Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday Chat: Summer Vacation Reading!

(Summer weekends are busy, so I've been running out of links by Monday, and a lot of people aren't in their offices Friday afternoon to read additional links anyway. So I thought this would be a fun time to slot in some discussion posts! LET'S TALK ABOUT STUFF.)

(Related bit of housekeeping: I headed out for the holiday weekend, so morning links will continue as usual but afternoon will probably return on Wednesday.)

All the posts about summer reading and beach books have made me wonder: What do you all actually like to read during the summer and/or on vacation? I think of summer (in general, not travel) as a time for long books that transport you to another world, like fantasy epics or historical fiction. On the other hand, when I'm traveling, I tend to like things I can pick up and put down easily without forgetting what's going on, and for convenience I usually use my Kindle rather than paper books (which I prefer otherwise), so I tend to blow through a bunch of romances or other fairly light novels that I've picked up on Kindle sales or had recommended by friends.

All that said, I once reread The Great Gatsby on a beach while drinking champagne, which was basically the platonic ideal of summer reading situations.

How about you? Any patterns? Any specific titles you're planning to read on vacation this summer?

Morning Coffee (6/30/17)

Time for some happy Friday links!

Ooh, today's Victor Hugo Google doodle is pretty.

I love this: Books & Mortar: A Day in the Life of Judy Blume, Bookseller

Record-breaking Harry Potters!! (Harries Potter?)

Want to Transcribe Rare Magical Manuscripts on Your Lunch Break? WHO DOESN'T?

The Onion but TOO REAL: Lonely Elementary Schooler Already Crushing Library’s Summer Reading Program

Now I'm a bit disappointed I'm not flying Delta until August and so will miss cover model Justin Trudeau!

I bet your Friday needs The Many Amazing Hats of Royal Ascot.

Huh: This Anti-Sand Towel Is a Must for Your Next Beach Trip

Let's ogle some gorgeous libraries.

COCKTAIL TIME: 16 Rosé Cocktails You'll Be Obsessed With This Summer

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/29/17)

Ooh, fun: Which Books Do Americans Take on Vacation? (I think I'm going to start little chat posts on Friday afternoons and that might be a good topic for tomorrow...)

This sounds like a very sensible approach to relationships and I am in favor: To Stay in Love, Sign on the Dotted Line

HAHAHAHA: 8 Male Authors to Read Before You Die (The Walden section is my favorite, obviously.)

Interesting: Britain’s Futile Attempt to Keep American Colonists From Taking Tribal Land

Trace Martin Luther’s Footsteps Through Germany (Bring your Playmobil! Take pictures! It'd be cute!)

Morning Coffee (6/29/17)

ICYMI, I wrote up a little review of Canadian mystery show Cardinal yesterday.

This is horrifying and sadly unsurprising: She Told a Guy She Worked at an Abortion Clinic. On Their Next Date, He Raped Her.

Sigh: Watch Donald Trump Creep Out an Irish Reporter While She Is Reporting on Him

The U.S. already has a high-quality, universal childcare program — in the military

Amazing: "If putting the president’s exact words into icing on a cake is considered an act of terror, the problem is not the cake."

A sartorial scandal in French Parliament? The far-left members refuse to wear ties.

Get That Life: How I Became Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff

OH NO: Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond dies at 91

I love this: Chiropractors Are Bullshit

Useful for your summer travels? Where You Do and Don’t Need to Tip Around the World (ARE you going on exciting summer trips? Tell me about them! I am going to Florida in August because I made questionable choices.)

