Arts & Life

The Two-Way
9:34 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Merry Bloomsday! For Communion With Joyce, Raise A Sacramental Guinness

Bloomsday enthusiasts get into the sartorial spirit of Ulysses in the novel's native town, Dublin.
Julien Behal PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 1:25 pm

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Book Reviews
9:09 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Who's That Batgirl? 'Burnside' Charms Despite Stumbles

Courtesy of DC Entertainment

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 7:07 pm

"I guess you can't trust any Batgirl these days," Barbara Gordon says roguishly (she does everything roguishly) in Batgirl Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside. It's a sly, even subversive line, referring to the fact that the role has been played by many different characters — and in many different ways — over the years. With Barbara's comment, the authors reiterate their cleverly layered theme: Identity, especially in the digital age, is anything but fixed.

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The Salt
8:01 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Why Scream For Gelato Instead Of Ice Cream? Here's The Scoop

Higher butterfat content makes ice cream thick and heavy, which is why you can get a nice, round, firm scoop of ice cream, shown at left. Gelato, at right, has less cream, which gives you softer drifts.
iStockphoto/The Art of Making Gelato, Race Point Publishing

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 11:21 am

Back in the day, this saying applied to pretty much everyone: "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream."

Nowadays, though, one friend is probably screaming for gelato, another for a vegan frozen dessert and yet someone else for sherbet.

But it's gelato, ice cream's Italian cousin, that's keeping more customers coming back. Gelato sales rose from $11 million in 2009 to an estimated $214 million in 2014, which has kept frozen dessert sales afloat, according to the market research firm Mintel.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue June 16, 2015

We're All Looking For A Home 'In The Country'

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 6:31 pm

In "The Miracle Worker," one of the nine stories that make up Mia Alvar's debut collection In the Country, a wealthy Bahraini woman hires a Filipino special education teacher to try to coax some communication from her daughter, a profoundly disabled girl with extensive physical deformities. The mother wants nothing more than for her daughter to be "normal." She explains to the teacher: "Often people do not love difference."

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The 'Morning Edition' Book Club
4:07 am
Tue June 16, 2015

Kate Atkinson Tells Book Club How She Crafts Characters At All Life Stages

Kate Atkinson says she never sees her characters at just one stage of their lives. Just as we are constantly thinking about the past, present and future in real life, she constructs her characters in the same way.
Euan Myles Courtesy Hachette Book Group

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 3:24 pm

Welcome to the second session of the Morning Edition Reads book club! Here's how it works: A well-known writer will pick a book he or she loved. We'll all read it. Then, you'll send us your questions about the book. About a month later, we'll reconvene to talk about the book with the author and the writer who picked it.

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Author Interviews
3:31 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

From Dating Exhaustion To ... Flo Rida? Aziz Ansari Surveys 'Modern Romance'

Aziz Ansari is a writer, stand-up comedian and actor well-known for playing Tom Haverford in NBC's Parks and Recreation.
Ruvan Wijesooriy Courtesy of Penguin Press

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 6:07 pm

In his stand-up, Aziz Ansari often talks about dating. And while he's now happily in a relationship, he's still fascinated with how people find each other — so fascinated, in fact, that he wrote a book about it called Modern Romance. The comic tells NPR's Audie Cornish, "I didn't want this book to be, you know, just for single people ... who are out there now, but I wanted to kind of do an overview of dating and relationships as a whole."

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Monkey See
2:48 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch Edition: 'Jurassic World'

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World.
Chuck Zlotnick Universal Pictures

You may have heard that Jurassic World made more than $500 million worldwide in its opening weekend. That's $500 million, 5-0-0. Its nearly $209 million weekend in the U.S. alone makes it the highest-grossing U.S. opening weekend ever. That's ever, e-ver.

So how's the movie? It's fine. Does it justify having had the biggest domestic box-office opening weekend of all time? That's a pretty tall order for a pretty medium-sized movie, creatively speaking.

