Arts & Culture

Monkey See
4:57 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

The Beauty Of Spilling Your Sad Teenage Guts

I read Pam Ribon's Notes To Boys: And Other Things I Shouldn't Share In Public in a few sittings, but the longest stretch I consumed where one should ideally read this book: in a bubble bath. The calming atmosphere is good for the anxiety that comes from seeing a woman excavate her teenage brain, the vulnerability builds the empathy it takes to understand how terrified all these boys she was writing to must have felt, and if you get too mortified for her, you can always elect to go down the drain with the bathwater just to escape.

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All Tech Considered
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

DIY Houses In The Internet Age: Some Assembly Required

Good things come in small packages. Lacy Williams, an architecture student, and her boyfriend, Patrick Beseda, built a WikiHouse to live in during a field project in Utah.
Patrick Beseda and Lacy Williams

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 8:19 am

If you can barely swing a hammer, you can still build your own home.

Builders at the Maker Faire in New York City proved this point last fall, with something akin to an old-fashioned barn-raising.

The event celebrates the do-it-yourself aesthetic, particularly when it comes to digital fabrication and open-source construction plans. Using wooden mallets cut from plywood, a crew of eight banged together the slotted frame of a WikiHouse without a single nail.

The result: a livable home.

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Religion
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

For Snake-Handling Preacher, 10th Bite Proves Fatal

Pastor Jamie Coots holds a snake at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro, Ky., last year.
NGO

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 6:59 pm

Pastor Jamie Coots, a 42-year-old Pentecostal preacher and third-generation snake handler from Middlesboro, Ky., spoke to NPR in October about his unusual way of leading church services.

"We sing, we preach, we testify, take up offerings, pray for the sick, you know, everything like everybody else does," he said. "Just, every once in a while, snakes are handled."

On Saturday night, Coots was handling three rattlesnakes at his small church, the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name, when one of them bit him on his right hand.

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Metropolis
1:38 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Metropolis: 2/15/14

Little Dragon.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 1:52 pm

Metropolis is a weekly EDM mix by KCRW music director Jason Bentley. It airs live on KCRW on Saturday nights and appears on NPR Music every Monday. Listen to past episodes here.

Copyright 2014 KCRW-FM. To see more, visit http://www.kcrw.com.

Book Reviews
10:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Don't Know What To Do With Your Life? Neither Did Thoreau

The works of Henry David Thoreau have influenced generations of readers, but Thoreau himself wasn't always celebrated. His schoolmates and neighbors found him standoffish and regarded his fascination with plants and Indian relics as downright odd.
AP

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 1:59 pm

Every year, students come into my office and say, "I don't know what I want to do with my life." Of course, plenty of people in the world don't have the luxury of such cluelessness, but my students don't look like they're enjoying their privilege; they look scared and depressed, as though they've already failed some big test of character. They might find some comfort in Michael Sims' new biography of the young Henry David Thoreau called, simply, The Adventures of Henry Thoreau.

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First Listen
8:58 am
Mon February 17, 2014

First Listen: The Notwist, 'Close To The Glass'

The Notwist's new album, Close to the Glass, comes out Feb. 25.
Joerg Koopman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 2:17 pm

On paper, the German electro-pop band The Notwist sounds less accessible than it is: Since getting together 25 years ago, its members have delved into everything from hardcore to underground hip-hop to proggy jazz, with many varyingly arty detours in between. But the latter half of its history, particularly once you hit the sublime early-'00s breakthrough Neon Golden, is wonderfully warm and approachable.

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First Listen
8:49 am
Mon February 17, 2014

First Listen: Neneh Cherry, 'Blank Project'

Neneh Cherry's new album, Blank Project, comes out Feb. 25.
Kim Hiorthoy Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 10:53 pm

Many will describe Blank Project as Neneh Cherry's comeback album — and, to be fair, it is her first solo work in 18 years. In that time, though, Cherry has released two collaborative LPs, contributed to numerous artists' projects, started a band with her husband and daughter, toured the world and lived in several different countries, just to name the relevant accomplishments. So, while Blank Project might seem perfectly timed for a '90s-revivalist, Coachella-baiting cash-out, it's actually the culmination of a fascinating career arc.

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The Salt
7:05 am
Mon February 17, 2014

What Honest Abe's Appetite Tells Us About His Life

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, used to cook alongside his wife.
Brady Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:55 am

Most people know Abraham Lincoln for his achievements as president. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation and held the nation together through the trauma of the Civil War. His Gettysburg Address is one of the best known in American history.

But what you might not know is that Lincoln cooked.

From his childhood to his days in the White House, food played an integral part in shaping Lincoln's life, food historian Rae Katherine Eighmey tells Tell Me More's Michel Martin.

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Monkey See
6:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Last Chance To Read 'Grapes Of Wrath' Before It Turns 75

These Grapes of Wrath copies may look well-loved, but don't be fooled. A lot of us are opening them up for the first time.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 3:43 pm

John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl saga has been on required reading lists for decades, but somehow a lot of us at NPR Books have never read it. (We know! We know!) So when we realized the 75th anniversary was coming up on April 14, we thought: What better way to pay tribute to Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic than to actually crack it open?

That is to say: We're hosting a Grapes of Wrath book club and you're all invited to join.*

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My Guilty Pleasure
6:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

It's French, But Ooh, It's Pulpy: The Dark Adventures Of Fantômas

Fantômas begins as many a good tale begins: with listeners crowding around a fire. In this case, guests of the venerable Marquise surround a retired magistrate who, with relish, tells of the terror that is Fantômas. Fantômas, the criminal mastermind — I would love the book just for the mystery of the name, though in fact, the name isn't even his: it is given to him by rumor, or maybe the police. We know nothing of Fantômas: he is believed to take on the identity of others, sometimes famous others, sometimes several at once.

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