Arts & Life

Book Reviews
3:42 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Sometimes You Can't Pick Just 10: Maureen Corrigan's Favorite Books Of 2014

Rows of characters enjoying reading books.
Gustav Dejert Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 1:12 pm

For this year's Best Books of the Year list, I reject the tyranny of the decimal system. Some years it's simply more than 10. Here, then, are my top 12 books of 2014. All of the disparate books on my list contain characters, scenes or voices that linger long past the last page of their stories. In fact, The Empire of Necessity by Greg Grandin, which is my pick for Book of the Year, came out in January and I haven't stopped thinking about it since.

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Monkey See
11:23 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Watts Going On: The Gaudy Excess Of 'The Great Christmas Light Fight'

The Fuller family's Christmas light display in Clayton, N.C.
Brownie Harris ABC

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:11 pm

Perhaps you are familiar with the oft-quoted wisdom of (allegedly) Coco Chanel that when a woman gets dressed and believes she's ready, she should take off one accessory before she leaves the house.

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All Songs Considered
11:19 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Hear The First New D'Angelo Album In 15 Years

D'Angelo has just released his first album in 15 years, Black Messiah.
Vallery Jean FilmMagic

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 11:47 am

We woke up to a world with a new D'Angelo album, his first in almost 15 years. For lovers of R&B and soul — hell, for lovers of music that transcends — this is unreal.

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Book News: Apple Enters A New Round In E-Book Price-Fixing Fight

In its attempt to obtain a foothold in a market long dominated by Amazon, Apple ran afoul of antitrust law.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:57 am

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

Apple is sliding back under the judicial microscope Monday in a legal challenge that could bear big implications for the e-book market. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is slated to hear the company's appeal of a verdict that found it guilty of violating antitrust law.

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The Two-Way
11:08 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Your #NPRUglySweaters: The Joy Of Knitwear We Ought Not Wear

We asked, you delivered — photos of holiday sweaters galore.
Matt O'Malley Twitter

When it comes to the perfect holiday sweater, for many people, cheesy is good — tacky is better — and astonishingly ugly is best of all.

The demand for ugly holiday sweaters has reached such a height that it's changed how businesses stock for the season, as Eleanor Klibanoff reported for us on Weekend Edition Saturday. Wal-Mart and Kohl's sell new "vintage" ugly sweaters, and actual vintage stores have had to start searching for new stock to sell.

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Author Interviews
6:09 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

'El Deafo': How A Girl Turned Her Disability Into A Superpower

Pages from El Deafo by Cece Bell. Click here to enlarge.
Abrams

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:59 pm

Writer and illustrator Cece Bell has been creating children's books for over a decade, but in her latest, she finally turns to her own story — about growing up hearing-impaired, after meningitis left her "severely to profoundly deaf" at the age of 4.

The book, a mix of memoir, graphic novel and children's book, is called El Deafo. It's a funny, unsentimental tale that follows Cece from age 4 through elementary school, as she transforms from mild-mannered little girl into full-fledged superhero — the "El Deafo" of the title.

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Fine Art
5:37 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

'#Blackmendream': Showcasing A Different Side Of Black Manhood

A still from the art film #Blackmendream. The film features nine men, turned away from the camera and talking about their hopes and fears.
Courtesy artist

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 2:32 pm

Nine men sit turned away from the camera; their faces are never shown. Many are shirtless or naked. They answer questions like: When did you become a black man? Do you cry? How were you raised to deal with your emotions?

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Movies
7:56 am
Sun December 14, 2014

A Holiday Comic Standard: 'Christmas Vacation' Turns 25

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:38 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music Interviews
7:47 am
Sun December 14, 2014

'Pippin' Performs The Final Ballad Of 'The Hobbit'

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 12:18 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A bittersweet moment for moviegoers and Gandalf fans.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES")

ELIJAH WOOD: (As Frodo) It's done.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Yes, Mr. Frodo.

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Food
7:47 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Mead Moves Out Of The Middle Ages

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 12:18 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

If you've been yearning for a cup of mead ever since you read Beowulf in high school - and who hasn't, really? - this could be your moment. The honey wine is once again the bee's knees. WEEKEND EDITION food commentator, Bonny Wolf, explains.

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