What’s the best setup for serious outdoor reading? I suggest it’s in a chair, sitting up straight, under the shade of a tree or parasol, comfortable but not too comfortable. A beach towel or picnic blanket will work, but the sun moves, your back or neck gets stiff, it’s not a safe bet. My friend Avi insists that you have to lie in one of those zero-gravity chairs, which I’m convinced would act as an adult cradle and lull me to sleep instantly.
According to my colleagues Elisabeth Egan and Erica Ackerberg, who put together this delightful album of outdoor bookworms, “There are only a handful of things that are non-negotiable when it comes to outdoor reading: sunscreen, hydration, repetition.”
Reading a book outside in the summer cements it in my memory. JM Coetzee’s “Disgrace” on the beach in July and the sunburn that followed. The barely-sunny restaurant terrace where I went back and forth every third line between Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” and a French translation “Le Monde S’Effondre”, trying to improve my language skills. Louise Fitzhugh’s The Long Secret, a sequel to Harriet the Spy, on the lawn, in the backyard, mosquito bites.
If you can set aside an hour or an afternoon to read outside this weekend, there are many promising new books to choose from. Perhaps Tess Gunty’s “dense, prismatic, and often mesmerizing debut,” The Rabbit Hutch? Alec Nevala-Lee’s biography of Buckminster Fuller? Or Michelle Tea’s Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My (In)Fertility? Elisabeth recommends Bruce Holsinger’s The Displacements. I recently read Elizabeth Day’s Magpie over two delightful afternoons. You may prefer paperback so a hardback doesn’t turn out to be too heavy when you want to sit back. We have a few of these too. (And if you’re more of an e-reader, you have all of these options and more.)
What have you been reading outdoors or otherwise that you enjoyed lately? Tell me about it.
THE WEEK IN CULTURE
Stephen King testified that the proposed merger of publishing giants Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster would hurt authors.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has canceled the release of “Batgirl” as the parent company sought budget cuts following a merger.
As Lieutenant Uhura on “Star Trek,” Nichelle Nichols changed what we thought was possible, writes Stacy Y. China. Nichols died last week at the age of 89.
Days of Our Lives, a mainstay of daytime television since 1965, is moving to NBC’s streaming service, Peacock.
The Art Newspaper received a preview of the revamp of Storm King Sculpture Park in upstate New York.
Theater actors rethink the demands of the stage, including the sometimes dangerous work.
Pedal steel, once a country music staple, is finding new life in other forms.
Bill Cosby is seeking a new trial in a civil case in which a jury found he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old in 1975.
THE LATEST NEWS
🎮 Papers, Please (available now): This critically acclaimed game seemed like a throwback to its first desktop release a decade ago with its retro 2D animation style. However, the story has a dark timelessness. It’s 1982 and you play a checkpoint inspector for a fictional communist nation. who do you let in who are you keeping away Do you take bribes to buy groceries for your struggling family? It kind of messed me up! Now available to play on iOS and Android devices, you can take that sense of moral insecurity with you wherever you go.
📺 “Five Days of Commemoration” (Friday): In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, and Memorial Medical Center staff found themselves trapped and unable to evacuate patients, forcing some doctors and nurses to make a terrible decision. The always interesting Vera Farmiga stars in this Apple TV+ adaptation based on the 2013 book by New York Times correspondent Sheri Fink.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Yakitori-style salmon with spring onions and zucchini
Tare, a sweet and salty sauce often used to flavor Japanese grilled meats, is the secret to these quick salmon skewers. Fry some garlic and ginger, then add water, soy sauce, a touch of turbinado sugar and some vinegar. As you prepare the salmon and vegetables, whether on a cast-iron griddle or a hot grill, stick around so you can keep turning the skewers and basting them with your homemade tara. In just a few minutes, they’ll brown and caramelize, creating a beautiful, delicious glaze. And don’t worry, if you don’t have a grill pan or grill, you can also cook these skewers under the grill, just be careful not to burn them!
A selection of New York Times recipes is available to all readers. Please note a cooking subscription for full access.
In the kitchen: Making soy milk yourself is very easy.
From Denmark to Spain: Europe offers beaches that the whole family will love.
GAME OF THE WEEKEND
San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB: Baseball’s focus has shifted to Southern California. The Padres and Dodgers were both reportedly finalists among teams vying for the trade with Juan Soto, the 23-year-old superstar whose numbers rival young Ted Williams. The Padres caught him on Tuesday. The Dodgers will have to settle for their six 2022 All-Stars. 7 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, ESPN.