Weekend Reading

The deep south is still stuck in our cold wave. Here are some suggestions for another indoor weekend of interesting reading:

A Thousand and One Nights at the Call Centre by Anjali Puri at TheWire.in, which leads to
The Best Job in Town by Katherine Boo (pdf)
Trans-Siberian Railway by Giulia Mangione in Calvert Journal
My year of living ignorantly: I entered a news blackout the day Trump was elected by Christopher Hebert in the Guardian
When the Soviet Union Paid Pepsi in Warships by Anne Ewbank at Atlas Obscura
Transcript of interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson from U.S. House Intelligence Committee (pdf)

Got time to buy me a cup of coffee?

January Weekend Reading

A review of my Instapaper saves this week turns up these worthwhile articles from the web, best enjoyed inside and cozy, as in this photo of Grindelwald and Mt. Eiger at night. Enjoy these, and have a lovely weekend.

How to Remember a King by Antonia Colibasanu at Real Clear World
The Rhyme of History by Margaret Macmillan at Brookings.edu
Why humans need to rethink their place in the animal kingdom by Simon Barnes at the New Statesman
What really happened to Joshua Boyle and his family by Adnan R. Khan in Macleans
Why did New York’s JFK Struggle to Cope With its Flight Backlog? by Jason Rabinowitz at thepointsguy.com

Cold Winter Weekend Reading

Next week I think I’ll post a vignette from a trip to West Africa, some form of which should work its way into my eventual book about African travel. As for now, along with everyone else on the U.S. east coast, I’ll be spending this weekend mostly indoors. Here’s some engaging reading to enjoy by the fire, or wherever you are:

Spies, Dossiers, and the Insane Lengths Restaurants Go to Track and Influence Food Critics in the Washingtonian by Jessica Sidman
One of Us at laphamsquarterly.org by John Jeremiah Sullivan
The Bridge to Nowhere and the Bays Road at East of Elveden by my friend Laurence Mitchell
Will globalisation go into reverse? in Prospect Magazine by Barry Eichengreen
The monster beneath at 1843magazine.com by Helen Gordon
They Began a New Era in The New York Review of Books by James Salter (recommended as a Salter fan. I can also recommend the 2013 compilation of Salter’s travel writing, There and Then: The Travel Writing of James Salter)

Cheers for now.

Weekend Reading

Chances are most of us will be busy with other activities this weekend, so here are just a few suggestions for fine weekend reading:

Journey toward the Island by Laila Stien at wordswithoutborders.org
The Trolley Problem Will Tell You Nothing Useful About Morality by Brianna Rennix & Nathan J. Robinson at Current Affairs
Why Democracy Didn’t Work in Russia by Christian Caryl in The New Republic
The Case for Reading Quebec’s Most Reclusive Author by Dimitri Nasrallah in The Walrus
Citizens of anywhere by Matthew Valencia at 1843magazine.com

Merry Christmas everybody. Thanks for spending time with me here this year.

Weekend Reading

First, I invite you to drop back by tomorrow. We’ll have a lengthy photo feature, a look at how shopping around the world is done pretty much every conceivable way except the way Americans do it at Christmastime.

For now, our little corner of Appalachia saw a freak amount of snow last week. The weekly paper boasted of eleven inches. That’s 28 centimeters. The farm sits opposite the north face of a ridge that crests at 4783 feet (1458 meters). That entire ridge is still packed end to end with snow, so this weekend calls for inside by-the-fire activity. Toward that end, here is a chunky list of absorbing articles to read by the hearth.

The Secret History of the Russian Consulate in San Fransisco by Zach S Dorfman in Foreign Policy
One of Us by John Jeremiah Sullivan at Lapham’s Quarterly
Beyond the animal brain: plants have cognitive capacities too by Laura Ruggles at Aeon
Gained in Translation by Tim Parks at the New York Review of Books blog
Ernest Hemingway, The Art of Fiction No. 21 in the Paris Review
State of Sleaze by Suzy Hansen at The Baffler
Review: Wendy Brown’s Undoing the Demos by Nicholas Gane at theoryculturesociety.org
The global dominance of white people is thanks to the potato by Gwynn Guilford at Quartzy

And a travel-related book suggestion: I say suggestion instead of recommendation, because this is newly arrived and I’ll only begin it this weekend, but The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World is well reviewed, and the Polish-born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski was a larger than life literary figure. Besides, I’m going through an all-things-Congo phase just now. Perhaps we can enjoy it together.

Cheers for now.

Weekend Reading

An unexpected snowfall outside my window this morning, always a treat here in Georgia, USA. It provides a cozy backdrop to this week’s list of items worthy of your time over the weekend. Today, instead of articles, here are a few thought-provoking videos (If you prefer the written word, here are suggestions from weeks past):

Mother Canada – One man’s quest to have Canada’s largest war memorial erected in Green Cove, Cape Breton, is met with fervent responses from a community that’s divided on the issue.
The Big Picture: From the Big Bang to the Meaning of Life – with Sean Carroll – Sean Carroll ties together the fundamental laws of physics governing the workings of the cosmos with the everyday human experience we all share.
On Snow Leopard Mountain – Planet Earth II – Behind The Scenes – In a remote village in the Himalaya Tsewang Norboo has grown up with snow leopards. An ambient portrait of a life high in the mountains, full of silence, dark interiors and mysterious glimpses of mystical cats.
Paul Mason | PostCapitalism, February 2017, Stockholm
We’re Building a Dystopia Just to Make People Click on Ads – Zeynep Tufecki – We’re building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci.
“Age of Delirium” Film by David Satter, in ENGLISH / Фильм Дэвида Саттера “Век безумия” – “Age of Delirium,” a documentary by David Satter, tells the story of the fall of the Soviet Union as lived and experienced by the Soviet people.
• Tom Waits | Tales from a Cracked Jukebox | James Maycock | Documentary | 2017

Everybody is out with their ‘best books of the year’ lists, adding months of reading material to my bookshelves. I’ll chime in with my own list next week, but for now, here’s one to get us started: Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World by Suzy Hansen. I’ve just gotten started but so far, it’s brilliant.

Stay tuned for more reading matter next week. Cheers for now, and a good weekend to all.

Winter Weekend Reading

In our part of the world we’re getting our first blast of Arctic cold in a few days, so here is some reading to enjoy by the hearth this weekend – a little travel writing, some politics and a bit of science.

First, enjoy this as you prepare a suitably hearty stew: In honor of Finland’s 100th birthday next Wednesday, the BBC Radio 4 program, Finland at 100. Hyvää syntymäpäivää, Suomi!

And the reading:
The Damascus Journals by Roua Horaieh at The Millions
X marks the self by Thomas Jones at LRB
It’s the Kultur, Stupid by Timothy Garton Ash at NYRB
The secret tricks hidden inside restaurant menus by Richard Gray at BBC
The Nationalist’s Delusion by Adam Serwer at The Atlantic
In Search of the Common Good by Kenan Malik at Pandaemonium
Sukayu Onsen by Justin Nobel at nowheremag.com
What if consciousness is not what drives the human mind by Davis A Oakley at theconversation.com