Many of the key scenes in David McGlynn's striking new memoir, A Door in the Ocean, take place at the beach or in swimming pools. McGlynn was a surfer and competitive swimmer in his school days and still squeezes into his Speedos for races like the annual 5K "Gatorman" off the coast of La Jolla, Calif. Ocean swimming, in particular, transports McGlynn to another realm, and he does a terrific job of dramatizing the allure of solitary swims in open water. Midway through his book, he writes:
Kenneth Lonergan's critically acclaimed film Margaret was completed in 2006, but because of several lawsuits, it wasn't released until last year.
Called "nothing short of a masterwork" by The New Yorker, the film stars Anna Paquin as Lisa, a Manhattan teenager who tries to make sense of a bus accident she may have caused — one that resulted in a woman's death. Lonergan tells Terry Gross that he wrote the film because he was interested in how teenagers transition into an adult world.
Glen Duncan is the author of several other novels, including <em>The Last Werewolf</em>, to which <em>Talulla Rising</em> is a sequel.
Credit Courtesy of Knopf
Besides the glittery, brooding vampires (and its author's inability to, in Stephen King's withering opinion, "write worth a darn"), Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series is notable for its protagonist's lack of innate survival skills. Bella Swan is perpetually shielded from harm by stronger male characters. True, these studs have the benefit of being vampires and werewolves, but were all those years of bra burning for nothing? Couldn't Bella at least, you know, have taken a jiu-jitsu class?
Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 12:56 pm
Credit Susan Russo for NPR
Two years ago, cilantro haters were vindicated. The New York Times ran a story, Cilantro Haters, It's Not Your Fault, in which Harold McGee, respected food scientist and author, explained why cilantro really does taste like soap to many people. Turns out, some folks "may be genetically predisposed to dislike cilantro."
Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.
Bryan Cranston as Walter White on AMC's <em>Breaking Bad</em>.
Credit Gregory Peters / AMC
CAUTION: This piece contains information about the first four seasons of Breaking Bad, as well as about the finales of The Sopranos and The Wire.
On July 15, the latest "how will it end" game begins for TV viewers — this time drawn out over two years. I'm talking, of course, about the Season 5 premiere of Breaking Bad, a show firmly placed, along with The Wire and The Sopranos, on the "TV is damn good art" podium.
The human brain is a piece of meat, a few pounds of pale pink jello inside the skull. It's also the wondrous source of consciousness and creativity, the place from which our emotions and insights emerge.