Arts

12:03pm

Wed July 25, 2012
Books

Exclusive First Read: 'The Pigeon Pie Mystery'

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 2:38 pm

  • Hear Chapter Five Of 'The Pigeon Pie Mystery'

The year is 1898. Our heroine, Princess Alexandrina, better known as Mink, is the suddenly penniless daughter of the late, disgraced Maharajah of Prindur, and the best female marksman in England. Queen Victoria has offered Mink a grace-and-favor house (rent-free lodging granted by a monarch) at Hampton Court Palace, where the dispossessed princess and her large-footed serving maid, Pooki, fall in with a cast of classic English eccentrics, a wandering American, and a beetle-eating hedgehog named Victoria.

Read more

11:49am

Wed July 25, 2012
Remembrances

Hemsley Remembered As Obnoxious, Beloved Jefferson

Actor Sherman Hemsley was best known for his role as George Jefferson on the hit sitcom The Jeffersons. He died Wednesday at the age of 74. Host Michel Martin speaks with Tampa Bay Times media critic Eric Deggans about the actor's career and the impact his roles had on TV and in our culture.

7:03am

Wed July 25, 2012
New In Paperback

New In Paperback July 23-29

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 6:21 pm

Demon Fish cover.

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Stephen King, Ali Smith, Charles C. Mann Juliet Eilperin and Paul Hendrickson.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

7:03am

Wed July 25, 2012
Book Reviews

Sinclair Rejects Olympic Excess In 'Ghost Milk'

The London landscape is changing, to its historical detriment, says Iain Sinclair, in the ramp-up to the 2012 Olympic Games.
Mie Ahmt iStockphoto.com

For every successful Olympic Games, such as Sydney's in 2000, there are twice as many failures. Montreal famously declared that the 1976 Olympics would pay for themselves; instead the city needed forty years to square its debt, and meanwhile the Expos left town. Beijing's Bird's Nest is crumbling; the hotels far from downtown are vacant. And in debt-wracked Athens, whose lavish Games went ten times over budget, farmers graze their pigs in the abandoned weightlifting stadium.

Read more

1:19am

Wed July 25, 2012
Kitchen Window

You Can Never Have Too Many Blackberries

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:28 am

Deena Prichep for NPR

When I first moved to the Pacific Northwest, I was amazed at how many people had the same landscaping complaint. "I spent all weekend cutting down the blackberries," some co-worker would groan on Monday morning, looking for sympathy for the lost hours and aching back. However, as someone who didn't grow up in such Edenic surroundings, I was totally dumbfounded. Cutting back blackberries? Why would you cut back blackberries? Don't they, you know, give you blackberries?

Read more

5:44pm

Tue July 24, 2012
Monkey See

Best YA Fiction Poll: You Asked, We Answer!

iStockphoto.com

Our Best YA Fiction poll has only been live for a few hours, and already the cries of outrage are echoing through the intertubes! Where are A Wrinkle in Time, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Ender's Game? What about Watership Down? My Side of the Mountain? Where the Red Fern Grows? Most of Judy Blume's oeuvre? The Little House books?

We hear you, I promise.

Read more

5:03pm

Tue July 24, 2012
Movie Reviews

In A Make-Your-Own-Girl Fable, A Real Woman Emerges

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 5:57 pm

Ruby (Zoe Kazan) comes to life when Calvin (Paul Dano) begins writing her into existence on his typewriter in Ruby Sparks. Kazan also wrote the new romantic comedy from the directors of Little Miss Sunshine.
Merrick Morton Fox Searchlight Pictures

There's a fine line between satire and the nasty snigger that marks so much of pop comedy these days — which is another way of saying that the corrosively funny takedown of child beauty pageants in the 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine moved me to forgive (by a hair) its creepiest creation — Alan Arkin's heroin-addicted grandpa. Still, I wonder whether my 14-year-old, who has roared her way through that movie at least a dozen times, can tell the difference between sharp commentary and the juvie desire to shock.

Read more

5:03pm

Tue July 24, 2012
Movie Reviews

Two Singular People, Taking Life Hand In Hand

Young-chan lost his sight and hearing as a child, though after he learned to speak. His wife, Soon-ho, cares for him, and the intimacy between them is the most striking part of Planet of Snail.
Cinema Guild

The obvious way to approach South Korean director Seung-jun Yi's modest but potent documentary Planet of Snail is to think of it as a story about a disabled man making his way through the world with the help of his companion. But more simply and more accurately, it's really a movie about marriage — about the way two people can smooth over each other's cracks to achieve an imperfect yet sturdy wholeness.

Read more

2:04pm

Tue July 24, 2012
Author Interviews

'The Twilight War' Between The U.S. And Iran

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 3:54 pm

David Crist's father, George (left), discusses operations against Iranian attack boats with Navy Lt. Paul Hillenbrand. George Crist, a Marine Corps general, was commander of CENTCOM from 1985-1988.
Courtesy of David Crist

In The Twilight War, government historian David Crist outlines the secret history of America's 30-year conflict with Iran. The book, based on interviews with hundreds of officials as well as classified military archives, details how the covert war has spanned five American presidential terms and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations into open warfare.

Crist tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that there have been several incidents that have almost resulted in battle over the past 30 years.

Read more

1:34pm

Tue July 24, 2012
The Picture Show

The Colorful Days Of Life On The Border

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 3:28 pm

Bruce Berman

Editor's note: This is another one of those stories that came to me fortuitously by email. Bruce Berman teaches photography in Las Cruces, N.M., and, like many photography instructors, he has a huge archive of his own. This is just a small selection of his color photographs documenting life in the border town of El Paso, Texas.

Read more

Pages