Arts

7:13am

Tue February 18, 2014
The Two-Way

Book News: J.K. Rowling's Second Crime Novel Coming Out In June

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 7:32 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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7:03am

Tue February 18, 2014
Book Reviews

'A Burnable Book' Is Fragrant With The Stench Of Medieval London

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 5:35 pm

promo image

I fell into a state of dazed puzzlement at the start of this book, whose first chapter includes a remote century's bitter winter, "sour ale" in an "undercroft tavern," the stink of Newgate Jail, French secret agents, a wild-haired preacher and conversations in Italian and French as well as English.

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5:03am

Tue February 18, 2014
Arts & Life

Classical Music Piece Enhances Roald Dahl's 'Dirty Beasts'

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The children's author Roald Dahl died almost 25 years ago, and yet, today you can find more musical adaptations of his work than ever.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

"Matilda" is a hit on Broadway. A musical version of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is running in London's West End.

GREENE: Over the weekend, the London Philharmonic Orchestra debuted the newest adaptation of Dahl's work, a classical piece for children based on a collection of poems called "Dirty Beasts."

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3:31am

Tue February 18, 2014
Movies

Getting 'Dallas Buyers Club' Made Took Tenacity And 'Will'

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:03 am

Rayon (Jared Leto) and Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) are fellow AIDS patients smuggling alternative medications into the U.S. in Dallas Buyers Club, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.
Anne Marie Fox Courtesy of Focus Features

5:57pm

Mon February 17, 2014
Monkey See

The Beauty Of Spilling Your Sad Teenage Guts

I read Pam Ribon's Notes To Boys: And Other Things I Shouldn't Share In Public in a few sittings, but the longest stretch I consumed where one should ideally read this book: in a bubble bath. The calming atmosphere is good for the anxiety that comes from seeing a woman excavate her teenage brain, the vulnerability builds the empathy it takes to understand how terrified all these boys she was writing to must have felt, and if you get too mortified for her, you can always elect to go down the drain with the bathwater just to escape.

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4:43pm

Mon February 17, 2014
All Tech Considered

DIY Houses In The Internet Age: Some Assembly Required

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:19 am

Good things come in small packages. Lacy Williams, an architecture student, and her boyfriend, Patrick Beseda, built a WikiHouse to live in during a field project in Utah.
Patrick Beseda and Lacy Williams

If you can barely swing a hammer, you can still build your own home.

Builders at the Maker Faire in New York City proved this point last fall, with something akin to an old-fashioned barn-raising.

The event celebrates the do-it-yourself aesthetic, particularly when it comes to digital fabrication and open-source construction plans. Using wooden mallets cut from plywood, a crew of eight banged together the slotted frame of a WikiHouse without a single nail.

The result: a livable home.

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11:03am

Mon February 17, 2014
Book Reviews

Don't Know What To Do With Your Life? Neither Did Thoreau

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:59 pm

The works of Henry David Thoreau have influenced generations of readers, but Thoreau himself wasn't always celebrated. His schoolmates and neighbors found him standoffish and regarded his fascination with plants and Indian relics as downright odd.
AP

Every year, students come into my office and say, "I don't know what I want to do with my life." Of course, plenty of people in the world don't have the luxury of such cluelessness, but my students don't look like they're enjoying their privilege; they look scared and depressed, as though they've already failed some big test of character. They might find some comfort in Michael Sims' new biography of the young Henry David Thoreau called, simply, The Adventures of Henry Thoreau.

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7:03am

Mon February 17, 2014
Monkey See

Last Chance To Read 'Grapes Of Wrath' Before It Turns 75

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 4:43 pm

These Grapes of Wrath copies may look well-loved, but don't be fooled. A lot of us are opening them up for the first time.
Jim Tuttle NPR

John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl saga has been on required reading lists for decades, but somehow a lot of us at NPR Books have never read it. (We know! We know!) So when we realized the 75th anniversary was coming up on April 14, we thought: What better way to pay tribute to Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic than to actually crack it open?

That is to say: We're hosting a Grapes of Wrath book club and you're all invited to join.*

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7:03am

Mon February 17, 2014
My Guilty Pleasure

It's French, But Ooh, It's Pulpy: The Dark Adventures Of Fantômas

Fantômas begins as many a good tale begins: with listeners crowding around a fire. In this case, guests of the venerable Marquise surround a retired magistrate who, with relish, tells of the terror that is Fantômas. Fantômas, the criminal mastermind — I would love the book just for the mystery of the name, though in fact, the name isn't even his: it is given to him by rumor, or maybe the police. We know nothing of Fantômas: he is believed to take on the identity of others, sometimes famous others, sometimes several at once.

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5:18pm

Sun February 16, 2014
Television

Fumbling Through 'Fatherhood,' Even With The Best Advice

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:49 am

Fatherhood is Hank Azaria's new documentary series on the triumphs and challenges of becoming a dad.
AOL

Actor Hank Azaria wasn't sure he wanted to become a father.

"I am not a children kind of person," he says in the first episode of Fatherhood, his new AOL documentary series. "I feel about kids the way I feel about most people. Which is, most of them are annoying. Children are no exception — they're just annoying short people."

So Azaria set out to document his quest for parental wisdom, quizzing his friends, poker buddies and experts about why they chose to become parents.

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