Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/31/18)

This is WILD: How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions

Doubts Swirl Over Claims of Gold-Filled Russian Shipwreck

Yuko Fujii, the judo coach overthrowing gender stereotypes

Forbidden Forks

The Big Sleep: 25 Classic Covers, Ranked

Morning Coffee (7/31/18)

Herman Shine, One of the Few to Escape Auschwitz, Dies at 95

ICE agents pressured parents to be deported with their children — then separated them again when they refused

PLEASE: Ginsburg suggests she has at least five more years on the Supreme Court

Supreme Court: Landmark climate lawsuit against Trump administration can go forward

Rudy Giuliani’s rambling new statements on Michael Cohen and the Trump Tower meeting, decoded

The Virginia House race at the center of the “Bigfoot erotica” controversy, explained

Sinclair stations have now aired four “must-run” segments pushing for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation

Ugh, THIS guy: Dictatorship Was A 'Very Good' Period, Says Brazil's Aspiring President

Of course: Trump Administration Mulls a Unilateral Tax Cut for the Wealthy

New Land O’Lakes CEO Is First Openly Gay Woman To Head A Fortune 500 Company

Monday, July 30, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/30/18)

This is wild: The Spy Who Drove Me

Alone in the Dark: Why we need more children’s books about suicide and severe depression.

Japan’s Fiery Toyohashi Gion Festival

The Strange Stories of Soldiers Who Fought for Both Sides in World War Two

The Artist Whose Rural Dystopian Scenes Inspired an Amazon Series

Morning Coffee (7/30/18)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

A 6-Year-Old Girl Was Sexually Abused in an Immigrant-Detention Center

Les Moonves and CBS Face Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

Former Catalan Leader Returns to Belgium, Vowing to Defend Separatist Cause

Wow: On Eve Of Zimbabwe's Vote, Robert Mugabe Says He Won't Support His Old Party

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Resigns Amid Sexual Abuse Scandal

‘We didn’t let girls do it in the old days,’ a judge said. ‘Inappropriate,’ a higher court ruled.

To Keep Women From Dying In Childbirth, Look To California

Twitter Is Not ‘Shadow Banning’ Republicans

Academic writes 270 Wikipedia pages in a year to get female scientists noticed

Heh, shocker: Amazon Studios Will No Longer Let Audiences Vote on Which Pilots They Want to See Developed

Friday, July 27, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/27/18)

A fun Friday afternoon read: How Goop’s Haters Made Gwyneth Paltrow’s Company Worth $250 Million

Pizza Physics: Why Brick Ovens Bake The Perfect Italian-Style Pie

I'm Obsessed With These 1970s Cosmo Covers

A Brief History of Cryptography in Crime Fiction

How to Identify German War Planes: A World War Two Infographic

Morning Coffee (7/27/18)

Phew. Time for Friday happy links.

Dame Judi Dench and the Duchess of Cornwall ate ice cream together and honestly those pictures did a lot to get me through this week.

Claude Monet’s Glazed Biscuit Kitty Cat Returns to the Artist’s Home

Wills & Kate Gave Us a New Pic of Prince George For His Birthday

WANT: Build your own Hogwarts Castle with LEGO's newest, biggest Harry Potter set

Ooh! Torvill and Dean Ice Skating Drama Greenlit With ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Will Tudor

You probably need more cheese plates on your Instagram.

Maybe VR is good: Visit a Scotch Distillery From the Comfort of Grand Central

20 Things Chris Pine Looks Like in This Photo

This Star Trek vodka boldly goes where blah blah you get it

Obviously I want all of these Harry Potter tote bags.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/26/18)

Wow: War-torn Sarajevo’s camera kids, then and now – a photo essay

Bad Romance: To cash in on Kindle Unlimited, a cabal of authors gamed Amazon’s algorithm

Forgetting Fascism

How football coaches became the vanguard of American conservatism

A Brief (But Global) History of Ketchup

Morning Coffee (7/26/18)

Doing another ALL TERRIBLE NEWS post to clear the decks for happy Friday links tomorrow. Sorry! But this stuff is important!