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Book Reviews
2:18 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Morally Messy Stories, Exquisitely Told, In Mia Alvar's 'In The Country'

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 4:00 pm

The initial "selling point" of Mia Alvar's debut short story collection, In the Country, is its fresh subject matter: namely, Filipinos living under martial law in the 1970s in their own country and in exile, working as maids, engineers, teachers, health care workers and hired hands in the Middle East and the United States.

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It's All Politics
2:15 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Fueled By Fear, How Richard Nixon Became 'One Man Against The World'

In his new book One Man Against the World, Tim Weiner explores some of the questions surrounding the presidency of Richard Nixon, pictured above in the Oval Office on Feb. 19, 1970.
National Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 3:52 pm

Richard Nixon's presidency has always been one surrounded by questions and controversy: Why did he wiretap his own aides and diplomats? Why did he escalate the war in Vietnam? Why did he lie about his war plans to his secretary of defense and secretary of state? What were the Watergate burglars searching for, and why did Nixon tape conversations that included incriminating evidence?

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Arts & Life
9:58 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Fresh Air Remembers Jazz Innovator Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman performs at the Skopje Jazz Festival in 2006.
Robert Atanasovski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 3:10 pm

Ornette Coleman died Thursday, at the age of 85. Listen to a pair of conversations with the saxophonist and composer, as well as interviews with members of his quartet — Don Cherry and Charlie Haden — and his son, Denardo Coleman.

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Arts & Life
9:57 am
Mon June 15, 2015

How To Annoy Your Dad: Play The Harpsichord

Mahan Esfahani's new album, Time Present and Time Past, combines Baroque and minimalist works for the harpsichord.
Bernhard Musil Deutsche Grammophon

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 7:55 pm

"The harpsichord is an easy target, isn't it?" Those are the fighting words of Mahan Esfahani, a good-humored harpsichordist who is a proud defender of his instrument.

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5:25 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Mamma Mia! Olive Garden Food Truck Invades Boston's Italian Neighborhood

Boston's North End is full of authentic Italian eateries. The Olive Garden is most definitely not one of them. But this weekend, an Olive Garden food truck parked there, handing out free food samples.
Craig Lemoult/WGBH

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 1:33 pm

Boston's North End neighborhood is a popular destination for authentic Italian food. But this weekend, local eateries got some unlikely competition: the Olive Garden food truck.

The green truck, emblazoned with the words "Breadstick Nation" and "Italian Kitchen," found a parking spot on the edge of the Boston neighborhood where Italian food is most sacred.

That's right: Olive Garden is jumping on the food truck craze. The Italian restaurant chain is sending trucks around the country to hand out free samples of its newest menu item: breadstick sandwiches.

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Author Interviews
5:27 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

'You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up': Inside The Lives Of The 'China Rich'

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 12:06 pm

In his 2014 novel Crazy Rich Asians, author Kevin Kwan took readers to Singapore and into the lives of Asia's elite, who live in a world of opulence so extreme, it's absurd.

The novel became an international best-seller, with a movie in the works.

Now those Crazy Rich Asians are back as a mix of old and new characters in Kwan's new novel, China Rich Girlfriend.

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My Big Break
4:13 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

Bankrolling A Dinosaur Dig And Unearthing A Giant: The Giganotosaurus

The skull of a Giganotosaurus.
Courtesy Don Lessem

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 3:18 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.

This weekend, the dinosaurs are back in Jurassic World, where the park is ravaged by the invented Indominus Rex.

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Arts & Life
8:03 am
Sun June 14, 2015

Shooting Barbs At The Stars: Kathy Griffin On Comedy And Intolerance

Kathy Griffin, onstage for her Like a Boss Tour.
David A. Beloff Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 10:02 am

Kathy Griffin has spent her career going for the joke. The comedian has developed a style that eviscerates celebrities, while sharing delightfully bizarre stories that could only happen in Hollywood.

Along the way, she's won fans who feel she tells it like it is ... and enemies who think she goes too far.

On her new tour, called "Like A Boss," Griffin will be traveling to 80 cities between June and December. And, she tells NPR's Rachel Martin, no topics are off-limits — even Caitlyn Jenner.

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