July 31, 2013 From awkward questions to great answers, 10 highlights and perhaps non-highlights of the first week of the Television Critics Association press tour.
July 31, 2013 Also: an excerpt from George R.R. Martin's upcoming novella; a plea from the OED; a new short story from Adam Johnson.
July 31, 2013 Goliarda Sapienza's sprawling, posthumously published epic, The Art of Joy, follows the life of Modesta, born in Sicily on the first day of the 20th century. Reviewer Maria Russo says the book lacks editing, but that ultimately doesn't matter to a story of such "scale and seductive libertinism."
July 31, 2013 Buttermilk somehow seems perpetually cool and unruffled. It evokes cream without cream's over-the-top heft; its tanginess goes up to the threshold of yogurt and stops just shy. No matter how you cook it, a little bit of buttermilk has a thousand ways of making life taste better.
July 30, 2013 Two documentarians remember a time when Jewish comics could count on the resorts of the Borscht Belt to provide a proving ground — and an informal curriculum — as they pushed to find a broad audience without abandoning their roots in vaudeville and Yiddish theater.
July 30, 2013 In the new book What You Want Is in the Limo, author Michael Walker argues that a peak year in the careers of Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper and The Who also marked a cultural shift — from the peace, love and understanding of 1960-era music to '70s rock decadence.
July 30, 2013 William Masters and Virginia Johnson became famous in the 1960s for their research into the physiology of human sexuality. In Masters of Sex, biographer Thomas Maier explores the duo's research methods, which for years remained shrouded in secrecy.
July 30, 2013 Stories have a natural ending, but business ventures do not. As networks invest in high-concept series, can they keep from frustrating audiences?
July 30, 2013 Millions of people worldwide are leaving rural areas for urban ones. NPR Cities Project editor Franklyn Cater highlights five books that examine and celebrate 21st century life in the metropolis.
July 30, 2013 Also: Gary Shteyngart tests out Google Glass; Fifty Shades of Grey and the rise in handcuff accidents.
July 30, 2013 Juan Gabriel Vasquez' new novel, The Sound of Things Falling, is a sophisticated vision of the way the Colombian drug trade unravels lives. Reviewer Marcela Valdes says Vasquez shies away from stock drug war imagery in favor of a quieter, more sophisticated approach.
July 30, 2013 Havana Marking's new documentary focuses on professional thieves who've targeted high-end jewelry shops across Europe, the Middle East and Asia for a decade. According to Interpol, the Pink Panthers have stolen nearly a half a billion dollars worth of jewels over roughly 500 robberies.
July 29, 2013 In nonfiction Neil Young presents the story of his career, Susan Sontag reflects on her artistic development and Richard Russo explores his relationship with his mother. In fiction, Alice Munro illuminates the moments that shape a life.