Government: 463 migrant parents may have been deported without their children

Separated migrant family of six faced one hurdle after another after immigration crackdown

Ugh: Justice Department: Use 'illegal aliens,' not 'undocumented'

All the President’s Hush Money

Trump-Cohen tape: the conversation, controversy and key claims

Good: Jason Spencer, Georgia Lawmaker Duped by Sacha Baron Cohen, to Resign (The issue, of course, isn't BEING DUPED but rather the things he was willing to do/say.)

Great: Voter purge frenzy after federal protections lifted, new report says

University Student Accused of Raping Woman After Quoting Donald Trump

How Prisons Are Poisoning Their Inmates

Venezuela Inflation Could Reach One Million Percent by Year’s End

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/25/18)

Oregon's Racist Past

How Finland Rebranded Itself as a Literary Country

On the Normandy Cheese Trail

Instagram Is Changing How We Define A Public Figure, Not Necessarily For The Better

Donegal's 'screamers': The story of 1970's Atlantis Commune

Morning Coffee (7/25/18)

Israel just shot down a Syrian fighter jet

lolol Trump, Now Acknowledging Russian Interference, Claims It's Aimed At Helping Dems

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Russia slams US general, says he 'discredited' Trump

Sure: Trump: “Tariffs are the greatest.” Also farmers need $12 billion in aid because of tariffs.

Of course: Jeff Sessions Laughs and Echoes ‘Lock Her Up’ Chant With Conservative High Schoolers

The Man Booker longlist includes the first graphic novel!

Eleven babies die after Dutch women given Viagra in drug trial

Archaeologists have found the remains of one of Jamestown’s early settlers. Now they have to prove he is who they think he is.

'Supergirl' Casts First Transgender Superhero On Television

First edition of Ada Lovelace's pioneering algorithm sold for £95,000

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/24/18)

Wow: The Taliban Couldn't Quash This Pakistani Squash Champ

Alt-Right Troll To Father Killer: The Unraveling Of Lane Davis

A simple guide to CRISPR, one of the biggest science stories of the decade

Feminize Your Canon: Dorothy West

Armed and Equipped at Continental Expense: The Birth of the Continental Navy

Morning Coffee (7/24/18)

Once ostracised, now Pakistani transgender people are running for parliament

As Trump’s latest lies implode, one party tries to smuggle out the truth

Of course he is: Trump to Seek Repeal of California's Smog-Fighting Power

Oh good: Here's a New Thing to Worry About: Census Hackers

He killed someone in a parking space dispute. But police say he just stood his ground.

This is awful: New York Daily News Layoffs Ax Half The Newsroom Staff

Penguin Random House is publishing a book by the March for Our Lives founders.

Whee, trailer and premiere date for Amazon's Manchester City show.

I am VERY EXCITED about the trailer for Legacies, the new Vampire Diaries spinoff. SUPERNATURAL BOARDING SCHOOL.

Two quarks for Muster Higgs

Monday, July 23, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/23/18)

A GREAT profile: Aly Raisman Takes the Floor

This is so true and important: Don't Feed the Trolls, and Other Hideous Lies

Why Are Some Crows Committing Acts of Necrophilia?

Banned By Turkey: Why Wikipedia Matters To Historians

I love this idea: Kicking Off Our ‘Read More Women’ Series with Maria Dahvana Headley

Morning Coffee (7/23/18)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week, with lots from Comic-Con this week!

I wish I thought it would change anything, but I'm glad they're saying it: GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick: 'The President Was Manipulated By Vladimir Putin'

Newly Disclosed FISA Applications Disprove ‘Witch Hunt’ Claims From Trump, Nunes

Of course he did: Trump supreme court pick called Nixon Watergate tapes ruling 'erroneous'

Different nominee, but again, of course: Trump Nominee Is Mastermind of Anti-Union Legal Campaign

Steve King Is A White Supremacist, And The GOP Doesn’t Care

Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

Author Suzanne Brockmann gave a great speech about romance and inclusivity and politics at RWA.

