Arts & Life

Your reaction to the following words will probably determine whether this book is for you. If your heart speeds up and you find yourself making grabby hands at the screen, maybe hopping in your chair muttering, "Give it to me now," I'm happy to tell you this book is available and worth your time to read once, possibly twice.

Here are the words in question: "Gender-flipped Sherlock Holmes."

From Pamplona, With Love: 'The Sun Also' Turns 90

Oct 22, 2016

Ernest Hemingway, like all writers, means different things to different people. To some, he represents a hunting, drinking, smoking, womanizing machismo that is offputting — to say the least. To my high-school mind, he was just some old white guy going on about a crusty fisherman desperate to snag a marlin — though Ms. Fredericks, my English teacher, had forced us to read The Old Man and the Sea, I didn't come to appreciate it, nor any of Hemingway's books, until much later.

Perfect Dog Owner

Oct 22, 2016
Scott Feldstein [Flickr]

When we adopt a dog we think we're doing it a favor, giving it a home.  What do they give us in return?  It has been proven that pets can make us happier and healthier people.  They give us companionship and loyalty and acceptance.  What a bargain!

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When choreographer Garth Fagan was growing up in Jamaica, he dreamed of a far off place where he could pursue his art and teach dance to others. And he found that paradise ... in Rochester, N.Y., where he founded the Garth Fagan Dance company.

Fagan choreographed The Lion King on Broadway, so we've decided to quiz him on lying kings — three questions about really deceitful people.

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

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

The Grand, Unfinished Task Of Chronicling How America Eats

Oct 22, 2016

It's Dec. 13, 1938, and Arnie Manoff, 24-year-old starving writer, has been sent by the government to interview the man who created the Reuben sandwich. The sandwich man is big, bawdy Arnold Reuben — he loves to regale audiences with the origin story of his sandwich nearly as much as he loves to name drop the B-list celebrities that frequent the booths of his restaurant. Sometimes, he tells Manoff, in a spitty voice brimming with pride, he even names a special after them.

'Thrill Me' Gets Personal About Life And Writing

Oct 22, 2016

"Books were portals meant for escapism," Benjamin Percy says in "Thrill Me," the titular essay in his new nonfiction collection. He's speaking of his childhood in rural Oregon, where he found new realities in the imaginative works of authors like Ian Fleming, Louis L'Amour, and Stephen King. "Pop lit" is what he calls it, although it's more generally known as genre fiction: thrillers, mysteries, Westerns, horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Percy knows the terrain.

Stars Hollow, the picturesque setting of the TV show The Gilmore Girls is practically a character of its own. Close-knit (sometimes to a fault), the fictional New England town is filled with lovable oddballs who gossip over coffee, bicker at town meetings, and make viewers wonder if there's anything remotely like it in the real world.

The answer is ... sort of.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Updated 7 p.m. ET with the replacement head being removed

The CBC reports that an odd-looking substitute for a stolen head of Jesus has itself now been removed from a statue. The church's priest said the replacement had to go because it was damaging the original statue.

But while the temporary head was in place, it inspired lots of joy on the Internet.

Our original post:

To director Ti West and actor James Ransone, no amount of money can overshadow integrity. HBO veteran Ransone ("The Wire", "Treme") is adamant he will "back an artist over the money any day." And when triple threat writer-director-editor West is asked which of those three stages of production he would give up if he had unlimited funds, he says he "won't do it! ...That's the price of integrity." In fact, it was during a conversation about integrity during the pair's first meeting that sparked both a successful working relationship, and a friendship.

In this installment of This, That, or the Other, contestants must figure out: is it a Star Trek alien species, an energy drink, or a product sold on a television infomercial?

Heard on Ti West and James Ransone: In A Valley Of Trivia

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Oct 21, 2016

This game was written by someone who studied Shakespeare's plays a long time ago, but has since forgotten almost everything about them. For example, the clue, "I think this play was about some guys with the same first name...and their last names were Hudson, Thoreau, Ford, Kissinger...and then Cavill came along," would be about Henry V.

Heard on Ti West and James Ransone: In A Valley Of Trivia

Home Improvement

Oct 21, 2016

In this final round, every answer contains an object you'd find in a hardware store. So if we said, "He's the rapper who was '2 Legit 2 Quit,'" the answer would be "M-C Hammer."

