There is no one definition of a summer book. It can be a 1,000-page biography, a critically acclaimed literary novel, a memoir everyone is talking about — or it might be your favorite guilty pleasure: romance, crime, science fiction. Whatever you choose, it should be able to sweep you away to another world, because there is nothing like getting totally lost in a book on summer day. Here are a few books that swept away some of our favorite critics.
Comedian and actor Aisha Tyler brews beer, plays video games, tells dirty jokes, drinks fancy booze and ... writes books.
She has a new one out this week: Self-inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humilation. We sat down in the NPR studios over a mug of 18-year-old scotch to talk about her most embarrassing moments on the road to success. (No, really, we did. Listen to us toast.)
For those of you wondering who Aisha Tyler is, here's a quick breakdown (to be read quickly):
Investigators in San Francisco are poring over the wreckage of Asiana Airlines Flight 214. Two people were killed on Saturday when the plane crash-landed. Firefighters positioned themselves to knock down most of the fire in the fuselage with foam.
Over the next few weeks, thousands of U.S. based publicly traded corporations will be reporting their quarterly results. Within days though, judgments will start to be made on whether the economy is holding up well enough to justify stock prices that are approaching a new peak. Alcoa says it lost more money than expected during the second quarter of this year because of restructuring costs.
In Sanford, Fla., lawyers for George Zimmerman are presenting witnesses who back up his claim that he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin. They include several people who identify Zimmerman as the person heard screaming for help in a 911 call. And, Zimmerman's defense got another boost on Monday when the judge ruled the jury can hear evidence of drug use by Martin.
As Larry just said, the Privacy Board can now openly debate NSA surveillance programs, thanks to the revelations from Edward Snowden. And this is just one example of how Snowden's leaks have put the NSA in a bind. To talk more about this we're joined by NPR's justice correspondent Carrie Johnson. Carrie, thanks for coming in.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Just after Edward Snowden first leaked secrets about government surveillance, he gave an interview to two journalists while he was hiding out in Hong Kong. Yesterday, The Guardian newspaper released more of that interview with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras.
GREENE: In that video, Snowden discusses why he exposed the surveillance programs.
And to help us understand more about what that cockpit crew may have been facing, we reached David Esser. He's an airline transport pilot and a professor of Aeronautical Science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
DAVID ESSER: Good morning.
MONTAGNE: Now even if as we just heard, accidents like this are a result of a chain of events, it's clear in this case that something did go wrong during the landing. Describe for us the difficulty of landing an aircraft like this.
It sounded like a slip of the tongue. As millions of Egyptians took to the streets calling for President Mohammed Morsi to step down, state TV anchor George Heshmat casually used the word "revolution" instead of "protests."
This signaled that state TV was beginning to assert its independence from a government that was never a good fit for it anyway. It was clear that something had changed at the voice of the state — even before Morsi was pushed from power.
The Last of Us is a new survival horror video game and it features — no big surprise — zombie-like creatures. But these are not the same old zombies that have dominated movie and TV screens in the past few years.
Neil Druckmann, creative director for The Last of Us, says he wanted a fresh new way to wipe out humanity — and he found it in a BBC documentary series called Planet Earth, which depicts the scary effects of the Cordyceps fungus.
New York City has long been considered the nation's epicenter for all things culinary. The borough of Manhattan had more than 6,000 restaurants at last count. And the city has the most three-star Michelin-starred restaurants in the country — closing in on Paris.
But lately, some cooks have begun to go elsewhere to make names for themselves.
Among the reasons for the culinary exodus: Chefs' obsession with local ingredients is making smaller communities a lot more appealing.
Across the Midwestern corn belt, a familiar battle has resumed, hidden in the soil. On one side are tiny, white larvae of the corn rootworm. On the other side are farmers and the insect-killing arsenal of modern agriculture.