Wed June 12, 2013
Author Interviews

With Space-Bound Hubbies, 'Astrowives' Became 'First Reality Stars'

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:53 am

Annie Glenn, Rene Carpenter, Louise Shepard, Betty Grissom, Trudy Cooper and Marjorie Slayton attend a luncheon held in their honor by the American Newspaper Women's Club on April 27, 1962, in Washington, D.C. Mercury Seven wife Josephine Schirra is not pictured.
Harvey Georges AP

In the late 1950s, after the Soviet Union successfully put their satellite, Sputnik 1, into orbit, American fears over the Communist threat reached a new height. The U.S. was trailing badly in a competition that would come to define the next decade – the race to space.

So on April 9, 1959, the U.S. kicked off its own space age by introducing the country to its first astronauts, known as the Mercury Seven. Their story is well known, but the story of their wives is often overlooked.

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Wed June 12, 2013
Kitchen Window

Kitchen Window: A Guide to Grilling Beyond 'Dude Food'

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 1:40 pm

Peter Ogburn for NPR

I have vivid memories of my mom going out of town one weekend and my dad feeding me fried bologna sandwiches for three nights in a row. He didn't make the sandwiches because I liked them; he made them because he can't cook. He can't get around a kitchen. He doesn't know how to chop an onion. He has no idea how to roast a chicken. But the man can grill.

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Tue June 11, 2013
Monkey See

What Kids Are Reading, In School And Out

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 7:11 pm

Walk into any bookstore or library, and you'll find shelves and shelves of hugely popular novels and book series for kids. But research shows that as young readers get older, they are not moving to more complex books. High-schoolers are reading books written for younger kids, and teachers aren't assigning difficult classics as much as they once did.

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Tue June 11, 2013
Movie Interviews

Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg: Friends Til 'The End'

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 5:16 pm

James Franco (from left), Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and Danny McBride all play versions of themselves in the post-apocalyptic comedy This Is the End, written by Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg.
Suzanne Hanover Columbia Pictures

In This Is the End, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride and Jay Baruchel — all playing themselves — are at a party at Franco's L.A. home when an earthquake hits.

At least, they think it's an earthquake. Turns out it's the Rapture — the End of Days, as foretold in the Book of Revelation, has arrived.

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Tue June 11, 2013
Monkey See

Theater Of The Absurd: Have Audiences Lost Their Manners?

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 9:58 am

Scott Griessel - Creatista

If you woke up this morning thinking, "I really need to hear NPR's Linda Wertheimer say the words 'noisily unwrapping her Twizzlers,'" have I got good news for you.

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Tue June 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: Sales Of Orwell's '1984' Spike After NSA Revelations

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 7:17 am

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

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Tue June 11, 2013
Book Reviews

'Taipei' Is Lifelike — But That's Not Necessarily A Compliment

Igor Stevanovic

The novelist Tao Lin, because he is young, narcissistic and computer literate, gets the "voice of Generation Y" treatment a lot. It's a safe way of pinning down the uncontainable paradox that is Tao Lin: On the one hand, he's meek, cripplingly shy and unusually talented. But on the other, he can be remarkably alienating.

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Tue June 11, 2013
NPR Story

School's Out: 5 Great Summer Reads For Teens

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 11:48 am

Andrew Bannecker

I'm surrounded here at NPR Books by people with sophisticated, grown-up tastes — happy to dive into the latest Claire Messud or Daniel Alarcon or James Salter. Meanwhile, give me — any day — a book about teenagers (and preferably dragons). A good YA novel is a polished gem of solid storytelling, but more than that, it draws us back in time to the teenagers we once were — or never were, or wanted desperately to be.

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Tue June 11, 2013

Disruptive Broadway Audiences Master Stage Whisper



There have been several incidents, even fights, during recent New York theater performances. An argument over a woman nosily unwrapping her Twizzlers, a man throwing a Web-browsing woman's cell phone across the theater. What is going on? Are audiences less well mannered today?

We sent NPR's Margot Adler to find out.

MARGOT ADLER, BYLINE: I'm standing around the TKTS line on Broadway, where tourists and New Yorkers line up for lower priced tickets. Are audiences increasingly boorish?

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Tue June 11, 2013

Post Recession, Architects Return To The Drawing Board

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 5:39 am

While some jobs are coming back in this economy, the market for many architects remains tough. There were nearly 220,000 people working in the field in 2008. Today, more than 25 percent of those jobs are gone.