Weekend Reading

By the time this post goes up I’ll have pulled back from the internet in part for some longer form reading, but mostly for sausage grilling, beer drinking, bonfire-making and swimming in Lake Saima in Southern Savonia, Finland. Meanwhile, I leave you with a few intelligent articles to enjoy:

Down on the border. One day on the Canada-U.S. line by Jason Markusoff, Nancy Macdonald, Aaron Hutchins and Meagan Campbell in Maclean’s.
Turkey’s Hidden Past by Christopher de Bellaigue in the New York Review of Books
Russians in Estonia by Cody L. Zilhaver at thestretegybridge.org
The Time of Our Lives by Raymond Tallis at thenewatlantis.com
Now to Stride into the Sunlight by Ian Jack in the London Review of Books

All week I’ve been staring at a stack of too many books to fit in my bag. Two or three of these will make the final cut:

Bears in the Streets: Three Journeys across a Changing Russia by Lisa Dickey
The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold: Adventures Riding the Iron Curtain by Tim Moore
Congo: The Epic History of a People by David Van Reybrouck
Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War by Lynne Olson
Lenin on the Train by Catherine Merridale

and as for page turners, at least one of:

The Dogs of War by Frederick Forsyth
The second book in the Faroe Islands trilogy, The Killing Bay by Chris Ould
The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen
The Good People by Hannah Kent, imported in advance all the way from Australia

Do you have any suggestions? What must-read am I missing?

If you’re stuck where it’s hot, may I suggest for your summer reading the cooling goodness of my own book, Out in the Cold?

CS&W the blog will probably be mostly quiet for the next couple of weeks. For now, kippis!

Friday Photo Quiz #12

First, the answer to last week’s quiz: That lazy little capital city nestled in the hills is Windhoek, capital of the beautiful southwestern African wcountry of Namibia. The other photo is from the “dead vlei,” part of the Sossusvlei desert area out by the coast. Here are more photos from Namibia, a lifetime must see destination. Photos from EarthPhotos.com.

We’ll be pausing the photo quizzes for a few weeks after today so that your author can head for a little rest and relaxation by the lake, then we’ll be back in early August with more photo quizzes up until the Labor Day holiday. This week, an easy quiz. For better or worse, this landmark remains square in the center of this country’s capital city, a former “gift” from the ruler of an adjacent land. Can you name the city? The country?

Leave your best guess as a comment. I’ll put all the correct answers into a hat, draw one, and the winner of the drawing gets a copy of the audiobook version of my book Common Sense and Whiskey. It may be that the winner must be in the USA for the Audible.com download code to work.

Win free stuff every Friday this summer. New photo every Friday, drawing the next Thursday, winner notified by email Friday. Good luck.

Now: What’s your guess in this week’s quiz? Go ahead, give it a try. Guesses accepted.

 

Out in the Cold Audiobook Available Now

Get yourself a copy of this just-published audiobook, written and narrated by me. I am not the actor with the same name. Get it: On Audible. On Amazon.

Here are several written and spoken excerpts.

Get the written version of Out in the Cold on Amazon, here, and the audiobook versions of my other books here:

Common Sense and Whiskey on Audible.
Visiting Chernobyl on Audible.

“This is a much bigger deal than you think!”

The American total eclipse is coming up fast, just over six weeks away. We’ll be trying to go four-for-four, watching from our vantage point in Georgia. Here is a nice, long piece here that tries to explain why eclipses are such a big deal to those who seek them out.

This video covers the period just before, during and just after totality at Svalbard during the March 2015 eclipse. If you’re in a hurry, skip to just before the two-minute mark to see the onset of totality.

Friday Photo Quiz #11

First, the answer to last week’s quiz: The photos were both from greater Muscat, Oman, a string of towns along the Gulf of Oman including Muscat, Mutrah and al-Bustan.

Now on to this week’s quiz. Here are the country’s modest, unassuming capital, and its most photographed feature. Can you name the city? The country?

Leave your best guess as a comment. I’ll put all the correct answers into a hat, draw one, and the winner of the drawing gets a copy of the audiobook version of my book Common Sense and Whiskey. It may be that the winner must be in the USA for the Audible.com download code to work.

Win free stuff every Friday this summer. New photo every Friday, drawing the next Thursday, winner notified by email Friday. Good luck.

Now: What’s your guess in this week’s quiz? Go ahead, give it a try. Guesses accepted.