This sounds like a smart business decision! Good for her! Lindsay Lohan Is Capitalizing on Your Curiosity by Launching a Subscription-Based Lifestyle Website

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/28/17)

This is fascinating: Supertasters among the dreaming spires

Dungeons & Dragons Wouldn’t Be What It Is Today Without These Women

The Weird, Mystic Pull of Southwest England

How the Lacoste Polo Shirt Modernized Tennis and Helped Shape Fashion

Heh: Even in the 1700s, Book Clubs Were Really About Drinking and Socializing

TV Review: Cardinal

Canadian mystery show Cardinal premiered on CTV back in January, but before its U.S. premiere on Hulu earlier this month, it had a screening at the Austin TV Festival, and that was a GREAT idea. Because it was the perfect way to get the word out to the audience for this kind of quiet, slow murder show - like me. I wasn't at the event, but before it had even concluded multiple people had sent me messages saying that I would LOVE THIS SHOW.

And I did! As everyone had promised, it had lots of murder and lots of snow, which are two of my favorite things. More specifically: it's about police detective John Cardinal, pulled back into a case when a body is found that turns out to be that of a girl whose disappearance he previously investigated (but didn't solve, obviously), and his new partner Lise Delorme, who is secretly investigating him while they're both investigating what turns out to be a string of murders. The plot is satisfyingly twisty but not too labored; everything comes together nicely and the crimes are very creepy.

One of my favorite things about this show was that, while both lead detectives were a bit troubled and had stuff going on their personal lives, both Cardinal and Delorme were pretty grounded, pragmatic detectives who acted professionally. In a lot of mystery shows, a practical lady detective has to deal with a male partner who's a charismatic maverick rulebreaker, and much as I love some of these shows individually (Broadchurch is back tonight! yay!), I'm getting very sick of that trope. So I really enjoyed the way Cardinal and Delorme were both flawed and a bit messy but things weren't set up so the boring serious one had to clean up after the flashy one.

Cardinal is also just a joy to watch because it's well-made: the writing and acting are solid and the show is gorgeously shot. The snowy landscapes are starkly beautiful without being romanticized, and episode five has a particularly memorable well-executed tracking shot. The world of the show feels very real and textured. Also, as I said: Lots of snow. Perfect to binge on a hot summer weekend. All six hours of season one of Cardinal are now streaming on Hulu, and a new season is on the way.

(Reviews are made possible by my generous Patreon supporters. Come join in!)

Morning Coffee (6/28/17)

This is amazing: A Time magazine with Trump on the cover hangs in his golf clubs. It’s fake.

Poll: Other Countries Hate Trump Even More Than We Do

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Trump lawyer's firm steered millions in donations to family members, files show

Turkey's Writers Face Yet More Trials

This is terrible: The Anti-Vaccination Movement Is Working with the Nation of Islam to Scare Black Families

The inside story of how TMZ quietly became America’s most potent pro-Trump media outlet

Okay, some good news! Canadian army officer is first female infantry officer to command Queen's Guard

Whoa: “Thing” now has a new definition in the Oxford English Dictionary, thanks to “The West Wing”

!! Dinosaurs’ sensitive snouts enabled courtship ‘face stroking’, study suggests

Interesting: Amazon mines sales data for Harry Potter trends

What??? Oreo Is Making Candy Canes

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/27/17)

The Librarian Who Guarded the Manhattan Project’s Secrets

On Denmark's Jutland coast an elegant new museum counters a Nazi monolith

Your "rich people behaving hilariously" story for the day: Young Socialites Conjure the Ghost of Leonard Bernstein at the Dakota

A “Bullet-Proof” Monster Terrorized the French Countryside 250 Years Ago

Was Jane Eyre Written as a Secret Love Letter?

Morning Coffee (6/27/17)

I'm extremely hesitant to believe anything that suggests the Senate bill won't just pass, but for what it's worth, the Times seems to think it's "edging toward collapse". Honestly, I still assume this is so people can LOOK like they objected and then have a meaningless "fix" at the last minute, but I'd love to be wrong!

Hrm: White House says Syria’s Assad preparing another chemical attack, warns of ‘heavy’ penalty

Uh... Ivanka Trump, Adviser To The President: I Try To ‘Stay Out Of Politics’

The GOP Can Only Defend Itself by Lying

But there was actually some good news yesterday! Gay Couples Entitled to Equal Treatment on Birth Certificates, Justices Rule

Also! Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Did Not Retire Today

I love the galleries the Guardian puts together for photos of celebrations around the world. Here's Eid al-Fitr.

