Arts

The Salt
9:46 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Soba: More Than Just Noodles, It's A Cultural Heritage ... And An Art Form

Genuine soba noodles are difficult to find in the U.S.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 12:10 pm

Traditional Japanese cuisine, known as washoku, is now an intangible cultural heritage, according to the United Nations.

Tofu, mochi and miso are a few examples, but it's the buckwheat noodle, or soba, that many consider the humble jewel of Japanese cuisine. It's not easy to find in the U.S., but one Los Angeles woman is helping preserve the craft of making soba.

In a cooking classroom off a busy street in L.A., Sonoko Sakai is teaching about the simplicity of making buckwheat noodles.

"Basically, soba is only two things: flour and water," Sakai explains.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Book News: Billy Collins' Papers Sold To The University Of Texas

Poet Billy Collins is pictured in February 2013 in New York City.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

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

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Book Reviews
7:02 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Here, Kitty, Kitty: Even Dog Lovers Should Read 'The Guest Cat'

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:06 am

The best novels are often the ones that change us. They speak to a void, sometimes quietly, other times loudly from the proverbial rooftop. When done right, they bring to the surface important questions and compel us to look inward. Over time, they stay with us — like small miracles.

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First Reads
7:02 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Exclusive First Read (And Listen!): B.J. Novak's 'One More Thing'

B.J. Novak is a writer and actor best known for his work on NBC's Emmy Award-winning comedy series The Office. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is his first collection.
Jennifer Rocholl

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 12:23 pm

You may recognize the name B.J. Novak from the credit sequence of The Office — he was a writer and executive producer. He also played the entertainingly amoral Ryan Howard. Now, Novak is expanding his scope beyond the walls of Dunder Mifflin and taking on a range of human experience in this quirky new story collection, which ranges from linked vignettes to two-line miniplays about carrot cake.

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Author Interviews
5:37 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

For World Superpowers, The Negotiating Table Often Had A Net

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 7:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

In the spring of 1971, two global antagonists found a diplomatic opening through an unlikely source, the game of ping-pong.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NEWSCASTS)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Good evening. The bamboo curtain has been cracked by a ping-pong ball.

MIKE WALLACE: China lifted the bamboo curtain today, long enough to let in 15 American ping-pong players.

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Book Reviews
5:37 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Book Review: 'Starting Over,' By Elizabeth Spencer

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 7:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Mississippi-born novelist and storywriter Elizabeth Spencer turned 92 last summer. Best known for her novella turned musical drama "The Light in the Piazza," Spencer has just published her 15th work of fiction. It's a collection of stories set in the South called "Starting Over." And we have a review from Alan Cheuse.

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Movie Interviews
5:37 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

'The Hunt' Turns 'Enormous Love' To Fear, Hate

Mads Mikkelsen plays Lucas, a schoolteacher accused of sexual abuse, in Thomas Vinterberg's latest film, The Hunt.
Magnolia

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 7:44 pm

Nominations are in for this year's Academy Awards, and among those up for Best Foreign Language film is The Hunt. It's the latest from Danish director Thomas Vinterberg, who made his reputation in 1998 with The Celebration, which won the Jury Prize at Cannes and went on to become an international success. Both that film and this more recent one depict the aftermath of allegations of sexual abuse.

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Author Interviews
12:02 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

The Politics Of Passing 1964's Civil Rights Act

Demonstrators march down Constitution Avenue during the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 6:35 pm

Martin Luther King may not have had a vote in Congress, but he and the movement he helped lead were integral to getting the civil rights bill introduced. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of that bill, now known as the Civil Rights Act.

Among other things, the act outlawed discrimination in public accommodations — including restaurants, hotels and motels — ending the era of legal segregation in those places.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Book News: Amazon Wants To Ship Products Before You Even Buy Them

An employee prepares an order at Amazon's fulfillment center in San Bernardino, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 1:34 pm

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

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New In Paperback
7:02 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Jan. 19-25: A Twitter Star, An Infamous Murder And Arab World Intimacy

Jeffrey MacDonald before a hearing on July 7, 1970, on the murder charges against him. Errol Morris' book suggests that, despite his conviction, MacDonald was not guilty.
AP

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

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