Wed February 5, 2014
Arts & Life

Tim Gunn: On And Off The Runway, 'Life Is A Big Collaboration'

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 5:19 pm

"The term 'vegan leather' makes me think that you peeled a carrot and took the skin and made a jacket out of it," says Tim Gunn, pictured above at the Under the Gunn finale fashion show.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

"Make it work," fashion guru Tim Gunn tells young designers on Project Runway. But life hasn't always "worked" for Gunn. "I can't even recite the number of schools I went to as a kid because I was constantly running away from them," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's so ironic that I would become a career educator because I hated school so profoundly. It wasn't the learning experience that I hated. I hated the social aspects."

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Wed February 5, 2014
Book Reviews

Triumph Of The Bookworms: Two Novels To Cure Your Winter Blues

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 5:19 pm

In the opening paragraph of Moby-Dick, Ishmael tells us he takes to sea whenever he feels the onset of "a damp, drizzly November in [his] soul." I know how he feels. Whenever the frigid funk of February settles in, I, too, yearn to get out of town. This year I have, thanks to two exquisite vehicles of escape fiction. Both Rachel Pastan's Alena and Katherine Pancol's The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles are smart entertainments perfect for curling up with on a winter's night.

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Wed February 5, 2014
Monkey See

What Are Indie Booksellers Like At Parties?

Stacks of books on a store table.

Martha Woodroof has been writing about the First Novel Experience. For this post, she reports on her travels to the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute in January.

The American Booksellers Association Winter Institute was billed as providing independent booksellers with a chance to get together " vibrant Seattle for three-plus days of networking, special events, and professional development."

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Wed February 5, 2014
The Salt

Electronic Tongues Are The Beer Snobs Of The Future

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:01 pm

Personally, we're most looking forward to having robot drinking buddies.
Bongo Entertainment Inc.

If beer is the new wine, robots are the new beer snobs. Well, sort of.

Researchers in Barcelona have developed an electronic tongue that really knows the difference between a pilsner and a bock.

For now, it looks less like a slick, futuristic robot and more like a big of clump sensors. It's still a prototype, but its creators say it could some day replace human taste testers.

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Wed February 5, 2014
The Two-Way

Book News: Charlie Chaplin's Only Known Novel Is Unveiled

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 12:43 pm

Actor Charlie Chaplin (right) is seen in the 1952 film Limelight with his son Charles Chaplin Jr.

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

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Wed February 5, 2014
Around the Nation

100 Years Ago, Writer William S. Burroughs Was Born

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 7:19 am



William S. Burroughs was born 100 years ago today. His books included "Naked Lunch." He was a member of the Beat Generation, writers who rose to prominence in the 1950s for the most part and had a huge influence questioning society's standards and traditions. Burroughs was openly gay and wrestled with heroin addiction much of his life.

He lived all over the world, but spent his last years in Lawrence, Kansas where we go next. Frank Morris of member station KCUR reports on his odd but enduring place in a Midwestern city.

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Wed February 5, 2014
The Edge

An Olympic Preview, From The Canon Of Russian Literature

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 11:45 am

The Krasnaya Polyana mountain range, viewed from the Olympic host city of Sochi, shows off the stunning landscape of southern Russia.
Richard Heathcote Getty Images

It is fitting that the Winter Olympics, one of the world's fiercest competitions, is taking place amid the breathtaking beauty of the Caucasus.

For centuries, Russia's greatest writers have been inspired by this volatile region full of not only immense natural beauty but also human misery. No matter how or why these writers came to the area, they found a land full of possibility and pain, rich in beauty, yet rife with violence: in short, a concentrated microcosm of the contradictions of life itself.

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Wed February 5, 2014

An Oscar Nominee, But Unwelcome At Home In Cairo

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:47 pm

Khalid Abdalla, an activist and actor (The Kite Runner, Green Zone and United 93), and Ahmed Hassan protest in Jehane Noujaim's Oscar-nominated documentary, The Square.

On a cool Cairo evening, the cast and crew of The Square put on an informal screening of the film for their friends. Many of them are in the documentary, which chronicles three years of political unrest and revolution centered on this city's now-iconic Tahrir Square; all of them experienced some part of the events that unfolded there.

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Wed February 5, 2014
Kitchen Window

A Meal To Honor Early African-American Cookbook Authors

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 11:24 am

David Betts/Metropolitan Photography

The earliest African-American cookbook authors brought me back to a food career I thought I had left behind. Years ago, I was a pastry chef, but I changed course and went to graduate school for a doctorate in American history. Lately, I've been drawn back into the food world thanks to these authors and their determined pursuit of independence and equality through their cooking and writing.

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Tue February 4, 2014
Book Reviews

A Widow's Quiet Life Leaves Room For Sex, Guns And Literature

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:00 pm


As of last week, what I knew about Beirut could fit in a sandwich bag. What I knew about being a blue-haired, 72-year-old woman, never mind a widow and a shut-in, was a whole lot less. Now, one week later, I'm much more informed, and I'm happy to encourage you to become so, too.

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