Arts & Life

Monkey See
5:44 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Best YA Fiction Poll: You Asked, We Answer!

iStockphoto.com

Our Best YA Fiction poll has only been live for a few hours, and already the cries of outrage are echoing through the intertubes! Where are A Wrinkle in Time, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Ender's Game? What about Watership Down? My Side of the Mountain? Where the Red Fern Grows? Most of Judy Blume's oeuvre? The Little House books?

We hear you, I promise.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

In A Make-Your-Own-Girl Fable, A Real Woman Emerges

Ruby (Zoe Kazan) comes to life when Calvin (Paul Dano) begins writing her into existence on his typewriter in Ruby Sparks. Kazan also wrote the new romantic comedy from the directors of Little Miss Sunshine.
Merrick Morton Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 5:57 pm

There's a fine line between satire and the nasty snigger that marks so much of pop comedy these days — which is another way of saying that the corrosively funny takedown of child beauty pageants in the 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine moved me to forgive (by a hair) its creepiest creation — Alan Arkin's heroin-addicted grandpa. Still, I wonder whether my 14-year-old, who has roared her way through that movie at least a dozen times, can tell the difference between sharp commentary and the juvie desire to shock.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Two Singular People, Taking Life Hand In Hand

Young-chan lost his sight and hearing as a child, though after he learned to speak. His wife, Soon-ho, cares for him, and the intimacy between them is the most striking part of Planet of Snail.
Cinema Guild

The obvious way to approach South Korean director Seung-jun Yi's modest but potent documentary Planet of Snail is to think of it as a story about a disabled man making his way through the world with the help of his companion. But more simply and more accurately, it's really a movie about marriage — about the way two people can smooth over each other's cracks to achieve an imperfect yet sturdy wholeness.

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Author Interviews
2:04 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

'The Twilight War' Between The U.S. And Iran

David Crist's father, George (left), discusses operations against Iranian attack boats with Navy Lt. Paul Hillenbrand. George Crist, a Marine Corps general, was commander of CENTCOM from 1985-1988.
Courtesy of David Crist

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 3:54 pm

In The Twilight War, government historian David Crist outlines the secret history of America's 30-year conflict with Iran. The book, based on interviews with hundreds of officials as well as classified military archives, details how the covert war has spanned five American presidential terms and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations into open warfare.

Crist tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that there have been several incidents that have almost resulted in battle over the past 30 years.

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The Picture Show
1:34 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

The Colorful Days Of Life On The Border

Bruce Berman

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 3:28 pm

Editor's note: This is another one of those stories that came to me fortuitously by email. Bruce Berman teaches photography in Las Cruces, N.M., and, like many photography instructors, he has a huge archive of his own. This is just a small selection of his color photographs documenting life in the border town of El Paso, Texas.

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The Salt
12:02 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

A Bartender's Antidote To Sweet And Citrus? Bitter Bark, Myrrh And Secrets

Alexandra Bookless, head bartender at The Passenger, suggests starting off with Fernet in a cocktail like the Hanky Panky.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 6:48 pm

For bartenders, the words "last call" have a hidden meaning: It won't be long before they're enjoying a drink of their own. And after hours of making tonics, flips and fizzes, what does a bartender drink? Often, the answer is short and simple: Fernet.

In a world of citrusy, sugary drinks that can all taste alike, Fernet Branca stands alone. Depending on how your palate responds, the Italian digestif can be called everything from refreshingly bold to an acquired taste to cough syrup that's gone bad.

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Book Reviews
7:18 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Experimental Fiction At Its Finest — And Funniest

Experimental fiction in North America began with a genius of a doyen in Paris: Gertrude Stein, whose aesthetic assertion that writers shape and form and reform the medium of language the way sculptors work with stone, painters work with light and shape and composers work with sound, changed Hemingway forever and, thus, changed the nature of the American short story — or the American art story, at least.

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100 Best Books
7:03 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Best-Ever Teen Novels? Vote For Your Favorites

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 10:40 am

Last month we asked you, our audience, to nominate titles for a top-100 list of the best young adult — YA — fiction ever written. Thousands of you sent in nominations. We've tabulated those suggestions and, with the help of an expert panel, narrowed the list to the 235 finalists you see below.

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Movies
5:28 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Watch This: William Friedkin's Unlikely Inspirations

William Friedkin, seen here in 2006, made his name in the '70s with movies like The French Connection.
Chad Buchanan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 10:30 am

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Digital Life
5:19 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

YouTube Network Plays Well With Latino Audiences

Designer Ximena Valero uses YouTube to get the word out on her signature transformable fashion, modeled here by Cindy Vela. She says joining the Latino lifestyle network Mitu will only help increase her exposure.
Ximena Valero via YouTube

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 7:04 pm

Whenever 29-year-old Trina Hernandez and her family have questions, they all turn to the same place.

"YouTube is such a popular word in my family," she says, and that's not just with her husband and son. "With my mom, she has a question and she'll go to YouTube to search. And my aunts, they're like, 'Oh, did you watch that video on YouTube? Oh, look it up real quick.' "

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