This summer, you can expect to be profoundly haunted by some of the best works of speculative fiction the season has to offer. The protagonists in these novels are mobbed by the ghosts of history, by the re-awakened dead, and by their recollections of traumas so formative that they transcend personal experience to become species memory. They are also, somewhat humorously, dogged by all the secret truths that have been edited out of Wikipedia entries.
Actor Henry Cavill and director Zack Snyder confer on a shot for an early sequence in Man of Steel. Cavill is the first British actor to wear Superman's iconic red and blue — though not the first to play a D.C. comics superhero.
Credit Warner Bros. Pictures
The film's opening sequences chronicle political clashes and ultimately a planetary cataclysm on Krypton, home world to Superman and his biological father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), and mother (not pictured.)
The quintessential American superhero — the one who forged the genre — returns to the multiplex this weekend: Superman. The latest big-screen iteration, called Man of Steel, explores the birth of the character (played as an adult by British actor Henry Cavill), delving into why he came to Earth, his inner conflicts growing up, and how he resolves them.
Taissa Farmiga (left) and Israel Broussard are key players in the five-person posse (otherwise known as the "Hollywood Hills Burglar Bunch") targeting celebrity homes in The Bling Ring, stealing clothes, jewelry and cash from the likes of Lindsay Lohan.
Credit Merrick Morton / A24
Emma Watson's Nicki is another of the fame-obsessed teens who finds herself stealing from those she supposedly idolizes.
Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 10:43 am
What it came down to in the end were "the beautiful, gorgeous things."
That's how Marc (Israel Broussard) explains the Bling Ring, a gang of teens who, over a span of 10 months in 2008 and 2009, robbed a series of celebrity homes, including those of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom. Along the way, they accrued more than $3 million worth of jewelry, clothing and accessories — not to mention that inevitable tabloid-headline nickname.
Ivan, a silverback gorilla who lived for 27 years in a Tacoma, Wash., shopping mall, chews on his finger at the Atlanta Zoo in 1996. The story was the inspiration for Katherine Applegate's book The One and Only Ivan.
Credit Erica Yoon / NPR
Katherine Applegate, pictured above at NPR in Washington, D.C., is the author of The Buffalo Storm, Home of the Brave and The One and Only Ivan. Along with her husband, she co-wrote the young adult series Animorphs.
The school year is drawing to a close, but NPR's Backseat Book Club has plenty of reading lined up for the summer. Our June pick is The One and Only Ivan, a Newbery Medal-winning book by Katherine Applegate. It tells the story of a gorilla who spent 27 years in a shopping mall in Tacoma, Wash. — and it's based on a true story.
Jeremy Jackson's grandma Mildred was famous for her strawberry cake. Legend has it that one of the families in her small Missouri town loved the dessert so much, they "commissioned" her to make it for them once a week.
Jackson is the author of Good Day for A Picnic: Simple Food that Travels Well. He shared two versions of his Strawberry Cake for All Things Considered's Found Recipes series.