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Thursday, September 29, 2016

My Son, The Prince Of Fashion, by Michael Chabon, GQ

Half an hour late, and just ahead of his minder—he was always a step ahead of his ponderous old minder—Abraham Chabon sauntered into the room where the designer Virgil Abloh was giving a private preview of Off-White's collection for spring-summer 2017 to a small group of reporters, editorial directors, and fashion buyers. Abe's manner was self-conscious, his cheeks flushed, but if his movements were a bit constrained they had an undeniable grace. Saunter was really the only word for it.

“Now, this dude here, that's what I'm talking about,” Abloh said, smiling at Abe from the center of the room, the attic of an old photo studio in the Latin Quarter: crisscrossing steel beams, wide pine floorboards, every surface radiant with whitewash except for the gridded slant of windows in the steep-pitched roof. From their folding chairs opposite the atelier windows, the buyers and editors turned to see what Abloh was talking about. So did the four male models lined up and slouching artfully in front of the people in the folding chairs. By the time his minder caught up with him, everyone in the room seemed to have their eyes on Abe. Prompt people never get to make grand entrances.

Review: ‘The Moth Snowstorm,’ And Other Natural Bliss-Outs, by Jennifer Senior, New York Times

Mr. McCarthy is an environmental journalist in Britain. As a writer and observer, he shares certain similarities with his countryman Robert Macfarlane, whose “Landmarks” came out in the United States this summer. Mr. McCarthy, too, writes about the natural world as if he’s of it, not apart from it, in language both sumptuous and attuned. (His discussion of waders searching for lugworms leaves little room for doubt: He is the bard of mud.) He too has a mystical sense of place.

“The Moth Snowstorm,” however, is much more than a paean to the Earth’s beauty. It is also an elegy for it, and a particularly distressed one at that.

Book Of The Week: 'Seeds On Ice' Opens The Door To An Arctic Vault That Could Secure The Future Of Food, by Amy Scattergood, Los Angeles Times

Deep inside a mountain on a Norwegian island near the Arctic Circle, at the end of a tunnel carved into the stone and permafrost, is a vault like a treasure box — a storage facility not for riches or government documents, but for seeds. What this is and how and why it came to be built in such a remote location are the subject of a new book called“Seeds on Ice: Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault” by Cary Fowler.

Google Swallows 11,000 Novels To Improve AI's Conversation, by Richard Lea, The Guardian

When the writer Rebecca Forster first heard how Google was using her work, it felt like she was trapped in a science fiction novel.

“Is this any different than someone using one of my books to start a fire? I have no idea,” she says. “I have no idea what their objective is. Certainly it is not to bring me readers.”

After a 25-year writing career, during which she has published 29 novels ranging from contemporary romance to police procedurals, the first instalment of her Josie Bates series, Hostile Witness, has found a new reader: Google’s artificial intelligence.