I also love Truly Devious, the forthcoming mystery by my boss and friend Maureen Johnson, and you can read an excerpt (and see the cover) now!

Awesome: Girl Scouts Will Start Offering Cybersecurity Badges to Promote Interest in Science And Math Fields

Ooh: 10,000 medieval pottery finds at Newport Memorial Hall

Monday, June 26, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/26/17)

JD and Kate's posts about their visits to presidential museums are great. Here's Jimmy Carter! (They actually met Jimmy Carter!!)

Medieval Scholars Believed in the Possibility of Parallel Universes

!! Birds’ Egg Shapes Might Be Determined By How Well They Fly

I just read a book that took place partially in Hong Kong, so I was interested to see these pictures: Scenes From Hong Kong, 'Pearl of the Orient'

Lost in Arabia

Morning Coffee (6/26/17)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

Oh, New Hampshire: This State Almost Let Pregnant Women Kill People

These are all the people the Senate health care bill will hurt

This sounds fine and normal: "Three foreign ambassadors — one from Asia and two from Europe — said they had taken to contacting the National Security Council because the State Department does not return their calls or does not offer substantive answers when it does."

Interesting: ‘We’re told we’re anti-Welsh bigots and fascists’ – the storm over Welsh-first schooling

Melville, please call your office: The Killer Whales Haunting Fishermen in the Bering Sea

Millennials Are Using Public Libraries More Than Any Other Generation. SO THERE.

Nazi spies planned bombings in Chile, archives reveal

Important: Your Email Font Choice Is Making You Look Like a Sociopath

How To Not Get Things Done: The case for to-do list rollover

Friday, June 23, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/23/17)

Fun: What It's Like to Have Dinner with Prince Harry (I just read a book that took place in Singapore and it was FASCINATING.)

Hear, hear: Zipping Your Own Dress Shouldn't Be a Problem

NPR has your playlist needs covered: Roséwave: 75 Songs To Kick Off A Faux-Luxe Summer

Amazing: The ABCs of WWI, a British Wartime Alphabet Primer

Ooh! An interactive map of Scottish Clan Battlefields, useful for your Outlander or general historical needs.

Morning Coffee (6/23/17)

FINALLY FRIDAY. Time for our traditional happy links.

Stop rubbing it in, Canada: Justin Trudeau Hugs a Puppet Unicorn in a Beautiful Universe Much Like Our Own

Road trip? The 41 Most Instagram-Worthy Ice Cream Shops in the United States

TRUE: No Chris Week Is Complete Without Nerd Hunk Chris Hayes

Important journalism: The CW All-Stars: Which Actors Have Appeared on the Most Shows?

Jessica at Go Fug Yourself made us an amazing Breton stripes shopping guide.

Aw, here's a firefighter and the kitten he rescued from a chimney.

This is as wacky as you'd expect: Summer solstice at Stonehenge – in pictures

I may need some Crayola nail polish.

Let's buy some beach bags!

Ooh: Vintage Royal Ascot Jewels

Stay Cozy with These Literary Socks

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/22/17)

The Scandalous Divorce Case that Influenced the Declaration of Independence

This is fascinating: China's Mistress-Dispellers

The Great Uprising: How a Powder Revolutionized Baking

Here is a very useful and important review of the new Transformers movie.

The British Library has a fun post about manuscripts showing how people in cold climates thought others stayed cool in hot weather. It involves the marvelous sentence "Medieval writers also worried about how dragons coped with heat."

Morning Coffee (6/22/17)

The 55 things the White House has promised to get back to us on

Are Russian Operatives Attacking Putin Critics in the U.S.?

