment. Her new book is Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security.

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Movie Interviews
3:32 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Julianne Moore: Alzheimer's Makes Us Question 'Our Essential Selves'

Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) is a linguistics professor who gets diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. "Who can take us seriously when we are so far from who we once were?" she asks. "We become ridiculous, incapable, comic. But this is not who we are. This is our disease."
Jojo Whilden Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 5:44 pm

In the new movie Still Alice, Julianne Moore plays Alice Howland, a 50-year-old linguistics professor at Columbia with a razor-sharp intellect. She's at the prime of her career, but gradually she starts to forget things. She loses her way, she gets fuzzy — and she is soon diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The movie charts her rapid decline and her struggle to hold on to her sense of self.

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Movie Reviews
12:59 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

'Still Alice' Is A Triumph For Julianne Moore, But The Rest Of Film Is Thin

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

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Author Interviews
12:59 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Skeptic Takes A Tour Of Self-Help's 'Promise Land'

Despite being the daughter of a child psychologist and self-help author, Jessica Lamb-Shapiro has spent most of her life recoiling from the self-help industry. But eventually, her curiosity got the best of her. She tells Fresh Air about self-help's high- and low-brow iterations and the ways the industry helped her address her fears.

Originally aired Jan. 22, 2014.

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The Salt
12:09 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Food Trucks, Share The Lane. Food Bikes Are Merging Into The Business

Charlie Wicker of Trailhead Coffee Roasters makes all of his deliveries within the 6-mile radius of urban Portland, Ore., on one of his custom-built cargo bikes. He can also pull over to brew and serve coffee.
John Lee Courtesy of Trailhead Coffee Roasters

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 3:15 pm

When upscale food trucks roared into popularity a few years ago, the folks running them praised their rolling operations as far cheaper and simpler to launch than a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.

Now, entrepreneurs are finding similar advantages in food bikes.

Brewers, chefs, baristas and even farmers are turning to pedal-powered vehicles to bring their goods to consumers — and, sometimes, actually produce them on the street.

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Monkey See
8:37 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Selma' And Dramatic License

NPR

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 9:04 am

This week's show — which was taped before Thursday's Oscar nominations — is focused on Ava DuVernay's drama Selma, and we're happy to be joined by our pal and Code Switch blogger Gene Demby, who also recently wrote a terrific piece in Politico about what he talked about as a new civil rights movement. It made sense, we thought, to make sure he was with us to cover a movie about the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

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Alt.Latino
7:08 am
Fri January 16, 2015

History Goes To The Illustrators: 'A Contrarian History Of The United States'

A Most Imperfect Union champions the progress and ideals of the U.S. while recognizing its missteps.
Lalo Alcaraz Courtesy of the artist

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The Two-Way
9:20 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Boy Says He Didn't Go To Heaven; Publisher Says It Will Pull Book

Alex Malarkey, seen here in a 2009 photo, has written an open letter saying that events described in the best-seller The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven were made up.
John Kuntz The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 11:36 am

Nearly five years after it hit best-seller lists, a book that purported to be a 6-year-old boy's story of visiting angels and heaven after being injured in a bad car crash is being pulled from shelves. The young man at the center of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, Alex Malarkey, said this week that the story was all made up.

The book's publisher, Tyndale House, had promoted it as "a supernatural encounter that will give you new insights on Heaven, angels, and hearing the voice of God."

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Movies
4:14 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

'Birdman,' 'Grand Budapest Hotel' Lead Oscar Nominations

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 5:33 pm

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

The Salt
11:23 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Mojito Diplomacy: Chefs Plan Culinary Tours To Cuba

A vendor reaches out to catch a pineapple at a food market in the outskirts of Havana.
Ramon Espinosa AP

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 2:11 pm

Miami Chef Douglas Rodriguez is known as the "Godfather of Nuevo Latino Cuisine" for the pan-Latin American style of cooking he helped pioneer. But, as the son of Cuban immigrants, his early cooking education was firmly rooted in the traditions of his parents' homeland.

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Book Reviews
9:03 am
Thu January 15, 2015

The Consolations (And Controversies) Of Philosophy In 'The Just City'

A friend recently insisted I read her favorite book in the world: The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault. It's a gorgeous book, one that utterly immerses you in a worldview that's simultaneously alien and formative to so much of our modern life. I enjoyed it tremendously, and am doubly glad I read it since it gave me a fascinating window through which to view Jo Walton's The Just City: If Renault's project is immersive, Walton's is explosive, deliberately troubling and provocative as the gadfly-Socrates who appears in both.

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Monkey See
8:38 am
Thu January 15, 2015

At The Oscar Nominations, It's A Good Year To Be An Idiosyncratic Man

In Birdman, Michael Keaton (a real-life former Batman) plays a former movie superhero who's trying to get a grasp on his career.
Atsushi Nishijima/ Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 12:26 pm

[At the top of this post, you'll find a discussion I had with Stephen Thompson, my Pop Culture Happy Hour co-panelist, about the Oscar nominations. Tomorrow's full PCHH episode more fully covers the film Selma.]

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu January 15, 2015

'Binary Star' Is A Hard, Harrowing Look Into Inner Space

In 2012 Sarah Gerard wrote a powerful essay for The New York Times about her experiences with bulimia, anorexia, and addiction. It's a harrowing read, but only half as much so as her debut novel, Binary Star. In it, Gerard's unnamed, semi-autobiographical protagonist takes a road trip with her boyfriend John. He's an alcoholic whose behavior becomes increasingly erratic; she's succumbing to an eating disorder that's wasting her away.

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