Arts & Life

9:14am

Mon December 31, 2012
The Salt

Green Grapes And Red Underwear: A Spanish New Year's Eve

Ringing in the New Year in Spain requires eating a dozen grapes and wearing a very specific kind of undergarment.
Jeff Koehler

If the thought of watching the ball drop in Times Square again is already making you yawn, consider perking your New Year's Eve celebration with this tradition from Spain: As midnight nears on Nochevieja, or "old night," the last day of the year, the entire country gathers in front of television screens or in town squares, clutching a small bowl of green grapes and wearing red underwear. More on the underwear later.

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5:04am

Mon December 31, 2012
Around the Nation

Popular Baby Names For 2013

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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1:31am

Mon December 31, 2012
Books

Listen Up! Audiobooks For Every Taste

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:46 am

iStockphoto.com
  • Hear an excerpt of 'Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power'

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the holiday rush — too swamped, even, to spend an afternoon reading those books you got for Christmas, we have some recommendations for you — but these are audiobooks, so you can listen while you multitask.

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1:29am

Mon December 31, 2012
The Salt

Cheap Bubbly Or Expensive Sparkling Wine? Look To The Bubbles For Clues

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 8:03 am

The bubbles in champagne tickle the tongue and transfer wonderful aromas to the nose.
iStockphoto.com

There's nothing like the distinctive "pop" of the uncorking of a bottle of bubbly to create a sense of celebration. Whether it's Dom Perignon or a $10 sparkling wine, bubbles add pizazz.

Sparkling-wine lovers sometimes point to the glittering streams of tiny bubbles as an important attribute. Why? Well, tiny bubbles are a sign of age, explains French chemist Gerard Liger-Belair, author of Uncorked: The Science of Champagne.

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3:55pm

Sun December 30, 2012
Book Reviews

Author Ben Fountain's Book Picks For 2013

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 4:33 pm

Ben Fountain is the author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and the short story collection Brief Encounters With Che Guevara.
Thorne Anderson

Last spring, weekends on All Things Considered spoke with author Ben Fountain just as he released his widely acclaimed first novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Later in the year, it was nominated for the National Book Award.

We asked Fountain to share with us what he's looking forward to in the book world next year. He says he's read about 25 books for release in 2013 and tells host Jacki Lyden, "The state of American fiction is really strong, at least from where I'm standing."

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