Let's check on if things are more stable else- oh. Romania's government collapses as ruling party MPs oust prime minister

Interesting: Work starts to identify Argentinian Falklands war dead

Huh: Excommunicating mobsters? Vatican eyes new legal doctrine

Instagram account Everyday Africa tries to change perceptions

Gaza Dating Site Matches Widows to Men Seeking 2nd (or 3rd) Wife

The neo-fascist philosophy that underpins both the alt-right and Silicon Valley technophiles

Behind a bookcase, a secret passageway leads to a trove of Nazi artifacts in Argentina

This is fascinating. Such a scam! I Went on a Quest for Legit Health Tips at Gwyneth’s Goop Summit

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/21/17)

This is fascinating (and SUCH PRETTY PICTURES): Is It Possible to Fix the Indian Wedding Business?

ALSO VERY PRETTY: With Acrobats and Cake, a Paris Opera Celebrates Its Rebirth

How A. E. Housman Invented Englishness

Rachel Jackson, the Scandalous Divorcee Who Almost Became First Lady

Huh: How Animals Develop Regional Accents

Book Review: Prince Charles: The Passions & Paradoxes of an Improbable Life

First of all: obviously, a biography will generally only be interesting if the reader is interested in the subject. I know a lot of people are opposed to the modern monarchy or just find royal stuff boring, and that's fine but clearly if you feel that way this is not the book for you! So I'm not going to be trying to litigate any of those questions here. The useful question, I think, is whether, if you are interested in Prince Charles, this is a book you will enjoy. And I think it is!

This biography is very, very detailed, with a ton of information about pretty much every aspect of Charles' life. I'm reasonably well-informed about the royal family, but even so there was so much here I didn't know. Lots about architecture. And sustainable gardening. Charles cares a lot about his pet causes, which is great, but my eyes started to glaze over a TAD during some of that. There was also a lot about royal logistics, which I sincerely find completely fascinating, but again - not exactly a breezy read.

Of course, in among all those details, there's plenty of juicy stuff about Charles' life, including his relationships with Diana and Camilla, his kids, his parents, everyone else. This is not an authorized biography, but Smith clearly had a lot of access and cooperation from people in Charles' life, and she's clearly sympathetic to him. But it's interesting to read while keeping her sources very much in mind - this is what his friends say about xyz, this is what his staff says, etc. There were a lot of details about his relationships that I hadn't read before, and it seems clearer than ever that his marriage to Diana was a complete disaster from the day one - and ever before that - and that they could never have been happy together. It's terribly sad, these two incompatible people who were incapable of giving each other what they needed, and I'm happy that Charles has found happiness with Camilla now.

Camilla sounds pretty awesome here, actually, and given Diana's popularity and Camilla's unpopularity, it was striking to note how Camilla seems much better suited for her public role than Diana ever was. I hadn't realized that during her marriage Diana refused to get involved in causes and resisted public appearances, and only became an advocate later, while Camilla seems to be genuinely comfortable with traveling around promoting good causes and admiring people's prize turnips and such. (In fact, Camilla and Kate seem more naturally suited to this royal role than any of the men, which I suppose makes sense given that they were the ones who had some choice about whether to take it up.) Also, a friend of Camilla's describes her sitting room as "crammed with books and knitting," so obviously we should hang out.

I know the traditions of the monarchy often seem archaic, but one thing this book really brought home was how much thought and effort current members of the royal family, especially the Queen and Prince Charles, have been putting into modernizing it - both politically and economically, as far as revising the way the finances work and coming up with new income streams, as well as culturally, using social media. (At one point they also quoted Prince Harry as basically saying "OMG you guys, JUST TEXT LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE," which was hilarious.)

One thing this book could have really used were some genealogical tables. I mean, I love those in general, but especially in a book like this with so many generations of intermarried families - it would have been useful to easily trace how people were related. (Not the royals - I know who they are - but all the other miscellaneous aristocrats and distant relatives who keep popping up.)

Also! If you're kind of interested but not enough to read 500 pages about architecture and logistics, I'd recommend just reading the highlights from Go Fug Yourself. Their summary is delightful.

