Arts

1:00pm

Tue December 10, 2013
Book Reviews

Frustrating Heroine Stars In Fresh, Feminist 'Nightingale'

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 3:33 pm

iStockphoto

There's an unforgettable moment in the diary of the great Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz. He's on the beach and he spots a beetle that's been blown on its back by the wind and now lies there helplessly, legs wiggling, unable to right itself. Gombrowicz saves it by turning it over. He sees another upside-down beetle, and turns it over. Then, another. Looking along the sand, he realizes that there are so many beetles he can't possibly save them all. Eventually, he gives up trying.

Read more

10:45am

Tue December 10, 2013
Monkey See

This Christmas, Get The Kids Books (No Batteries Required)

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 2:35 pm

Whoever bought a dictionary for this baby did not consult NPR's Book Concierge.
iStockphoto

Hey there, befuddled aunts, uncles and family friends. Not sure what to get for all those nieces, nephews and offspring of other people? This year (for the first time!) we've included kids titles in our year-end best books roundup. Pay a visit to NPR's Book Concierge to see what our staff and critics recommend for kids and teens in 2013.

Read more

9:15am

Tue December 10, 2013
National Security

Surveillance Revelations Give Creative Writers Pause

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 12:11 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

For much of this year we've been hearing headlines effectively saying the government is spying on you. Spy agencies like the National Security Agency gather and store phone records, vacuum up emails by the billions, listen in on foreign leaders' telephone conversations and more. Now a nonprofit writers group, the PEN American Center, is exploring whether the fear of surveillance is affecting creative expression.

It's a question our colleague, David Greene, wanted to explore.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more

9:15am

Tue December 10, 2013
Arts & Life

Art Or Junk? Detroit's 'Heidelberg Project' Endures

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:51 am

An outdoor art installation in Detroit made from blighted homes and objects is stirring up controversy again. A rash of arsons in the past seven months have destroyed four of the Heidelberg Project's signature homes. But after nearly 30 decades of working on this project and facing resistance, artist Tyree Guyton is determined to make more art.

9:05am

Tue December 10, 2013
The Salt

Microbiome Candy: Could A Probiotic Mint Help Prevent Cavities?

A sweet way to avoid the dentist? Microbiologists are developing a probiotic mint that uses dead bacteria to fight off cavities.
Morgan Walker NPR

Eat candy and fight tooth decay. What a sweet concept, right?

Well, microbiologists in Berlin are trying to make that dream a reality.

They've created a sugarless mint that's aimed at washing out cavity-causing bacteria from your mouth. And the candy works in a curious way: It's spiked with dead bacteria. It's like probiotics for your teeth.

The experimental mint is still in the early days of development — and far from reaching the shelves at Walgreens.

Read more

7:39am

Tue December 10, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: 500 Authors Demand International Bill Of Digital Rights

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:34 am

Canadian author Margaret Atwood, pictured in 2009, is part of a group of writers lobbying the United Nations over digital rights.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

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

Read more

5:47pm

Mon December 9, 2013
Art & Design

Royal Gardener Planted The Seed Of Urban Planning At Versailles

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:45 am

Andre Le Notre pumped in water from the Seine River to create the Grand Canal at Chateau of Versailles.
Boris Horvat AFP/Getty Images

France's Chateau of Versailles has pulled out all the stops for one of its favorite sons, gardener Andre Le Notre, who designed the palace's famous gardens. This year, to mark the 400th anniversary of Le Notre's birth, several of the garden's fountains are being restored and the chateau is hosting an exhibit on his life through February 2014.

Experts say Le Notre's work was so groundbreaking, it continues to influence contemporary urban architecture.

'The Interlocutor Of Kings'

Read more

5:15pm

Mon December 9, 2013
Monkey See

Dear Zack Snyder, Regarding Wonder Woman

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 2:53 pm

Former Miss Israel and Fast & Furious actor Gal Gadot has been cast as Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

TO: Zack Snyder, Big Time Hot Shot Hollywood Director
FROM: Glen Weldon, Nerd
IN RE: Wonder Woman

Dear Zack Snyder:

I see you've cast The Fast and the Furious' Gal Gadot as Diana of the Amazons, aka Wonder Woman.

I see, also, that the Internet has reacted as it can be counted upon to do, when such casting announcements occur. Namely, with fulsome, fulminating nerd rage.

I am here to tell you, Zack Snyder: Keep your head down. Ignore it. Make your movie.

Read more

3:28pm

Mon December 9, 2013
Monkey See

When 'Hit List' Got Another Shot At An Audience

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 5:19 pm

Jeremy Jordan, who anchored one of Smash's storylines in Season 2, returned to the material at New York's 54 Below for a concert version of the musical his songwriter character was writing on the NBC show.
Cindy Ord Getty Images for 54 Below

For most of its two-year run on NBC, the series Smash was pretty much a hot mess. Ostensibly about the creation of Broadway musicals, it only tangentially resembled the real thing. And its plots and characters got soapier and soapier as the show went on.

Read more

1:38pm

Mon December 9, 2013
Author Interviews

Delia Ephron On The Closeness And Complexity Of Sisterhood

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 4:56 pm

Delia Ephron is a novelist and playwright. Her essays have been published in The New York Times, O, Vogue and the Huffington Post. Her older sister, writer Nora Ephron, died in June 2012.
Elena Seibert Penguin Group

In the opening chapter of her latest book, novelist Delia Ephron writes that losing her older sister, writer Nora Ephron, was like "losing an arm, it's that deranging." Nora, who wrote When Harry Met Sally, died of acute myeloid leukemia in June 2012. Delia and Nora were writing partners; they co-wrote the movies You've Got Mail and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants as well as the off-Broadway hit Love, Loss and What I Wore. Delia was an assistant producer on Nora's film Sleepless in Seattle.

Read more

Pages