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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Is Fall Dead?, by Eve Lyons, New York Times

Daniel Arnold, a photographer known for capturing quirky moments on the street, waits all year for autumn to arrive.

“New York really hits its stride in the fall,” he said. “All year long you’re dealing with discomfort, and I feel like fall is the only time in New York where it’s steadily, predictably comfortable.”

Not this year, though. New Yorkers who view fall as fashion’s favorite season — denim jackets! boots! sweaters! — and rely on temperatures in the 60s and 70s to serve those looks have slogged through an unseasonably warm October. “Hotumn,” as some have taken to calling it.

Queen Victoria's Unlikely Bond With Indian Attendant Made Curry Classy, by Nina Martyris, NPR

"Victoria was an adventurous eater," says Gray, "She ate anything – Indian, Chinese (she loved the bird's nest soup), new fruits, curry. My grandmother, for instance, thought curry was this funny foreign stuff, she wouldn't eat it. Victoria, living a hundred years ago, did. I don't think she popularized curry per se, it was already so popular, but her embracing of Indian culture, including its food, helped make it ahead of its time."

Colin Farrell And The Art Of The Small Comeback, by Cara Buckley, New York Times

Thirteen years ago, after receiving the worst critical thrashing of his life for the film “Alexander,” the Irish actor Colin Farrell came up with what he felt was a brilliant plan to cope with the humiliation.

“Where can I wear a ski mask and not actually be put against the wall by a bunch of SWAT cops?” he recalls asking himself.

The answer: Lake Tahoe, where Mr. Farrell spent the next few days masked and drunk, and fighting the urge to apologize to potential moviegoers for wasting their money and time. No anecdote fully captures a person’s complexities, but this one helps explain the widespread fondness for Mr. Farrell. A sensitive scoundrel is hard to resist, especially a movie star with the wherewithal to admit that a public excoriation was, in the end, a good thing.

Life In The Garden By Penelope Lively Review – Green Fingers, Silver Trowels, by Alex Preston, The Guardian

This is a book that gives words to something that those of us who garden know by instinct – how being in the garden raises the spirits, modulates the seasons. Lively writes of “that enriching lifting out of the restrictions of now, and today” that comes with the planning and retrospection of a garden. Gardening also allows us to “escape winter by swinging forward into spring, summer”. Lively is such a consistently genial presence in the book, her references friendly reminders of writers one loves (she sent me straight back to Anna Pavord and Jenny Uglow), of new names such as Eleanor Perenyi, and of authors one knows but not as garden writers – James Fenton’s gardening columns are a newfound joy.

A Tour Of The World In Cremations And Cadavers, by Libby Copeland, New York Times

In her latest book, Caitlin Doughty, the self-proclaimed “funeral industry rabble-rouser,” takes readers on a tour of the globe’s most unusual death and grieving practices. “From Here to Eternity” is billed as a search for “the good death” — a bummer of a journey if ever I heard one. But Doughty is a relentlessly curious and chipper tour guide to the underworld, and the weirder things get, the happier she seems.