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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My President Was Black, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic

A history of the first African American White House—and of what came next.

'People Hope My Book Will Be China's Star Wars': Liu Cixin On China's Exploding Sci-fi Scene, by David Barnett, The Guardian

When he was a schoolboy, Liu Cixin’s favourite book was Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne. This might seem like a fairly standard introduction to science fiction, but Liu read it under exceptional circumstances; this was at the height of the Cultural Revolution, in his native China, and all western literature was strictly forbidden.

The Chilling Stories Behind Japan’s ‘Evaporating People’, by Maureen Callahan, New York Post

Since the mid-1990s, it’s estimated that at least 100,000 Japanese men and women vanish annually. They are the architects of their own disappearances, banishing themselves over indignities large and small: divorce, debt, job loss, failing an exam. [...]

These lost souls, it turns out, live in lost cities of their own making.

Review: ‘Table Manners,’ Chef Jeremiah Tower’s Guide For All Dining Challenges, by Dwight Garner, New York Times

The best thing about Mr. Tower’s book is that it is driven by his interest in pleasure — his and ours. This word to wine snobs is typical of his advice here: “Please don’t bring up the old rag about cocktails destroying one’s palate. So does toothpaste, but a Negroni is a lot more fun.”

Year Of Upheaval For Restaurants That Ended Tipping, by Julia Moskin, New York Times

It is too soon to tell whether the no-tipping model will become the standard, or simply an option for a few restaurants that can make it work. What is clear after about a year is that it has forced a number of unforeseen changes, large and small, in the places that have embraced it.