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Arts & Life

Tom Hanks Considers The Cosmos, Nora Ephron, And A Man Dressed As A Shrimp

NPR | Oct. 20, 2017

Tom Hanks has written a short story collection called Uncommon Type. Here, he talks about stories, characters, the film goddess Pelicula, and what happened to the suit he wore as David S. Pumpkins.

Gabrielle Union Gets Real In 'We're Going To Need More Wine'

NPR | Oct. 20, 2017

Union has graced screens big and small since the '90s. Now she's written a frank, funny essay collection that's not just a celebrity tell-all (though she does dish on Heath Ledger's dreaminess).

Invasive Valley Trees Yield Perry-Poached Pear Frangipane

OPB | Oct. 19, 2017

Pears have become a top invasive tree in the Willamette Valley but hard cider crafted from fruits picked in abandoned orchards makes for sweet sipping — and baking.

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Pass The Cider Sampling Platter, Please

OPB | Oct. 19, 2017 2:45 p.m.

Ciders and makers around the United States and Canada are profiled but the Pacific Northwest is well-represented in "Tasting Cider," a guide that packs in lots of info for novices and aficionados, plus a few recipes. 

Books | Arts

Philip Pullman's Realm Of Poetry And Inspiration

NPR | Oct. 19, 2017 7:19 a.m.

Pullman — author of the beloved His Dark Materials trilogy — says poet William Blake's idea of mystical multiple vision, of different ways of seeing, is "absolutely central" to his new book.

Books | Arts

Custom-Printed Cocktails On The Moon? 'Soonish' Shows Us How

NPR | Oct. 19, 2017 7 a.m.

Zach and Kelly Weinersmith's accessible, occasionally goofy new book lays out futuristic fantasies (like matter-printed cocktails) and connects them to projects scientists are working on right now.

Books | Arts

In 'Manhattan Beach,' Jennifer Egan Dives Deep Into WWII New York City

NPR | Oct. 18, 2017 9:55 a.m.

Egan began researching her new novel years before she published A Visit From The Goon Squad. It follows a girl who becomes the Brooklyn Navy Yard's first female deep-sea diver during World War II.

Books | Arts

'A Line In The Dark' Is A Fresh Approach To The Teen Thriller

NPR | Oct. 18, 2017 7 a.m.

Malinda Lo's new book sets up a classic conflict — townie kids versus prep schoolers — and adds nuanced queer characters. Despite a flawed second half, A Line in the Dark has much to offer.

Books | Arts

Not Much To 'Smile' About In Roddy Doyle's Intense New Novel

NPR | Oct. 18, 2017 4 a.m.

The Irish novelist is known for his sense of humor — but his latest, about a man abused in his youth by Catholic priests, is distressing and at times almost unbearable. It's also his best book yet.

Books | Arts

George Saunders Wins Man Booker Prize For 'Lincoln In The Bardo'

NPR | Oct. 17, 2017 3:14 p.m.

It's the second year in a row that an American writer has taken home the prestigious literary award.

Books | Arts

Tom Hanks Lays Out A Kinder, Gentler World In 'Uncommon Type'

NPR | Oct. 17, 2017 11:26 a.m.

Tom Hanks' well-documented obsession with typewriters is on display in his new story collection, tales linked not just by typewriters but by a benign, humane view of people and their many foibles.

Books | Arts

Amy Tan Revisits The Roots Of Her Writing Career In 'Where The Past Begins'

NPR | Oct. 16, 2017 4:17 p.m.

In a new memoir, the Joy Luck Club author searches her past for the sources of her creativity. She says, "I certainly think that the bad experiences ... shaped me as a writer."

Books | Arts

Richard Wilbur, Renowned American Poet And Translator, Dies At 96

NPR | Oct. 16, 2017 2:40 p.m.

His commitment to traditional forms, with tight patterns and taut construction, stood out among his contemporaries. He said his craft was finding order in pain and chaos — not creating it.