And the one thing you really REALLY need to know is that apparently Prince Charles and Mark Rylance correspond about crop circles. Yes, really.

(Book reviews are made possible by my awesome Patreon patrons. Join us!)

Morning Coffee (6/21/17)

The New Face of Russian Resistance

This is an amazing story of a doctor in Dakar: The Soul of a Feminist

Why the Supreme Court’s decision to review Wisconsin’s gerrymandering is such a big deal

Behind the Democrats’ Emoluments Lawsuit Against Trump

He broke ground in stem-cell research. Now he’s running for Congress.

How The New York Times moderates 12,000 comments a day

Why Do Men Harass Women? New Study Sheds Light On Motivations

An ancient Islamic city has been found under an Ethiopian town where local lore spoke of giants

This is so cool: The History of Movable Paper in One Massive, 9,000-Book Collection

Whyyyyy: ‘Sherlock’ Team Reuniting for New ‘Dracula’ Series

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/20/17)

The Thrilling Tale of How Robert Smalls Seized a Confederate Ship and Sailed it to Freedom

The best TV adaptations aren’t direct translations. They’re windows into worlds.

People Used to Be So Scared of Coffee That Bach Wrote a Cantata About It

How Pasteur’s Artistic Insight Changed Chemistry

The Artful Propaganda of Soviet Children’s Literature

Morning Coffee (6/20/17)

This is a funny and useful refresher: Hey, Remember That Congressional Election in Georgia? It’s Finally Happening!

"France is back." Macron's En Marche party just swept the French parliament.

ISIS says it carried out an attack in Jerusalem, but Hamas claims it did. Here’s why that matters.

Let's not pretend leaks and hacking are a problem for just one party: GOP Data Firm Accidentally Leaks Personal Details of Nearly 200 Million American Voters

Who in the White House Will Turn Against Donald Trump?

Important: The Link Between Domestic Violence and Mass Shootings

‘You Can’t Rattle Her’: Katy Tur on the Rise

Yay, we've got a Star Trek: Discovery premiere date!

I'm reading the first of these books now and it's fascinating: With Rich People Problems, the Crazy Rich Asians Series Goes Global

Revealed in Israel, a 2,600-Year-Old Request for Wine

Friday, June 16, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/16/17)

If you'd like a nice juicy read for your Friday afternoon, don't miss Weddings of the 0.01 Percent. (Now I want to read a novel about super fancy wedding planners.)

Mallory Ortberg's Internet

Bias, She Wrote: The Gender Balance of The New York Times Best Seller list

This is so interesting: The ATU Fable Index: Like the Dewey Decimal System, But With More Ogres

The Spy Who Became England’s First Successful Female Writer

Morning Coffee (6/16/17)

Time for some Friday happy links!

Canada's just SHOWING OFF now: A Chiseled Justin Trudeau Casually Kayaked Up to This Family’s Dock to Talk About Climate Change

The Hidden Treasures in Italian Libraries

Aw, look at Luna Legend's first pitch. Also, Luna Legend sounds like the name of a superhero.

Why yes, I DO want to ogle the US's most expensive vacation homes.

She makes a compelling case: S’mores Should Be Made With Chocolate Frosting

Get Lost in These Real-World Fairy Tale Landscapes

Did you know there is such thing as SILENT BOOK CLUB????

!! In 1964, You Could Buy Magazines From a Street Dalek

I'd... try this: Someone invented a black latte for people who hate unicorn drinks

Vintage Photos of Traveling Libraries

18 Cocktails That Are Basically Summer in a Glass Is it the weekend yet?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/15/17)

This is fascinating: The Invention of World History

In Defense of Cultural Appropriation

Our 300-year love affair with advice columns

!!! The Bears Haunting Dracula’s Castle in Romania

Jill Eisenstadt on Surviving the Literary Brat Pack

Morning Coffee (6/15/17)

Well. Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say

Congressional Democrats to file emoluments lawsuit against Trump

By one definition, the GOP baseball shooting is the 154th mass shooting this year

Kamala Harris Got Shut Down After Asking an Incredibly Important Question. Again. WONDER WHY.