Wow: Bodies believed to be those of 95 black forced-labor prisoners from Jim Crow era unearthed in Sugar Land after one man’s quest

Aaah, new Doctor Who trailer with Jodie Whittaker!

! Cat Power to Release First Album in Six Years, Featuring Lana Del Rey

Friday, July 20, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/20/18)

How Climate Change in Bangladesh Impacts Women and Girls

Anne Helen Petersen's celebrity analyses are always fascinating: The New Gwen Stefani Is A Lot Like The Old One

Can Economists and Humanists Ever Be Friends?

Heh: The 10 Horniest Men in Literature

Funding Victory: French posters from the end of the First World War

Weekly Rec: Cult Faves Podcast

I'm picky about podcasts, mostly because a. most of the time I'd rather just read about something and b. I have a hard time figuring out when I can fit them into my life regularly, so I'm always way behind. But! There's a new podcast that I've been actually keeping up with, so clearly that is HIGH PRAISE and you should give it a try. It's called Cult Faves and it is, indeed, about cults. It's hosted by YA writer Gwenda Bond and journalist Cher Martinetti; they pick a cult a week and one of them does the research and sort of walks the other through it, which is a nice format - conversational without being too meandering. (They do have some off-topic chat as well, mostly at the beginning of the episodes, about what's going on in their lives/the world; that kind of thing sometimes bugs me but their personalities and the balance work for me here.) The latest episode is about NXIVM (a.k.a. the Alison Mack sex cult) and I'm very excited to listen to it later this evening. Give it a try!

Morning Coffee (7/20/18)

Phew, time for some Friday happy links.

Michelle Obama's funny, star-studded video reminding you to vote is downright delightful.

The Colette trailer looks so great!!!

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jonny Sun have a book coming out!

Black Panther's Sister Shuri Is Getting Her Own Comic Book Series & It's Happening So, So Soon

'Lost in space' Bakewell pudding found in Lincolnshire

Your Friday may need Prince Louis' christening photos. They're REALLY CUTE. (Shocker.)

Ooh, first images of the new cast of The Crown: Olivia Colman as the Queen and Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Daniels as Princess Margaret and Lord Snowden.

!!!! Trogdor!! The Board Game

Hot Topic's new Disney princess collection is actually really cute.

10 Fun Ways To Wear Pigtails As An Adult

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/19/18)

This is great: Chris Hayes Reviews Michiko Kakutani’s Book About Our Post-Truth Era

Glenn Gould Is Always on Fast-Forward

Olympian Alex Shibutani Shares His View From the Front Row at New York’s Men’s Shows (Josh Jackson alert.)

Queer Fat Girls Deserve To Be Heroines In YA Books, Too​

The Revolutionary War’s Most Enigmatic Naval Captain: Pierre Landais

Morning Coffee (7/19/18)

Brett Kavanaugh Is Nice. That Doesn’t Mean He’s Not Sexist.

What Was Maria Butina Doing at the National Prayer Breakfast?

And here's a good Maria Butina primer.

WHAT: DNC alleges Secret Service blocked it from serving lawsuit to Jared Kushner

Was the Queen sending coded messages to Donald Trump via her brooches? Absolutely

Shocking: Cambridge Analytica's Facebook data was accessed from Russia, MP says

This sounds fine: Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States

This story is even weirder than the headline makes it sound: Arizona Senate candidate who killed his mother supports 'good guys' with guns

Oh god: Chris Christie to ‘set the record straight’ in upcoming book

NOPE: Mark Zuckerberg says Holocaust deniers are making an honest mistake

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/18/18)

This 60-Year-Old Novel About Sexual Harassment Was Ahead Of Its Time

These Women Were Told Not to Play Soccer. Instead They Formed a Team.

The Big Seep: Reading Raymond Chandler in the age of #MeToo.

