Arts & Culture

Commentary
12:28 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

When Words Were Worth Fighting Over

In 1961, the publication of Merriam-Webster's Third International Dictionary sparked an uproar with its inclusion of the word "ain't."
Flickr User Greeblie

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 2:10 pm

I have a quibble with the title of David Skinner's new book, The Story of Ain't. In fact, that pariah contraction plays only a supporting role in the story. The book is really an account of one of the oddest episodes in American cultural history, the brouhaha over the appearance of Merriam-Webster's Third International Dictionary in 1961.

Read more
You Must Read This
10:11 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Depression-Era Evil: Horror In A Haunted Land

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 1:19 pm

Julia Keller's latest novel is A Killing in the Hills.

When the actor James O'Neill played the title character in a stage version of The Count of Monte Cristo, it was a piece of "good bad luck," his son Eugene O'Neill later said. James O'Neill could never escape the shadow of the role that made him famous.

Read more
Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Page And Screen Make Peace In 'Mr. Penumbra'

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

It's been five years since the Amazon Kindle started one of the most enduring literary controversies of recent times: the fight between e-books and printed books. If you're a devoted reader, you're probably already sick of the back and forth between the excitable technophiles and the stubborn Luddites. The proponents of e-books rave about the unexplored avenues, the hypertext, the entire world of literature accessible with just one click. The rest of us — well, we like the way books feel and smell, OK? It might seem sentimental, but that's falling in love for you.

Read more
New In Paperback
6:03 am
Wed October 3, 2012

New In Paperback Oct. 1-7

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Don DeLillo, John Paul Stevens, Lawrence Lessig, Ellen DeGeneres and John Hodgman.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Kitchen Window
2:28 am
Wed October 3, 2012

It's Time To Pick A Peck Of Peppers

Sheri Castle for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 8:10 am

Ripe sweet peppers are seasonal ambassadors, offering color, flavor, goodwill and diplomacy during the transition from summer to autumn cooking. Sweet peppers surge into ripeness in late summer and flourish into fall. Supplies wind down about the time trees let go of their leaves.

Now is the time to pick up a peck of them for what a single sad specimen will cost come January. When in season and plentiful, peppers are a bargain.

Read more

Pages