Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Have you ever walked out of a movie theater and said to your companion, "Wow, the science in that film was awesome?"

In Tiffany Haddish's new memoir, The Last Black Unicorn, she writes "I know that a lot of these stories will seem unbelievable. I look back over my life and I'm like, 'For real, that happened?'"

You could just look at Tiffany Haddish's career this year and ask that question. She was the breakout star of this summer's raucous hit movie, Girl's Trip, and last month, Haddish became the first African-American woman stand-up comedian to host Saturday Night Live.

Updated at 9:48 a.m. ET

PBS will no longer distribute Tavis Smiley following what a spokeswoman called "multiple, credible" allegations of sexual misconduct uncovered by a recent investigation into the late-night show host's behavior.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You are suspended in an endless dark chamber as thousands of red, green, yellow and blue lights flicker across the air like tiny diamonds in the sky.

Or at least that's how it appears in the selfie you just posted on Instagram. Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Mirrors" – mirror-lined rooms that seem to go on forever – is part of the latest art craze to take over social media. Immersive exhibits are driving people to museums in search of the perfect snapshot.

Couples therapist Esther Perel is an expert in cheating. She's spent the past six years of her career focusing on couples who are dealing with infidelity — and she's heard a lot of stories.

"It's never been easier to cheat — and it's never been more difficult to keep a secret," she says. "The majority of affairs would normally have died a natural death. Today they are discovered primarily through the phone or through social media or though the computer."

I don't believe in ghosts, but sometimes when I walk through my house I think I hear the forlorn cries of all the books, movies and TV shows that I've loved over the past few months but never got around to talking about. And so, every December, I try to silence those cries with my annual "Ghost List" of favorites I've ignored — a group that in 2017 ranges in spirit from cosmic surrealism to ripped-from-the-headlines immediacy.

National Treasure, Hulu

A lot of women have come forward in the past few months with stories of being sexually harassed, and often the perpetrators have lost their jobs. But in other cases, women have shared their experiences and there has been no change.

Silicon Valley engineer Niniane Wang wanted to be certain that when she came forward the man responsible paid a price.

Wang has the kind of pedigree that should equal dollar signs for any investor: a master's in computer science, founder of Google Desktop and lead engineering positions at Microsoft.

If you're a noted chef and invited to a holiday party, it's kind of assumed that you'll bring something homemade along. At least that's how it usually goes for Yotam Ottolenghi, who admits his success can sometimes intimidate hosts.

But you don't have to be a world-class chef to make showstopping desserts this holiday season: We asked him to suggest recipes that home cooks of all skill levels can tackle.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

For a chaotic year, I'm offering a chaotic "Best Books" list — but I think my list is chaotic in a good sense. These books zing off in all directions: They're fresh, unruly and dismissive of the canned and contrived.

You can't go wrong with any of these books. As one of Dashiell Hammett's dangerous dames might have said: They're all the bees' knees.

If they are to successfully make the jump to light speed, Star Wars movies require a precisely calibrated fuel mixture: one-third epic space battles, one-third narrow escapes and duly buckled swashes, one-third hooded beardy dudes standing around looking pained while solemnly intoning the cheesiest hokum about Darkness and Light as if it's Hamlet's Yorick speech (which in a way, it is).

If you need an escape from the holiday whirlwind, these three romance novels — featuring a duke with an epic library, a young girl finding herself in the big city and a proper lady finding love where she least expects it — won't disappoint. Forget the shopping and holiday prep and treat yourself to these happily-ever-afters.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning. Among the nominees is Christopher Plummer for a role he played as a last-minute replacement for Kevin Spacey. NPR's Camila Domonoske reports.

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