Arts & Life

Book Reviews
6:18 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

'Before I Burn' Uses Autobiography To Tell A Crime Story

Burning House
John Rich iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 7:14 am

My favorite crime novels always combine more than one genre. Like a detective mystery that's really psychological. Or a police captain who happens to be a gourmet. Honestly, most travel books don't even get going until a body or two is discovered.

In the case of Before I Burn by Gaute Heivoll, the mashup is suspense meets memoir. It sounds a little gimmicky, but I promise it's absolutely not. Instead we have a semi-autobiographical novel that's poetic, gripping and at times even profound.

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Art & Design
6:18 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Tiny Museum Preserves Proof Of Creators' Crazy Stories

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Other exhibits on display at the Museum include "Silicon Body Part Piercing Displays," "Cambodian Menu Photo Rejects" and "New York City Tip Jars."
Naho Kubota for Mmuseumm

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 7:38 pm

Imagine a museum that's only 6 square feet. It's called, simply, Museum and it's housed in an old elevator shaft in an alley near New York City's courts. It has some odd exhibits on 18 small shelves, and only about four people can fit into the space at a time.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

In 'Open Grave,' Plenty Of Open Questions

Josie Ho plays a character called Brown Eyes, who's the only one with any memory of what has transpired — but who can't communicate with the others.
Vermes Kata Tribeca Film

It's never a good sign when a character in a mystery has to give a speech at the end explaining exactly what's just happened. You know, just in case the story itself didn't actually manage to make it clear.

Sure, Hitchcock gets away with it at the end of Psycho, but only because the whodunit portion of that movie isn't the thing that makes it so great. Also, he's Alfred Hitchcock; the masters can get away with breaking some rules, because they can make up others that work just as well.

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Television
4:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Don't Know What To Watch On TV? We've Got You Covered

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:18 pm

NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans has suggestions for TV to watch in January, including Justified on F/X, True Detective on HBO, and Episodes on Showtime.

The Salt
3:49 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Cork Versus Screw Cap: Don't Judge A Wine By How It's Sealed

Winemakers are increasingly turning to screw caps. Now consumers are learning to get over their prejudice for cork, too.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:18 pm

Step aside, cork.

If you're a wine drinker, you've probably noticed that screw caps are no longer considered the closure just for cheap vino. Increasingly, bottles of very good wines are unscrewed, rather than uncorked.

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All Tech Considered
2:51 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Netflix Built Its Microgenres By Staring Into The American Soul

While counting Netflix's microgenres, Madrigal discovered the streaming service's favorite adjective: romantic. It appears in 5,272 categories.
Robert Sullivan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 10:17 pm

In the old days, a movie genre was a simple, communal category: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama. One had to locate oneself in the Drama aisle at the video store and then look for just the right thing: A dark road trip movie with a strong female lead? Aha, Thelma & Louise.

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Author Interviews
1:14 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Visible And Invisible: 'Servants' Looks At Life Downstairs

Early 20th century British maids worked long, hard days with little time off.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:28 pm

Many Americans were introduced to the world of early 20th century British servants through the PBS series Downton Abbey, which premieres its fourth season Sunday. The show is set in an era when domestic service was the largest single occupation in Great Britain.

"In 1900, it was calculated to comprise a third of all women who were in the workforce," writer Lucy Lethbridge tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

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Pop Culture
6:37 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Isaac Asimov Right On With Some 2014 Predictions

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 7:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene.

Fifty years ago, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov made a series of predictions about 2014, and he was right. He foresaw gadgets that relieve mankind of tedious jobs, like machines that heat water and prepare coffee. He predicted smartphones, noting we'd be able to see and hear someone we call, and be able to look at photos on the same screen. He even knew Twitter and reality TV were coming, writing, quote: Mankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom.

The Two-Way
2:34 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Blues Musician Tabby Thomas Dies At 84

Chris Thomas King plays on the House of Blues stage with his father, Tabby Thomas, in 2001, at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Douglas Mason AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 8:33 am

Legendary bluesman Tabby Thomas died Wednesday at the age of 84.

He would have celebrated his 85 birthday on Sunday.

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports that Thomas was probably best known for opening Tabby's Blue Box in Baton Rouge, La. He opened the club in the late 1970s, giving Louisiana blues musicians, who had lost opportunities because of the disco craze, a place to play.

Blues-lovers from around the globe flocked to Tabby's.

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The Two-Way
6:12 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

'Fresh Prince' Actor James Avery Dead At 68

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Actor James Avery, known to many as "Uncle Phil" on the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died. He was 68.
Mark Mainz Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 6:31 pm

James Avery, the actor who played the Honorable Philip Banks — also known as Uncle Phil — on the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died.

Avery died on Tuesday in Glendale, Calif., following complications from open heart surgery, publicist Cynthia Snyder told NPR. Avery was 68.

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