Arts

Author Interviews
3:22 pm
Sun July 14, 2013

Racing Hearts, Fluttering Wings: American 'Butterfly People'

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 6:54 pm

During the mid-19th century, an unexpected craze swept America: butterfly collecting. Eager to move on from the Civil War and driven by Europe's long-standing fascination with the insect, the movement captured the interest of Americans from all ages and walks of life.

In an extensive book, Butterfly People: An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World, William Leach documents this butterfly phenomenon — from its founders and followers, to its eventual fall.

Read more
Author Interviews
8:49 am
Sun July 14, 2013

'This Town' Takes Aim At The Washington Establishment

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 12:12 pm

Washington, D.C. gets a bad rap: politicians love to run against it, voters love to complain about it — but New York Times Magazine correspondent Mark Leibovich says he's actually an optimist about our nation's capital.

Leibovich's new book is This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral — plus plenty of valet parking! — In America's Gilded Capital. It's a lively account of the sometimes incestuous mix of media and politics in D.C., and unlike many books about politics, it doesn't have an index.

Read more
Author Interviews
8:04 am
Sun July 14, 2013

'Zealot' Tells The Story Of Jesus The Man, Not The Messiah

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 12:57 pm

When religious scholar Reza Aslan was 15, he went to an evangelical Christian camp. For the first time, he heard the gospel story — the story of Jesus. It was a profound experience for him, and he immediately converted. But later, when Aslan went to college and began working toward a degree in the New Testament, he found he had doubts.

Read more
Sunday Puzzle
8:04 am
Sun July 14, 2013

A Geography Quiz With A Spelling Twist

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 1:59 pm

On-air challenge: You're given a series of clues, and every answer is the name of a U.S. state capital.

Last week's challenge: Rearrange the letters of INDIA and BELARUS to name two other countries. What are they?

Answer: Sudan, Liberia

Winner: Eddy Chandler of Piedmont, Calif.

Read more
My Guilty Pleasure
7:03 am
Sun July 14, 2013

When In Rome, Solve A Mystery

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 6:29 pm

Karin Slaughter's latest thriller is called Unseen.

Read more
Books News & Features
6:00 am
Sun July 14, 2013

An Ancient Parchment Refuses To Give Up Its Secrets

William Friedman, who helped create the NSA and became its first chief cryptologist, declared the Voynich Manuscript impossible to translate. He thought it was an early example of a made-up language.
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 1:47 pm

It reads like a Dan Brown novel: An indecipherable, cryptic medieval text, shrouded in mystery, filled with entrancing images, disappears for hundreds of years and then suddenly resurfaces at an Italian castle.

Read more
Arts & Life
3:58 am
Sun July 14, 2013

These Stormtroopers' Galactic Mission: Comic-Con

Sam Newcomer, a member of the Southern California Garrison of the 501st Legion, marches as Darth Vader leading his Stormtroopers in the Rosemead Fourth of July parade.
Courtesy of Mark Edwards

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 12:12 pm

A short time ago, in a garage not so far away, Steve Leahy was having a problem with his armor. A tiny piece of plastic, maybe just a few millimeters wide, stuck out from the shin guard.

"I know it's a minor detail, and while you're wearing it, someone may never notice," Leahy says. "But I know it's there and I know it shouldn't be, so we like to put the effort in to make it as perfect as possible."

Read more
The Salt
3:02 am
Sun July 14, 2013

Homemade Bitters Put The Local Bite Back Into Cocktails

Homemade bitters with medicinal herbs and roots at the Black Trumpet Bistro in Portsmouth, N.H.
Emily Corwin New Hampshire Public Radio

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 12:41 pm

Evan Mallett is hovering over some plants in a Victorian-era greenhouse in Portsmouth, N.H.

Mallett, a chef at the Black Trumpet Bistro, is collecting medicinal herbs, which he infuses in alcohol to make his own bitters, a bittersweet alcoholic concentrate used to flavor cocktails.

Mallett says he often forages in the woods for ingredients like wild chamomile, dock and burdock root for his bitters, too.

The "homemade bitters" trend is relatively new.

Read more
Arts & Life
5:56 pm
Sat July 13, 2013

'Slightly Altered' Past: A Comedy Cocktail From Derek Waters

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 6:39 pm

Read more
Author Interviews
5:16 pm
Sat July 13, 2013

Searching For Clues In A Dangerous Nairobi

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 6:39 pm

In a new work of crime fiction from author Mukoma Wa Ngugi you still have the detective and his buddy, the mysterious body that turns up at the outset, and the crazy bar where the cops and criminals hang out together. Only this time, we're not in Scandinavia, or South Florida or on Mystic River. We're in a Nairobi beset with political violence, hotel bombings and ethnic warfare.

Read more

Pages