Peterson's Complaint

YAs That Get it Right: Depression Edition

Morning Coffee (7/18/18)

Detaining Migrant Kids Is Now a Billion-Dollar Industry

Obama Warns In Mandela Speech That ‘Strongman Politics Are Ascendant’

It’s time to take Trump both seriously and literally on Russia

Rebecca Solnit: They Think They Can Bully the Truth

New Hampshire: Ground Zero in the War on Voting Rights

Yay! Puerto Rico Begins Allowing Transgender People to Change Their Birth Certificates

Record Number Of Native Americans Running For Office In Midterms

UGH: Police are protesting two novels on a school's summer reading list that grapple with police brutality

Perfect: 17 Real-Life Would-You-Rathers I, a Woman, Have Had to Ask Myself

Ooh: Les Misérables Photos: Dominic West, David Oyelowo and Lily Collins Star in PBS Adaptation — First Look

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/17/18)

The story of the first openly gay foreign service officer is fascinating: State Secrets

Obsession, Identity, and the New Thriller

Pent-up emotions: how Flowers in the Attic inspired today’s female writers

16 Highbrow Beach Reads for Your Summer Getaway

The Winchester Psalter: an illustrated bilingual Psalter

Morning Coffee (7/17/18)

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and America’s “geopolitical suicide”

Trump and Putin vs. America

Feds Charge Russian Student, Linked To NRA, With Conspiracy

Inside Mueller's New Army

Made to Suffer for Her Sins: The Trump administration’s policies on family separation and abortion are driven by one view: A woman’s pain is fitting punishment.

4,500 Tech Workers, 1 Mission: Get Democrats Elected

UGH: Increasingly Agitated Elon Musk Labels Diver Who Mocked His 'Submarine' a 'Pedo Guy'

GOOD: Yankees Suspend Relationship with Papa John's After Founder's Racist Comments

Yay! J.K. Rowling's next Cormoran Strike novel Lethal White coming in September

Good for her: Seeking Pay Equity, Female Flutist Sues Boston Symphony Orchestra

Monday, July 16, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/16/18)

What Internment Did to My Family

Andrew Rannells Stands Out

Arden Myrin: “Your Idea Of Comedy Is My Idea Of Creepy”

Junot Díaz and the Problem of the Male Self-Pardon

Why It’s So Hard to Stop Reading Books You Don’t Even Like

Morning Coffee (7/16/18)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

Russian Influence Campaign Sought To Exploit Americans' Trust In Local News

What a shock: Jill Stein’s Recount Cash Pays for Her Russia Legal Defense

Here’s How Kavanaugh Could Deal a Big Blow to Gun Control

Amazon Is Used to Promote White Supremacist Merchandise and Views, Report Says

Here is President Obama's summer reading list. I MISS HIM.

I bet he doesn't have a summer reading list: Donald Trump is excellent at selling books that trash him; mediocre at selling books that praise him.

How Many Teenage Girls Deliberately Harm Themselves? Nearly 1 in 4, Survey Finds.

Quite the editor's note: This New York Times Writer Failed to Mention She Used Her Husband As a Source on Vagina Selfies

In a cosmic first, scientists detect ‘ghost particles’ from a distant galaxy

Ooh! Ancient find may be earliest extract of epic Homer poem Odyssey

Friday, July 13, 2018

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/12/18)

Taylor Swift in conversation with Pattie Boyd is everything I've always wanted.

Fascinating: The Obsessive Search for the Tasmanian Tiger

Madeleine Albright: ‘The things that are happening are genuinely, seriously bad’

Borderlands Noir

Struggle for a Lighthouse: The Raids to Destroy the Boston Light

Morning Coffee (7/12/18)

Heartbreaking: As Migrant Families Are Reunited, Some Children Don’t Recognize Their Mothers

NOPE: Government Contractors Asked About The Religion Of Immigrant Women Trying To Reunite With Their Kids, Lawyers Say

Brief break for good news: People in Ethiopia are calling strangers in Eritrea as phone lines are opened after 20 years

Of course he does: House speaker defends Ohio’s Jordan as ‘man of integrity’

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Giuliani works for foreign clients while serving as Trump’s attorney

What men are trying to say when they show off their Female Relationship Résumé

Self-described Nazis and white supremacists are running as Republicans across the country. The GOP is terrified. That sounds like a self-inflicted problem!

