Arts

The Salt
3:43 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Incredibly Shrinking Avocados: Why This Year's Fruit Are So Tiny

We found lots of avocados being sold six or 10 to a $1 bag in the San Francisco area. Some weighed less than 3 ounces.
Alastair Bland for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 12:40 pm

What's thick-skinned and leathery, about the size of an egg, essential for guacamole and sold eight for a dollar?

No, not limes. Hass avocados. This year, anyway. These pear-sized fruits usually weigh half a pound or more. In the summer of 2013, though, hundreds of thousands of trees in Southern California are sagging with the tiniest Hass avocados in local memory — some just the size of a golf ball.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:02 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

'Lawrence' Of Arabia: From Archaeologist To War Hero

T.E. Lawrence, shown here on Oct. 3, 1928, wore Arab clothing in an effort to be seen as trustworthy.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:52 pm

One of the most intriguing figures of 20th-century warfare is T.E. Lawrence, the British army officer who immersed himself in the culture of the Arabian Peninsula's Bedouin tribes and played a key role in the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks during World War I. He became a well-known and romanticized figure in post-war England, and was immortalized in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia.

Read more
The Salt
1:53 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Sandwich Monday: PB&J Fries

Peter failed to hitch this to the back of his motorcycle and bring it back to Chicago for us.
NPR

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 3:55 pm

Canadians have given us so much, from the BlackBerry, a kind of phone your parents' older friends used to use, to Leslie Hope, the lady who played Kiefer Sutherland's wife in Season 1 of 24. But perhaps towering above all is poutine, which translated from the Quebecois is "stuff poured onto french fries." Usually it's some variation of cheese, meat and gravy, but I was told that in Portland, Ore. (naturally), at a food truck (naturally), you can get peanut butter and jelly on fries. So I went, naturally.

Read more
Arts & Life
12:31 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Faith Ringgold: No 'Knock Down, Drag Out Black Woman Story'

The legendary artist began her career in 1963, the same year as the March on Washington. She talks to guest host Celeste Headlee about her life, work, and why no one originally wanted to hear her story.

The Two-Way
7:12 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Book News: John Hollander, Master Of Poetic Forms, Dies At 83

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

Read more
New In Paperback
7:03 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Aug. 19-25: Famous Encounters, Romance On The Nile And A Family Murder

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 2:24 pm

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

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Books
3:07 am
Mon August 19, 2013

For You To Borrow, Some Libraries Have To Go Begging

The Tyson Library in Ludlow, Vt., is required to support itself independently; public libraries in Vermont receive no state funding.
Neda Ulaby NPR

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:14 pm

More than 90 percent of Americans say public libraries are important to their communities, according to the Pew Research Center. But the way that love translates into actual financial support varies hugely from state to state.

Vermont, for instance, brags that it has more libraries per capita than any other U.S. state. Some of them are remarkably quaint. In Ludlow, one library is a white clapboard Victorian, slightly frayed, ringed by lilies and sitting by the side of a brook.

Read more
Afghanistan
3:03 am
Mon August 19, 2013

In Kabul, A Juggling Act That Offers Joy For Afghan Kids

Students at the Afghan Mobile Mini Circus for Children participate in the juggling parade on the streets of Kabul before Afghanistan's eighth annual national juggling championship last week.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 6:52 am

Morning traffic in Kabul can be punishing enough as it is. But on a recent day, there's an extra element clogging up the streets, a scene you don't see on a typical day in the Afghan capital.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:23 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

A Dystopian View Of America's 'Fallen' Suburbs

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:03 pm

The suburbs can be a creepy place. And they are at their creepiest in Patrick Flanery's new novel, Fallen Land. Set outside an unnamed American city, this dark and complex thriller plays out in a half-built subdivision where construction ground to a halt during the housing crisis.

Read more
Books News & Features
2:22 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

Fans Are Like Friends To 'Reigning Queen' Of Women's Fiction

Debbie Macomber's latest book is Rose Harbor in Bloom.
Deborah Feingold

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:12 pm

Go to your nearest paperback rack, and odds are, you'll see two or three, or four, or — well, a lot of books by Debbie Macomber, an author The Sacramento Bee has dubbed "the reigning queen of women's fiction."

Macomber has 170 million books in print; the newest, Rose Harbor in Bloom, has just been released. Her publisher, Random House, celebrated Macomber's selling power earlier this month with a fan retreat at the Gaylord Opryland resort in Nashville, where 400 women gathered for a weekend of tea, knitting and literary friendship.

Read more

Pages