Arts & Culture

Arts & culture

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Big Thief had a pretty remarkable 2019. The band put out two beautiful albums, U.F.O.F. in May and Two Hands in October. Paired together, these albums present a larger picture of the band at the height of its powers, thinking and performing beyond the traditional album-tour cycle.

Emma Copley Eisenberg's The Third Rainbow Girl is a true crime tale as thoroughly researched and reported as it is perplexing.

The book offers a deep-dive into rural Appalachia, a region of the United States that is little understood, and it digs into questions of how deeply misogyny and bias can run inside a community. It is also an honest and endearing coming-of-age tale — one that will leave readers curious to know what Eisenberg will write about next. However, like any good true crime story, The Third Rainbow Girl starts with the facts.

William Gibson does not write novels, he makes bombs.

Careful, meticulous, clockwork explosives on long timers. Their first lines are their cores — dangerous, unstable reactant mass so packed with story specific detail that every word seems carved out of TNT. The lines that follow are loops of brittle wire wrapped around them.

The third Monday in January is a U.S. federal holiday honoring the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., but two Southern states — Alabama and Mississippi — also use the day to celebrate Gen. Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate forces during the Civil War.

It's pretty clear why Tiffany Tsao's The Majesties has been compared to the smash hit Crazy Rich Asians. After all, both are about obscenely wealthy Chinese families. But once I started reading, it became clear that this is a very different story — if Crazy Rich Asians was all about the luster and the shiny surface, The Majesties is focused on the grit and ruthlessness that makes the opulence possible.

When NPR host Scott Simon was in his late teens, he took a job in an assisted living facility in Chicago, working with people who had developmental disabilities.

"It was more formative in my life, I think, than most any war I've covered, any political campaign I've covered, any reportorial experience I've had," Simon says. "It really opened my eyes into seeing the world differently."

Simon has wanted to tell this story for years, and so he drew on the experiences he had back then to write a new mystery for young readers called Sunnyside Plaza.

Spiced-Up Drinks For Dry January

Jan 19, 2020

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Isabel Allende On 'A Long Petal Of The Sea'

Jan 19, 2020

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Halfway through Garth Greenwell's exquisite story collection, Cleanness, the narrator and his boyfriend wander through a Bologna museum devoted to a single, unnamed artist. The narrator becomes transfixed by paintings "humming at a frequency I wanted to tune myself to catch."

Avenue 5 premieres on HBO Sunday, January 19th.

"A problem," decrees a character on HBO's sci-fi comedy series Avenue 5, "is just a solution without a solution."

The problem facing the crew and passengers of Avenue 5 — a massive space-cruise-ship in the not too distant future on its maiden 8-week cruise around Saturn — has to do with its trajectory.

Alison Roman writes for The New York Times Cooking section, Bon Appétit Magazine and is the author of Nothing Fancy and Dining In — so she obviously knows plenty about cooking food — but what about cooking the books? We'll ask her three questions about financial fraud.

Click the audio link above to find out how she does.

Javier Cercas On 'Lord Of All The Dead'

Jan 18, 2020

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ESPN's Howard Bryant On 'Full Dissidence'

Jan 18, 2020

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Marcus King has rock and roll in his bones: He comes from a family of famed guitarists in Greenville, S.C. With his raspy falsetto and guitar licks, he's been hailed as a revival of B.B. King or Stevie Ray Vaughan.

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