Heard on Ti West and James Ransone: In A Valley Of Trivia

One-Named Wonders

Oct 21, 2016

This game contains a bunch of words that have something in common: they're all one-word titles of songs performed by a one-named musician. For example, if we said, "This Brit's daydreamer voice would be a good remedy should the skyfall," you'd answer, "Adele."

Heard on Ti West and James Ransone: In A Valley Of Trivia

Let's Turn It On

Oct 21, 2016

In this music game, Jonathan Coulton revamps the sensual Marvin Gaye song "Let's Get It On" to be about famous people who invented or discovered something.

Heard on Ti West and James Ransone: In A Valley Of Trivia

Mystery Guest

Oct 21, 2016

Ophira and Jonathan become the contestants in this round of Mystery Guest! Marie Carter has a job that takes her all over New York City, and Ophira and Jonathan try to figure out what it is by asking yes-or-no questions.

Heard on Ti West and James Ransone: In A Valley Of Trivia

It's tough to find a more bubbly, positive person than Lacie Pound.

She always has a kind word for the baristas and café workers who serve her morning coffee. She drinks a smoothie offered by a co-worker even when it doesn't taste so good. And she's determined to give an award-winning toast as the maid of honor at her oldest friend's wedding.

Lacie, played by Jurassic World co-star Bryce Dallas Howard, is the central character in "Nosedive" — a new episode in the third season of the British anthology drama, Black Mirror, which debuts on Netflix today.

Beneath Gothic arches and metal walkways, a place of torment has been reclaimed as a place of creative ferment. In 1895, celebrated writer Oscar Wilde — author of The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray -- was convicted of homosexual activity and sentenced to two years in the infamous Reading Gaol.

The landscape is all too familiar: Junkies, dealers, prostitution, poverty, and, here and there, spasms of violence. But Moonlight, an incandescent second feature from Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy), is a "black" movie more by way of Charles Burnett than John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood) or the Hughes brothers (Menace II Society).

It's hard to find an edge in mainstream comedy, and harder still to keep it once you do. Most of the people who made Keeping Up with the Joneses surely know this. They were hired to make this baby-formula "spies in the suburbs" laffer because they have known success, and they found that success because their past work, for the most part, had edge.

There are 21 novels in British author Lee Child's ongoing Jack Reacher series and they habitually take care to describe their hero as a blond-haired, blue-eyed hulk of an itinerant ex-Army cop, standing 6'5" with a 50-inch chest. Dolph Lundgren might've perfect for the part, or maybe Anita Ekberg. But producer Tom Cruise was the guy who, after attempts by others, got the Reacher movie franchise going. For the starring role, there was only one name on his list.

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

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The Rocky Horror Show began as a stage musical in London in the early 1970s, starring Tim Curry as the outrageously dressed outer-space alien Frank N. Furter, self-described as a "sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania." Richard O'Brien, the composer of the play and its music, played Frank's hunchbacked assistant, Riff Raff — and the two of them repeated their roles in a 1975 movie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Dorothy's ruby slippers could use a little more magic these days — or at least some preservationist TLC.

The famous shoes from The Wizard of Oz are among the most popular items on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. But they're showing their age, and the museum is asking the public to pitch in to help keep the shoes intact for decades to come.

In 'IQ,' A Sherlock For South Central

Oct 20, 2016

We have so many Sherlocks these days.

Books, multiple TV shows, movies — the world (particularly the modern world) is so rich with touchy, cold, brilliant consulting detectives that it's a wonder there are any crimes left for the police to solve. I mean, with such a profusion of Holmeses running around, why would anyone bother calling 911?

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

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Filmmaker Barry Jenkins and playwright Tarell McCraney grew up just blocks away from each other in the same housing project in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood. They went to the same elementary school at the same time, but they did not meet until they were adults, when Jenkins contacted McCraney about adapting his play, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, to the screen.

You think you've read every permutation of a World War II novel possible — then along comes a Venetian fisherman and his unlikely first mate, a beautiful Jewish teenaged girl on the run from the last few Nazis occupying Italy. Venerable author Martin Cruz Smith has chosen, in The Girl from Venice, to put aside his usual spy stories (e.g. Gorky Park and Three Stations) for a straightforward wartime chase-cum-romance, a slice of La Serenissima life so perfectly researched that details melt into action like the local goby fish into risotto.

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