Feminist Apparel Staff Confronted Their CEO About His History of Abuse So Like a Chill Woke Feminist, He Fired Them

First Woman Wins the Strega Prize in Fifteen Years

I’m Sorry, But the Posters for Mary Queen of Scots Have the Wrong Taglines

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/11/18)

This was fascinating: The Daughter as Detective

Lorena Bobbitt’s American Dream

He was one of Jersey's most famous poets. The FBI worried he was a communist.

The True Story of “A Very English Scandal” and the Trials of a Closeted Gay Politician

The Deep History of Women and Bread, Part One

Morning Coffee (7/11/18)

Trump Administration Returns to ‘Catch and Release’ of Migrants

In part because: Judge Rejects Long Detentions of Migrant Families, Dealing Trump Another Setback

ICE Officers to Asylum Seekers: ‘Don’t You Know That We Hate You People?’

How Brett Kavanaugh Will Gut Roe v. Wade

And from an actual news story about Kavanaugh: "I call him Lord Voldemort," said Professor Snape.

What a shock: Trump Voters May Be the Biggest Losers From Trump’s Auto Tariffs

Well! Support for immigration is surging in the Trump era

Young Women Could Redefine The Women’s Vote

All Things Ill-Considered: NPR’s Sexist Blunder

Headless Pompeii Victim Wasn't Crushed to Death, After All

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/10/18)

Hobby Lobby's Illegal Antiquities Shed Light On A Lost, Looted Ancient City In Iraq

The Lost Dogs of the Americas

ME TOO: I love museum text, please don’t laugh

The Bonds Between Sex and Books

Forget Baguettes — Why In-the-know Bread Lovers Should be Heading to the Caucasus

Weekly Rec: Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer

When I first heard about Andrew Shaffer's new mystery Hope Never Dies, I thought it was a cute idea and would be, at best, a fun novelty item. I'd have bought it regardless - look at that cover! But Quirk Books was kind enough to send me an early copy, and I am delighted to report that THIS BOOK IS ACTUALLY REALLY GOOD.

Let's back up. Hope Never Dies is exactly what it says it is: a murder mystery in which the detectives are post-presidency Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Biden's at loose ends once they're out of office, back in Delaware and watching from afar as his supposed BFF Obama hangs out with younger and cooler celebrities. Biden doesn't do well with free time, so when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a weird supposed accident, he ends up investigating - and Obama winds up pulled in too.

First, let me say: The plot here is solid. This would be a viable mystery novel even without the famous leads. I was a little hesitant about reading a novel told in Biden's voice, but Shaffer does a good job of it - his version of Biden is recognizable but also a character unto himself; this didn't feel icky to read as fiction about real people often does. Both this Biden and the book overall were very funny, as I'd expected, given that Shaffer is known as a humor writer.

But what I hadn't necessarily expected was that this book was genuinely moving, too. I laughed and cried, for real. Obviously part of that was due to our current political situation and nostalgia for the last administration, but that wasn't all. Biden's feelings about his place in the world and his worry over losing a friendship that's so important to him were well-drawn and relatable. He spends much of the book trying to distance himself in response to what he sees as Obama's distance, and I kept yelling GET BACK TOGETHER ALREADY, YOU LOVE EACH OTHER. (I wasn't QUITE yelling "MAKE OUT," but, you know, almost. It's not NOT also a romance novel, in a platonic soulmate sense.)

Oh. Did I mention there's a motel room with - *gasp* - only one bed?!?!

Hope Never Dies is out today. Go get it and escape our current hell for a few hours.

