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Author Interviews
3:16 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

'Girl On The Train' Is A Journey Into The Lives Of Familiar Strangers

Bart Sadowski iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 5:45 pm

If you have a long commute, you may have found yourself wondering about the familiar strangers you pass each day on the way to and from work — that woman on the bus who is always lost in thought, or that man in the second floor apartment.

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All Tech Considered
3:18 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Bored ... And Brilliant? A Challenge To Disconnect From Your Phone

Illustration by John Hersey Courtesy of WNYC

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 3:57 pm

Hey smartphone owners — when was the last time you were truly bored? Or even had a moment for mental downtime, unattached to a device?

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Author Interviews
4:11 pm
Sun January 11, 2015

Miranda July Balances Weirdness And Reality In Debut Novel

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 5:45 pm

Cheryl is odd — just a little off, somehow. She's obsessive, and delusional, living in a world that feels like reality twisted a few degrees off kilter.

So it may come as no great surprise that she's an invention of Miranda July, the screenwriter, actor, artist and writer who is famous for her quirky creations. Her movie Me and You and Everyone We Know — which July wrote, directed and starred in — won the 2005 Camera d'Or award. Her 2008 short story collection No One Belongs Here More Than You established her as a writer outside film.

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Book News & Features
6:50 am
Sun January 11, 2015

This Weekend, Visit San Francisco's Famed Forbidden City In 'China Dolls'

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 10:26 am

The "Chop Suey Circuit" was the name given to vaudeville shows that starred all-Asian casts, popular from the 1930s through to the 1960s. One of the most famous venues was the Forbidden City club in San Francisco — which serves as the setting for Lisa See's novel China Dolls.

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Author Interviews
6:50 am
Sun January 11, 2015

After Silence, An 'Outline' Of A Life In Fragments

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 10:26 am

What's left when a family falls apart? Rachel Cusk's new novel Outline explores that question, following a writer on a short summer teaching trip to Greece as she comes to terms with the dissolution of her marriage.

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The Salt
5:02 am
Sun January 11, 2015

'Tasty': How Flavor Helped Make Us Human

"Flavor is the most important ingredient at the core of what we are. It created us," John McQuaid writes in his book Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 10:43 am

Our current cultural obsession with food is undeniable. But, while the advent of the foodie may be a 21st century phenomenon, from an evolutionary standpoint, flavor has long helped define who we are as a species, a new book argues.

In Tasty: the Art and Science of What We Eat, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John McQuaid offers a broad and deep exploration of the human relationship to flavor.

"Flavor is the most important ingredient at the core of what we are. It created us," McQuaid writes.

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Author Interviews
4:48 pm
Sat January 10, 2015

'Blood Of The Tiger': Shedding Light On China's Farmed-Tiger Trade

Joanne Stemberger iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat January 10, 2015 5:47 pm

In 1991, wildlife investigator J. A. Mills went to China to verify rumors about tiger farming. She worked undercover, for the World Wildlife Fund and an organization called Traffic.

"I mainly pretended I was a student of traditional Chinese medicine to try to figure out not only what was being traded, but why it was being traded," Mills tells NPR's Arun Rath.

She says she found China's first tiger farm — complete with a hand-written ledgers filling up with orders for tiger bone.

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Arts & Life
4:19 pm
Sat January 10, 2015

'Holy Smokes!': Rare Baseball Card Collection Hits Home Run

Even Leila Dunbar (right), Antiques Roadshow appraiser, was overwhelmed by the collection. "It is the greatest archive that I have ever had at the Roadshow," she says.
Meredith Nierman WGBH

Originally published on Sat January 10, 2015 5:47 pm

This week on Antiques Roadshow on PBS, a woman brought in a set of old baseball memorabilia that she had found in a desk drawer — and received a big surprise.

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All Tech Considered
4:19 pm
Sat January 10, 2015

Forget Wearable Tech. People Really Want Better Batteries.

Smart watches based on Qualcomm chipsets are displayed at CES — but do consumers want them?
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 3:58 pm

The International Consumer Electronics Show has wrapped up its showcase of the latest in high-tech, from wearables to curved-screen phones to extremely high-definition 4K televisions.

But according to a survey from the magazine Fortune, many Americans have a simpler wish: better batteries.

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Author Interviews
6:50 am
Sat January 10, 2015

Australian Cyberthriller 'Amnesia' Echoes Julian Assange Story

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appears at a 2012 press conference in London. Author Peter Carey says he was drawn to Assange's story because of their shared Australian history.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Sat January 10, 2015 10:31 am

Peter Carey's new novel, Amnesia, opens just as a computer virus is unlocking the cells of Australian prisons from Alice Springs to Woomera. And because those computer systems were designed by an American company, the virus also worms its way into thousands of U.S. prisons, from dusty towns in Texas to dusty towns in Afghanistan. Around the world, security monitors flash with this message: "The corporation is under our control. The Angel declares you free."

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