Who Needs Rule of Law?

Revealed: reality of life working in an Ivanka Trump clothing factory

Bared Breast Enthralls a Future Czar, and Stokes a Russian Culture War

SIGH: An Uber board member interrupted a presentation about sexism to make a sexist joke

I'm so excited to read this: Anthony Horowitz’s Whodunit Within the Whodunit

!!! ‘Bake in Space’ Experiment Aims to Make Crumb-Free Bread on ISS

Secret Mexican diary sheds light on Spanish Inquisition

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/14/17)

Can Instagram Keep People Reading Books?

Explore Armenia’s Medieval Monasteries in Interactive 360-Degree Panoramas

I'd try it: Fancy a glass of … Britagne? England’s vineyards seek a snappy brand name

Interesting: How An 80-Year-Old Murder Inspired My Present-Day Novel

A Darkness Lit with Sheets of Fire

Morning Coffee (6/14/17)

This is a difficult, important story: Turning Pain Into Hope: Rwanda’s children of rape are coming of age — against the odds.

Putin's Monster

Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known

Trump’s Tweets Must Now Be Taken Seriously

Yesterday was really quite a time for new restrictions on media access to the Senate, given the SECRET HEALTH CARE BILL and all.

Why James Comey’s prepared testimony reads like a great American short story

The Madness of King Trump

The J.K. Rowling response is what makes this: Donald Trump blocked Stephen King on Twitter, according to the author

Remembering the Murder You Didn't Commit

Ooh: Ta-Nehisi Coates unveils cover for Obama-era book We Were Eight Years in Power

Posh Roman London teen's skeleton to return to her final resting place

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/13/17)

Can We Blame the Mafia on Lemons?

I wish we could watch this here! Indian soap tackles taboos to become one of world's most watched

How St. Augustine Invented Sex

Well, this definitely made me want to read the book: The Biggest Mystery of My Book is Its Cover

A C.S.A. for Books

Morning Coffee (6/13/17)

The Toll That the Mexico City Policy Will Take in Africa

U.S. Cyberweapons, Used Against Iran and North Korea, Are a Disappointment Against ISIS (Buried in there - details on what Trump is accused of leaking to Russia.)

Obamacare is in real danger

Trump gets another travel ban defeat — and the clock is ticking

President Trump held a Cabinet meeting, and it was weird

No, Donald Trump doesn’t have 110 million people following him on social media

Nevada Is Considering a Revolutionary Health-Care Experiment

She accused a NASCAR champion of domestic violence and it ruined her life

AWESOME: These Teen Girls Invented a Straw That Can Detect Date-Rape Drugs in Drinks

The Rise of Cryptocurrency Ponzi Schemes

Found: An Aztec Temple Hiding Under the Streets of Mexico City

Monday, June 12, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/12/17)

The Rise of the Global Novelist

This is fascinating: 'It was quasi-religious': the great self-esteem con

Whoa: Tracking Bumblebees Based on Their Buzzes

From Penelope to Pussyhats, The Ancient Origins of Feminist Craftivism

As usual, Todd VanDerWerff writes pieces I love even about things I don't care about: The Mummy says more about its stars and its franchise than anything mummy-related

Morning Coffee (6/12/17)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

Important news to start your Monday: Bear breaks into house, plays the piano but not very well

Go NHS! All 48 London Bridge attack victims who made it to hospital have survived

Everything You Need to Know About Lord Buckethead, the Spacelord Star of the UK General Election

This is great: Muslim and Latino groups unite during Ramadan, breaking fast with tacos at mosques

'Who Threatens You?' Researchers Asked Teen Girls Affected By Conflict

Important: The Myth of the Kindly General Lee

"No staffer wants to get too far out on a limb when they’re working for an unpredictable arborist."