Morning Coffee (7/10/18)

Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, explained

This is horrifying: Pregnant Women Say They Miscarried In Immigration Detention And Didn't Get The Care They Needed

Trump Administration Freezes Payments Required By The Affordable Care Act

Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution by U.S. Stuns World Health Officials

It was quite a day in the U.K. yesterday: Boris Johnson Resigns as U.K. Foreign Secretary Over Brexit Discord is the updated headline but he was NOT THE ONLY ONE.

Okay, some good news: Ethiopia's Abiy and Eritrea's Afewerki declare end of war

Please read this: On the subject of the London Pride parade hijacking by TERFs

He is a Member of a Violent White Supremacist Group; So Why is He Working for a Defense Contractor with a Security Clearance? (He's not any more, but still worth a read.)

Research shows electing women makes a real difference in people’s lives

Scott Pruitt is leaving behind a toxic mess at the EPA

Monday, July 9, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/9/18)

The Fireworks King

Some great-looking stuff here: Every Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel You Need to Read From Now Till December

How We Elected T. rex to Be Our Tyrant Lizard King

The unromantic, untold story of the great US divorce spree of 1946

Mongolian Milk: Nomadic Cheesemaking in Mongolia

Morning Coffee (7/9/18)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

Essential reading from Jamelle Bouie: White Fight: Donald Trump is leading the Republican charge to preserve a shrinking white majority.

Why Europe Could Melt Down Over a Simple Question of Borders

Twitter is finally addressing fake accounts. Trump wants it to go after two specific real ones.

Useful: The US-China trade war, explained in under 500 words

This Woman Flipped Off Donald Trump’s Motorcade Last Year. She’s Still Paying For It.

A baby was treated with a nap and a bottle of formula. His parents received an $18,000 bill.

Someone Is Stealing Italy’s Most Precious Cheese

Time to put THAT myth to rest: Research: Women Ask for Raises as Often as Men, but Are Less Likely to Get Them

Anne Tolstoi Wallach, 89, Dies; Her Advertising Novel Caused a Stir

Aaah, I am very excited that Patty Jenkins and Chris Pine are making a crime show.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/6/18)

Here is the juicy history read your Friday afternoon needs: Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples

The Vanishing Dance

Lili Reinhart Is a Hollywood Ingenue with No Time for Haters

Cold Books for Hot Days

Fascinating and, you know, awful: Ice Poseidon’s Lucrative, Stressful Life as a Live Streamer

Morning Coffee (7/6/18)

Time to take a break for some Friday happy links!

At mausoleum for France’s ‘Great Men’, Simone Veil burial is most revolutionary yet

Phew: Coffee Drinkers Are More Likely To Live Longer. Decaf May Do The Trick, Too

The Juliet, Naked trailer looks amazing and I'm so excited.

After One Zillion Years, Superhero Movies Will Finally Have a Plus-Size Lead

Useful! The Best Ice Cream Makers

Alert: The Dior Couture Show Is Actually Quite Beautiful

Emma Thompson is writing a Christmas movie?!?!

Please give me a middle grade novel series about this immediately: The Spanish Princesses Will Attend Summer Camp in the United States

Archaeologists stumble on Neolithic ritual site in Suffolk

Watch Some Teen Movies And TV Shows And We'll Give You A YA Book To Read This Summer

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/5/18)

Dress Codes Are One More Way to Police Students’ Bodies

The Hierarchy of a Nigerian Wedding

Ooh, I want to read this book now: 'Number One Chinese Restaurant' Has Its Grand Opening

Meet Benedict Allen, the explorer rescued by the Daily Mail against his will

Appropriate for this week: Currant affairs? Taxation without representation in early Stuart England

Weekly Rec: Outline by Rachel Cusk

Outline isn't a new book - it came out in 2014 - but the third book in the trilogy, Kudos, was released a few months ago and the fascinating reviews made me want to read Cusk in general and this trilogy in particular. Outline is a novel but it's told in an unconventional way: the narrative takes the form of ten conversations that the main character has with acquaintances and strangers over the course of traveling to Athens and teaching a week-long writing class. There's not plot in any standard sense, and the main character herself is a cipher - we barely know her name - revealing herself only in her responses to other people's stories.

