Act of Oblivion
By Robert Harris | Harper
The Indemnity and Oblivion Act of 1660 singled out a small number of regicides for grisly punishment. Robert Harris’s novel imagines the manhunt through colonial New England for two participants in the decision to execute Charles I roughly a decade before.
The Backstreets: A Novel From Xinjiang
By Perhat Tursun | Columbia
“I don’t know anyone in this strange city, so it’s impossible for me to be friends or enemies with anyone.” The Kafkaesque story of a nameless Uyghur man in a Chinese metropolis renders the real-world crisis of an entire culture into a haunting parable of power and powerlessness, and the use of loneliness as a tool of oppression.
By Alessandro Manzoni | Modern Library
The sweeping tale, now little remembered in America, of a pair of 17th-century Italian lovers, separated by the designs of a cruel aristocrat. Michael E. Moore offers the first English translation in more than 50 years of Alessandro Manzoni’s masterpiece, a work of foundational Italian literature on par with the Divine Comedy and the Decameron.
Less Is Lost
By Andrew Sean Greer | Little, Brown
The “innocent abroad” at the heart of Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less” (2017) endured adventures both comic and heartwarming. The novel garnered the 2018 Pulitzer Prize. Now its good-natured writer-hero returns for another road trip in a rollicking sequel.
By Ian McEwan | Knopf
In novels like “Sweet Tooth” and “Atonement,” Ian McEwan has taught readers to be on their guard, ready for a twist or revelation that might put all that’s come before in doubt. In “Lessons,” Mr. McEwan has created something to confound such expectations, in the portrait of a lost, likable protagonist whose “shapeless existence” is at the center of an unpredictable, very human journey through his own traumas, failures and hopes.
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The Marriage Portrait
By Maggie O’Farrell | Knopf
At the tender age of 15, Lucrezia, the daughter of the Florentine ruler Cosimo de’ Medici, is wed in a marriage of diplomatic alliance to another powerful nobleman. She would survive less than a year—a timeframe brought into thrilling focus in an intense and vivid portrait from the author of “Hamnet.”
By Gwendoline Riley | NYRB Classics
The gaps in understanding between two people can be an occasion for frustration—or a confrontation with the central enigma of consciousness. In the spare but powerful fiction of the English novelist Gwendoline Riley, the tangled streets of a city or the banalities of a conversation can stand in for the uncertain terrain of the mysterious and elusive self.
Natural History: Stories
By Andrea Barrett | Norton
In a unique set of linked stories, many of which take place in a small lakeside town in New York, the writer Andrea Barrett offers the interconnected histories of a set of characters deeply involved both with one another and the fragile, beautiful world around them. Here, the ecology of the heart and the wonders of nature flourish side by side.
Nights of Plague
By Orhan Pamuk | Knopf
The new novel from the Nobel Prize-winning author of “Snow” and “My Name Is Red” stages a turn-of-the-20th-century tale of intrigue on a Mediterranean island ruled by the Ottoman Empire. An outbreak of the Black Plague and the quarantines that follow set the stage for political strife: The assassination of a health official raises the stakes in a tale that combines mystery with a richly detailed portrait of a society in turmoil.
Shrines of Gaiety
By Kate Atkinson | Doubleday
In the nightclubs of 1920s London, frivolity and fun are the order of the day—and Nellie Coker reigns as monarch of the quasi-legal revels. In this novel from the celebrated author of “Life After Life,” the disappearance of a young girl brings both the police and a determined amateur sleuth into the demimonde that Nellie and her family rule.
Doctors and midwives in blue states are working to get abortion pills into red states — setting the stage for a historic legal clash.
No greater challenge faces humanity than reducing emissions without backsliding into preindustrial poverty. One tiny country is leading the way.
Lydia Millet believes the natural world can help us become more human.
Creating a sustainable extension for the family home of client and builder Souter Built, Alexander Symes Architects motivates sustainable living through every detail. Featured as part of The Sustainability Series, Pepper Tree Passive House is a personal project crafted between cousins and sees the extension explore a passion for passive house and sustainable living.
Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction 00:41 – Unanderra Country 01:12 – The Builder and The Owner 01:42 – Building Around The Pepper Tree 02:17 – A Walkthrough Pepper Tree Passive House 02:56 – A Two Fold Concept and Brief 03:22 – Exploring The Concept of A Passive House 03:43 – Using Resources In Respectful Ways 04:00 – Wood Is Good 04:31 -Using Minimal Intervention on The Existing Home 04:59 – The Challenges Faced 05:20 – The Positives of Being The Building & The Client 06:00 – Moments To Celebrate
Following a twofold brief, Alexander Symes Architect created an office space, guest house and entertainment area with recycled and renewable materials that echo the ethos of likeminded sustainable buildings. Extending the family home over a slopping landscape and around a tree protection zone, both architect and builder worked cohesively with each other to reflect the positive aspects of sustainable design. What transpired from this effort was an office space, living area, kitchen and guest living space that wrap around the home’s namesake, the pepper tree.