"The thing about working in an environment with no job security – which most Americans and no senators do – is that you quickly come to understand that what the boss 'hopes' for, the boss gets, whether it's a coffee or you working late every night or the end to an investigation into your former national security advisor's contacts with the Russian government."

Here’s The Best Tool We Have For Understanding How The Midterms Are Shaping Up

Ooh, good news! Books of Wonder to Open Upper West Side Location

Stunning fossil reveals prehistoric baby bird caught in amber

Friday, June 9, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/9/17)

Madame Bovary’s Wedding Cake

Fascinating trajectory: The Gospel According to Glennon

Cheap Thrills, Private Dicks, and Desperate Dames From the Heyday of Pulp Fiction

The Mysteries of a Rare, 18th-Century Native American Map

Why St Nicholas works wonders for Russians

Morning Coffee (6/9/17)

Time for our traditional Friday happy links!

I am SO EXCITED about Sarah Rees Brennan's new book! (Also, her description of Holly Black in that post is PERFECT.)

Awesome: Orly's New Collection Finally Makes It Possible For Muslims to Wear Nail Polish

I enjoy the Clooneys' statement about their babies, and also that they gave the kids real names.

Literary Mansplaining: The Do’s and Don’ts of Dating a Reader

Useful! STEM Heroines in Romance ― The Master List

Another reason Norway is great: ANNUAL LITERATURE TRAIN.

The Makings of a Delicious Eton Mess

Found: Cat’s Paw Print on a Roman Roof Tile

Please Appreciate This Magnificent Turn of the Century Seed Catalog Art

Ooh: The Bookish Guest's Room

And now I want a literary shower curtain.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/8/17)

The Hidden Women in Astronomy Research

Why Are We So Afraid of Female Desire?

Solved: The 47-Year Mystery of a Murder Victim’s Many Identities

The Anxiety of Recommending Books to Other People

Commemorating Russia’s last coronation

Morning Coffee (6/8/17)

Theresa May Stumbles Awkwardly to Election Day

James Comey’s dramatic prepared testimony about President Trump, explained

Trump’s loyalty demand to Comey is part of his ongoing corrosion of constitutional government

Why Donald Trump's travel ban tweets are legally idiotic, explained for Donald Trump

The Trump White House is really hanging Jeff Sessions out to dry

This was a very good gesture, especially right now: Prince Harry Shares a Meal with Muslim Community in Singapore

Why Police Chiefs Oppose Texas’s New Anti-Immigrant Law

Whoa: The story of human evolution in Africa is undergoing a major rewrite

Why are reindeer flying to a remote Alaskan village? (I will admit that this made me think "Wait, reindeer can't REALLY fly, can they??")

Aw: A kitten nursery saves tiny lives in a city aiming to become ‘no kill’

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/7/17)

This is wild: How D-Day code words ended up in British crossword puzzles

I love this: The Mathematical Poet: Exploring Edgar Allan Poe’s Logical Imagination

The Mummies’ Medical Secrets? They’re Perfectly Preserved

To Save Its Cliffside Towns, Italy Revives the Art of Terracing

The Delightful English Tradition of Beating Parish Boundaries With Sticks

Morning Coffee (6/7/17)

The Persian Gulf crisis over Qatar, explained

Aaand: US suspects Russian hackers planted fake news behind Qatar crisis

Somaliland Wants To Make One Thing Clear: It Is NOT Somalia

Let's pause for some good news: Ireland’s likely next PM would be first gay, minority leader

How Donald Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money Into His Business

Welp: The $110 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia is fake news

Kushner Companies Seeking $250 Million to Pay Off Chinese Backers

Has anyone told Donald Trump that he runs the government?

