"Talking about the weather" -- code for the innocuous, nearly meaningless chat that forms the backbone of many of our everyday exchanges. But the idea that the elemental forces that govern life on this planet are a subject of merely trivial importance is a distinctly recent idea, which
The comic novel - the translation of universally human folly into a story one can't help but hope turns out somehow for the best - is a high-wire act for any writer, a feat of balance between judgment from our better angels and delight in our capacity to return to our mistakes.
@joshgondelman This is extra good because just yesterday I found myself explaining the magic eye phenomenon to someone who had never spent 45 minutes unfocusing their vision to see a drawing of a pirate ship.
@rachsyme A surprise I found in the travel section: Susan Cahill’s The Streets of Paris, which is really a set of miniature biographical sketches (Colette, Marie Curie, Chopin, Camus, Voltaire etc) organized around place. Each is like a perfect cup-of-coffee read.