In his new novel, Sycamore Row, John Grisham returns to a character close to his heart: Jake Brigance. Grisham introduced Jake to readers in his first novel, A Time to Kill — an adaptation of which is opening soon on Broadway.
Grisham insists that he didn't plan for his first new Jake Brigance book to come out at the same time as the play. "You know it makes us look real smart," he says. "There is no way, if we had planned, that it would ever happen. It is completely coincidental."
Alan Greenspan was celebrated as a master of monetary policy during his long chairmanship of the Federal Reserve, from 1987 to 2006. But policies put in place during Greenspan's tenure have been blamed by some for the financial crisis that began shortly after he left, and the so-called Great Recession.
If you tear open a packet of M&M's, what's the first thing you notice?
The colors: bright blue, vibrant orange, bold yellow. Kids love this visual stimulation.
But the sponsors of a new petition on Change.org — which is urging M&M-maker Mars to replace the artificial colorings used to create these distinctive hues — say these dyes can make some kids hyperactive.
"In this petition, I'm asking Mars to change to natural colorings," mom Renee Shutters told me by phone. "It's very doable."
Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 3:40 pm
Other than a single shouted expletive toward the end of All Is Lost, the only words we hear from its central character — a sailor adrift alone on the Indian Ocean — come right at the beginning, in a note of apology to unknown recipients for unspecified sins.
Benedict Cumberbatch (left), sporting the white-blond mop of the real Julian Assange, and Daniel Bruhl, who plays Daniel Domscheit-Berg, take on the story of WikiLeaks in <em>The Fifth Estate.</em>
Credit Frank Connor / DreamWorks II
The film's core narrative is driven by the intense relationship between Assange and Domscheit-Berg, but it also ventures into a subplot involving U.S. officials (Laura Linney and Stanley Tucci) dealing with the consequences of WikiLeaks' disruptive data dumps.
The saga of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks is too large a data dump for a two-hour drama. Yet director Bill Condon seeks to complicate as well as simplify in The Fifth Estate, an entertaining if inevitably unreliable current events romp.
The opening credits present a pocket history of textual communication, from cuneiform to the Internet. Condon, who took a similarly breathless approach with Kinsey, is announcing that his subject is nothing less than how the Web transformed communication.
<strong>Hold Your Horses:</strong> The main flavor of a sour beer is tartness, like a strawberry or lemon. But many sours also have a "funky" taste that some say smells like a horse blanket or a barnyard.
Credit Morgan Walker / NPR
Do you think you can handle the sour side of beer?
Credit Courtesy of The Bruery
Most sour beers are moved to oak barrels for aging, which can be a messy business. Now how would Homer Simpson handle this situation?
Credit Courtesy of The Rare Barrel
<strong>A Bar Graph:</strong> In essence, the flavors of sour beers sit in the intersection of those found in wine, beer and cider.
Tim Gunn is the best reason to watch Project Runway, always. Gentle and supportive, dismayed and concerned, he's the uncle, stylist, and influential teacher you never had.
And so, with nothing but love, as the season comes to an end Thursday night, we present a parade of our favorite Tim Gunn faces, together with our magic mind-reading technology that has discerned exactly what he was thinking. It's foolproof, you see.
Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor play Patsey and Solomon, two slaves on a Louisiana plantation, in <em>12 Years a Slave</em><em>.</em>
Credit Francois Duhamel / Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director Steve McQueen (left) works with actors on the set of <em>12 Years A Slave</em>. The film was shot on a Louisiana plantation that sits next door to where Solomon Northup spent his years as a slave.
Solomon Northup was born free in early-19th-century upstate New York. He lived the life of a respected and elegant musician until 1841, when he was lured South by the promise of a lucrative stint playing his fiddle in a traveling circus.
In Washington, D.C. — in the shadow of the Capitol — Northup was drugged. When he came to, he was in chains: a slave headed for the hellish world of plantation life. Only the hope of being reunited with his beloved wife and children kept him going.
Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 3:36 pm
On Tuesday night, finalists for the National Book Awards read from their nominated works at The New School in New York City. The National Book Foundation will announce the winners Wednesday night.
Get to know the books on the shortlist — for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature — using NPR's reviews and author interviews. Click the "Listen" links in the write-ups below to hear the authors read from their works.