Arts

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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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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My Big Break
4:18 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Mike Rowe's Own Dirty Job: Selling Knick-Knacks Overnight

Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs was canceled in 2012. He now runs the mikeroweWORKS Foundation.
Courtesy of Mike Rowe

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 10:49 am

As part of a new series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click and people leap forward into their careers.

Before Mike Rowe was the host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel, he was selling knick-knacks on the QVC cable network in the middle of the night. He got the job after winning a bet in a Baltimore bar.

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Strange News
4:18 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Vikings Of The World, Unite In Battle: The Apocalypse Is Upon Us

Warriors battle at the 2012 JORVIK Viking Festival. This year promises to be even fiercer, with the apocalypse looming.
Allan Harris Flickr.com

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 6:12 pm

Steel your nerves, dear reader. Ragnarok, the Viking apocalypse, draws near.

According to Norse mythology, the end of times has been brewing for about 100 days. It all started when the wolf son of Loki broke out of prison and the giant Midgard Serpent rose from the sea.

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