Arts

Monkey See
7:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Last Chance To Read 'Grapes Of Wrath' Before It Turns 75

These Grapes of Wrath copies may look well-loved, but don't be fooled. A lot of us are opening them up for the first time.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 4:43 pm

John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl saga has been on required reading lists for decades, but somehow a lot of us at NPR Books have never read it. (We know! We know!) So when we realized the 75th anniversary was coming up on April 14, we thought: What better way to pay tribute to Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic than to actually crack it open?

That is to say: We're hosting a Grapes of Wrath book club and you're all invited to join.*

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My Guilty Pleasure
7:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

It's French, But Ooh, It's Pulpy: The Dark Adventures Of Fantômas

Fantômas begins as many a good tale begins: with listeners crowding around a fire. In this case, guests of the venerable Marquise surround a retired magistrate who, with relish, tells of the terror that is Fantômas. Fantômas, the criminal mastermind — I would love the book just for the mystery of the name, though in fact, the name isn't even his: it is given to him by rumor, or maybe the police. We know nothing of Fantômas: he is believed to take on the identity of others, sometimes famous others, sometimes several at once.

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My Big Break
5:18 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Mike Rowe's Own Dirty Job: Selling Knick-Knacks Overnight

Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs was canceled in 2012. He now runs the mikeroweWORKS Foundation.
Courtesy of Mike Rowe

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:49 am

As part of a new series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click and people leap forward into their careers.

Before Mike Rowe was the host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel, he was selling knick-knacks on the QVC cable network in the middle of the night. He got the job after winning a bet in a Baltimore bar.

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Strange News
5:18 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Vikings Of The World, Unite In Battle: The Apocalypse Is Upon Us

Warriors battle at the 2012 JORVIK Viking Festival. This year promises to be even fiercer, with the apocalypse looming.
Allan Harris Flickr.com

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 7:12 pm

Steel your nerves, dear reader. Ragnarok, the Viking apocalypse, draws near.

According to Norse mythology, the end of times has been brewing for about 100 days. It all started when the wolf son of Loki broke out of prison and the giant Midgard Serpent rose from the sea.

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Television
5:18 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Fumbling Through 'Fatherhood,' Even With The Best Advice

Fatherhood is Hank Azaria's new documentary series on the triumphs and challenges of becoming a dad.
AOL

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:49 am

Actor Hank Azaria wasn't sure he wanted to become a father.

"I am not a children kind of person," he says in the first episode of Fatherhood, his new AOL documentary series. "I feel about kids the way I feel about most people. Which is, most of them are annoying. Children are no exception — they're just annoying short people."

So Azaria set out to document his quest for parental wisdom, quizzing his friends, poker buddies and experts about why they chose to become parents.

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Sunday Puzzle
8:15 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Get Ready To Flip Your Lid

NPR

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 11:44 am

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "One, Two, Three — Flip!" The answer will come in the form of two words, and for each word you'll get a clue beforehand. Reverse the order of the first three letters of the first word to get the second word. Example: Cavalry sword and more villainous = SABER, BASER.

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Movie Interviews
8:10 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Disney's First Crop Of Trained Animators, Profiled

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 11:44 am

The first generation of animators to attend Walt Disney's California Institute of the Arts in the 1970s is profiled in Vanity Fair magazine. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Nancy Beiman, who was part of that first class.

Movies
5:28 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Martin Scorsese Takes Poland's Communist-Era Art Films On The Road

The hero of Andrzej Wajda's Ashes And Diamonds is torn between fighting Poland's post-World War II communist regime and returning to a normal, peaceful life.
Courtesy of Milestone Film

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 11:44 am

Martin Scorsese fell in love with Polish movies when he was in college.

"The images have stayed in my head for so many years, since the late '50s," he says. "I close my eyes, I see them, especially from Ashes And Diamonds, from The Saragossa Manuscript. They're very vivid, expressive, immediate."

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NPR Story
5:00 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

The Secret Operation To Bring Nazi Scientists To America

Adolf Hitler salutes to a crowd of soldiers at a Nazi rally in 1938. Years later, in the final months of World War II, the United States undertook an enormous effort to attract Nazi scientists.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 9:18 pm

In the fall of 1944, the United States and its allies launched a secret mission code-named Operation Paperclip. The aim was to find and preserve German weapons, including biological and chemical agents, but American scientific intelligence officers quickly realized the weapons themselves were not enough.

They decided the United States needed to bring the Nazi scientists themselves to the U.S. Thus began a mission to recruit top Nazi doctors, physicists and chemists — including Wernher von Braun, who went on to design the rockets that took man to the moon.

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Three Books...
3:43 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Muses And More: 3 Books We Owe To Writers' Lovers

Many writers used their romantic partners as inspiration for characters and plot lines: Tolstoy's courtship of his wife, Sophia, became the model for Levin's wooing of Kitty in Anna Karenina, while Gustave Flaubert shamelessly infused intimate details about his mistress into the titular Madame Bovary. But some scribes owe much more to their significant others. These career-defining books might never have graced our shelves if it weren't for writers' strong-willed other halves.

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