It's the kind of concept that could turn out very well or very badly in execution, and in this case I was delighted to find that it turned out very well. Despite the lack of narrative thrust, Cusk's lovely, precise writing kept me turning the pages; she paints extremely clear pictures of small details and seemingly random vignettes. And all the stories told to the main character are, of course, thematically related: taken together they comprise a fascinating examination of writing and marriage and family relationships and identity.

Morning Coffee (7/5/18)

Poland Purges Supreme Court, and Protesters Take to Streets

Trump’s Orphans Offer Democrats A Simple Lesson

Suppression of Minority Voting Rights Is About to Get Way Worse

This data is fascinating: Democrats Are Wrong About Republicans. Republicans Are Wrong About Democrats.

How To Spot Plastic Patriotism, Using ‘The Troops’ For Your Pet Cause

Of course: Zinke linked to real estate deal with Halliburton chairman

Just cuz, I guess? Interior Department plans to let people kill endangered red wolves

Today in very normal sports headlines: Eric Abidal: Barcelona deny former president bought illegal liver for defender

Feature Film Director Diversity Remains Low, Directors Guild Reports

Ooh fun: Instagram Stories, Now Twice as Big as Snapchat, Adds Music Integration

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/3/18)

How Social-Media Trolls Turned U.C. Berkeley Into a Free-Speech Circus

I loved this from novelist Alisha Rai: The 4 Stages of Life and Debt

Interesting: We Timed Every Game. World Cup Stoppage Time Is Wildly Inaccurate.

I love them: The Paris Review Recommends Anti-Beach Reads

Ooh, fascinating: Making a Monster

Morning Coffee (7/3/18)

Whoa, yay: Missing Thai Boys Found Alive In Cave

This is horrifying: In Denmark, Harsh New Laws for Immigrant ‘Ghettos’

"How or whether families would be reunited wasn’t much of a concern to the policymakers, according to administration officials..." YOU DON'T SAY.

Sponsors of Migrant Children Face Steep Transport Fees and Red Tape

Welp: Trump declines request to lower flags in memory of Capital Gazette shooting victims

Rebecca Traister captures the moment perfectly, as always: Summer of Rage

Trump Judicial Pick Who Blogged Favorably About the KKK Had to Withdraw. Now He’s at the Justice Department.

The corruption has no end: News media paid Melania Trump thousands for use of photos in 'positive stories only'

This looks great: Internment promises to be one of 2019's most politically urgent reads: Read an excerpt

Add it to the list: America Isn't Ready to Handle a Catastrophic Asteroid Impact, New Report Warns

Monday, July 2, 2018

Afternoon Tea (7/2/18)

I didn't think I wanted to read another Franzen profile, but it's by Taffy Brodesser-Akner: Jonathan Franzen Is Fine With All of It

This piece about India's indigenous faiths is very interesting: Between Gods and the Government

The Story of Bog Bodies is the Story of the Criminalized

The Evolution of a Mormon Mommy Blogger

Women composers: why are so many voices still silent?

Morning Coffee (7/2/18)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

López Obrador, an Atypical Leftist, Wins Mexico Presidency in Landslide

What Justice Kennedy's Retirement Means for the Future of LGBTQ+ Rights

The White House Is Becoming A Ghost Town. Trump Loyalists Worry It's Going To Get Worse.

In America, Naturalized Citizens No Longer Have an Assumption of Permanence

Of course: White House wants to cut this public health service corps by nearly 40 percent

I feel like I've been dreading this headline for years: Japanese Blogger Is Killed After Giving Lecture on Online Trolls

Newly Discovered ‘Limb Pit’ Reveals Civil War Surgeons’ Bitter Choices

SIGH: Goop Is Categorizing Its Wellness Stories from “Rigorously Tested” to “For Your Enjoyment”

TanaCon: How a convention thrown in retaliation led to mass chaos, cancellation (Running a convention is NOT FOR AMATEURS, you guys.)

Chipotle Keeps Stealing From Taco Bell’s Playbook