The French phrase mise-en-place means to gather and arrange the ingredients and tools needed for cooking. But for many culinary professionals, its organizing principles are also a way of life.
NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to Richard Flanagan, author of the new book, The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
Lewis Buzbee's account of his idyllic youth in the California public school system is relentlessly positive, though bracketed with criticism of current school policy and a firm call for more funding.
At age 14, author Aaron Gwyn was lonely and angry. His dad was dead. His mom was addicted to pills. Then he discovered The Stranger, a novel of absurdity and detachment. Somehow, it helped him deal.
In spring 2001, Desma Brooks, Michelle Fischer and Debbie Helton signed up for the National Guard expecting just a few days of drills each month. Soldier Girls tells the stories of their deployments.
Eleanor Davis' gorgeous new How to Be Happy doesn't actually tell you how to be happy; rather, it dramatizes the promise of happiness, and the funny and tragic effects that follow on from it.
Author Elizabeth Green argues that effective teaching is a craft, not a skill teachers have naturally. She says teachers need more mentorship — not just more mandates.
The preservation of Yiddish as a spoken language gets more attention, but Yiddish once had a vibrant written tradition as well, filled with plays, poetry, novels and political tracts.
The key to getting a good soft pretzel to brown properly is to dip it in a lye solution, the same stuff that's used to make soap. But a German mom insists it takes much more than that.
NPR's Petra Mayer sees the sights at San Diego Comic-Con with Magicians Trilogy author Lev Grossman — and discusses what happens when wizardly kids have to face an adult world, without mentors.
Gabriel Weston is an ear, nose and throat surgeon. She says writing Dirty Work — about an obstetrician-gynecologist who performs abortions — made her more sensitive to all sides of the debate.
Film isn't dead — not yet, at least. Kodak recently announced that it will keep making film stock for motion pictures despite a dramatic drop in sales, after a handful of high-profile directors advocated for it. But, since the medium's days may yet be numbered, it's worth asking what film can offer that digital media can't.
Douglas Preston wrote an open letter supporting book publisher Hachette in its dispute with Amazon, which has since spread among his readers and throughout the literary community. More than 900 other writers have signed on, including John Grisham and Stephen King.
Critic Bob Mondello says The Dog, a quirky, eye-opening documentary about the bank robber who inspired Dog Day Afternoon, will leave you "alternately amused and slack-jawed in astonishment."
John Michael McDonagh's new movie stars Brendan Gleeson as a priest who must eventually face off against a killer. It's excruciatingly obvious and inept, but Gleeson brings it alive.
His new book, Dissident Gardens, follows three generations of an activist family. The book is fiction, but its characters were inspired by Lethem's own story. Originally broadcast Sept. 9, 2013.
NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans says Steven Soderbergh's Cinemax medical show makes an unusual decision for a period drama: it looks seriously at race in America.
Parabens are chemical preservatives. I've spent years trying to avoid them in beauty products, but I'm not sure why. When I saw them on a nutrition label recently, I decided to investigate.