Trump’s tweets matter because, like it or not, he’s running the US government

What a surprise: Female physicians are called ‘doctor’ less than men

Huh, interesting: Novel-writing officer accused of damaging Spanish police's reputation

Found: The Oldest Human-Made Metal Object Ever Discovered in South America

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/6/17)

The Wartime Spies Who Used Knitting as an Espionage Tool

How Cold Brew Changed the Coffee Business

Unsealed 75 years after the Battle of Midway: New details of an alarming WWII press leak

Premier League Proving Grounds

When Nova Scotia Almost Joined the American Revolution

Morning Coffee (6/6/17)

The U.N. asked for billions to avert four hunger crises. The money didn’t arrive.

Supreme Court Affirms Ruling Striking Down NC Legislative Districts

Oh: Trump Organization to Go Budget Friendly With ‘American Idea’ Hotel Chain

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Trump’s budget chief just disavowed a big part of Trump’s budget

How Climate Change Saved Steve Bannon's Job

I heard this story on the radio yesterday and it's just terrible all around: Concord Refugee Faces Charges, Barriers and Misunderstanding

Aww: Peter Sallis, Voice of Wallace in ‘Wallace & Gromit’ Films, Dies at 96

Very 2017: Man who mowed lawn with tornado behind him says he 'was keeping an eye on it'

Oh, Boston: A Former 7-Eleven Owner Opened a Rival Store Across the Street Named 6-Twelve

Whoa: A Stash of 30 Hidden Bayonets Was Discovered in Valley Forge

Friday, June 2, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/2/17)

Miley Cyrus's Creepy Return to Wholesomeness

I expected this to be a joke but it was very interesting and well-reasoned! Dream President-Novelist Collaborations

The prom dress: An anthropological history of America’s sexual coming-of-age costume

Need some fiction for your Friday afternoon? I liked Curtis Sittenfeld's new New Yorker story.

The Wolf Must Be in the Woods

Morning Coffee (6/2/17)

Time for our traditional happy Friday links!

Aaah, we have a Murder on the Orient Express trailer! It's so gorgeous!

Victoria & Abdul also looks very pretty! JUDI DENCH EVERYWHERE.

Oh good - Hottest Heads of State has addressed Emmanuel Macron.

British GQ has a very cute new picture of Will and Kate and kids, and William is doing a really nice job of speaking out about mental health and his mother's death.

!!! Rainbow Rowell to write Marvel's new Runaways series (I don't have any particular Runaways feelings but yay Rainbow!)

In other exciting superhero news: The Flash and Supergirl to get middle-grade novels

This week in things I wish were relevant to my life right now: The best afternoon teas in London

Take a Long Walk Through the British Countyside With “Slow Radio” on the BBC

Wow: Architects have identified the 10 most beautiful gas stations in the world

! Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Professional Cat Cuddler?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Afternoon Tea (6/1/17)

During Ramadan, Home Cooks Shine

A Deep Dive into Goodreads’ Top 100 Mysteries & Thrillers

Edith Wharton Recruited the World’s Greatest Artists to Raise Money for WWI Refugees

The Feuds of Diana Trilling

The forgotten history of how ancient Zoroastrians helped create the old Silk Route

Morning Coffee (6/1/17)

I couldn't pick a quote because this whole thing is amazing and heartbreaking and inspiring: Hillary Clinton Is Furious. And Resigned. And Funny. And Worried.

Source: Comey to testify publicly about Trump confrontations

"Laughter erupted in the room, but it is impossible to report here at this time whether Spicer was smiling or actually meant what he said, literally. That’s because the White House decided to hold the press briefings with cameras turned off."

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Mike Flynn’s Firm Was Paid to Make a Pro-Erdogan Propaganda Film While He Advised Trump

You don't say: China Sees an Opening in Rift Between Trump and Germany

HEROES: These 8th-graders from New Jersey refused to be photographed with Paul Ryan

Someone complained to the mayor of Austin (!!) about the Alamo's women-only Wonder Women screenings and his response is great.

Ooh! A Lost Edith Wharton Play Emerges from Scholarly Sleuthing

Mummy DNA shows that the ancients don’t have much in common with modern Egyptians

Earth May Once Have Been a Donut-Shaped Mass of Vaporized Rock Called a Synestia