Covered by the canopy of the pepper tree, the garden was transformed, seeing hand-poured pavers lead guests up towards the passive house. Evidence of the passive house concept is also seen at the home’s entrance; wood and convict bricks are used similarly throughout the interior design, seeing sustainable living enhanced through natural thermal heating and cooling. Due to its north-facing position, the convict bricks add a thermal structure throughout, soaking up the natural heat of the sun, whilst the shade of the canopy does the same in the warmer months.
From planning to building to completion, Pepper Tree Passive House passionately showcases the skillset required for sustainable living, alongside Souter Built’s philosophy for sustainable building. Through the architecture and design choices, guests and clients alike can see firsthand how using recycled materials, instead of depleting natural resources, can leave a better footprint for the future of sustainable buildings.
Filmed and edited by: Tim Roosjen
List of places filmed: Lake Bled – Church of St. Tomaz (Jamnik) – Church of St. Primož and Felicijan – Kranjska gora – Velika Planina – Vintgar gorge – Julian Alps (Visevnik) – Savica Waterfall – Soča River
Slovenia, country in central Europe that was part of Yugoslavia for most of the 20th century. Slovenia is a small but topographically diverse country made up of portions of four major European geographic landscapes—the European Alps, the karstic Dinaric Alps, the Pannonian and Danubian lowlands and hills, and the Mediterranean coast. Easily accessible mountain passes (now superseded by tunnels) through Slovenia’s present-day territory have long served as routes for those crossing the Mediterranean and transalpine regions of Europe.
The Slovenes are a South Slavic people with a unique language. For most of its history, Slovenia was largely controlled by the Habsburgs of Austria, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire and its successor states, the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary; in addition, coastal portions were held for a time by Venice. As part of Yugoslavia, Slovenia came under communist rule for the bulk of the post-World War II period. With the dissolution of the Yugoslav federation in 1991, a multiparty democratic political system emerged. Slovenia’s economic prosperity in the late 20th century attracted hundreds of thousands of migrants from elsewhere in the Balkans. In the early 21st century, Slovenia integrated economically and politically with western Europe, joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as well as the European Union in 2004. Slovenia’s capital and most important city is Ljubljana.
This week: Georgina Adam joins Ben Luke to discuss the intriguing story of the bankrupt entrepreneur and art collector, the museum scholar and a host of Old Master paintings given new attributions.
We talk to Suzanne Pagé, the curator of Monet-Mitchell, an exhibition bringing together the Impressionist Claude Monet and the post-war American abstract painter Joan Mitchell, at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.
And this episode’s Work of the Week is a 1583 painting of Elizabeth I of England, known as the Sieve Portrait, which is one of the highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York’s exhibition The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England. The show’s curators, Elizabeth Cleland and Adam Eaker, tell us about this richly layered picture.
Monet-Mitchell, Joan Mitchell retrospective, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, until 27 February 2023. Joan Mitchell: Paintings, 1979-85, David Zwirner, New York, 3 November-17 December.The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 10 October-8 January 2023 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The November issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK) is out now. The cover story this month looks at Colombia, South America’s rising star, with a focus on wild river safaris in the Amazon jungle, the vibrant cities of Bogotá, Cartagena and Medellín, the innovative Indigenous communities, the stunning archipelago of the Rosario Islands and the best of the Coffee Triangle.
Walk through our exhibition ‘Golden Boy Gustav Klimt. Inspired by Van Gogh, Rodin, Matisse. Explore how Klimt developed his unique style and how the Austrian artist was inspired by the work of Van Gogh, Toorop, Rodin, Whistler, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Matisse and many other artists. Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) is one of the most fascinating artists of western art history. He is world-famous for his golden and decorative paintings and his portraits of strong women. But who was this ‘golden boy’, and what is the story behind his talent?
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
From 7 October 2022 – l8 January 2023
Miami, officially the City of Miami, is a coastal metropolis and the seat of Miami-Dade County in South Florida. With a population of 442,241 as of the 2020 census, it is the second-most populous city in Florida and the eleventh-most populous city in the Southeastern United States.
Miami is one of the state’s – and the world’s – most popular vacation spots. The trendy nightlife of South Beach, bejeweled by the eye candy of the Art Deco district. The bustle of Calle Ocho and the highly caffeinated energy of Little Havana. The plush hotels of Miami Beach and the historic hideaways of Coral Gables.