Consumed the week of 28 January, 2019

Above, the beautiful “10-by-20-foot oil painting of an elaborately coifed and dressed 17th-century marquis and assorted courtiers entering the city of Jerusalem,” discovered while they were preparing the new Oscar de la Renta boutique in Paris. You can read the full story of how they found it and what’s going to happend to it over at the NY Times.

BY far my favourite long-ish read of the week was this incredibly evocative essay by Catherine Taylor, in which she “tracks cultural history through a Sheffield bookshop”.

Just this excerpt alone is enough to send shivers through me:

Leeds was an hour away from Sheffield and the fear of where the Ripper would strike next was tangible that dark winter. It seemed to permeate everything, dank, mossy, and slimy as Frog Walk, the narrow, unlit footpath which ran alongside the high walls of Sheffield’s overgrown, neglected General Cemetery in Sharrow. It slid, cold and viscous, into my dreams at night like the mercury escaping from a thermometer.

Staying with the bok theme, A Labyrinth in the Shape of a Book is a great article about Christopher Manson’s 80s puzzle book Maze (formatted in the ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ style the book itself was written in).

As for what I’m currently reading right now, I’m about a third of the way through Gary Shteyngart’s Lake Success, which I saw on a lot of people’s ‘best of 2018’ lists. And I’m alos listening to Bruce Daisley reading his new one: The Joy of Work: 30 Ways to Fix Your Work Culture and Fall in Love With Your Job Again, which I’m really enjoying and getting quite a lot out of.

Finally this week, we saw Adam McKay’s Vice at the cinema. I didn’t like it as much as did The Big Short, mainly becasue it seemed too packed with gimmicky directorial flourishes which put the brakes on the flow of the story. A shame, becasue the performances ar every good (Sam Rockwell especially).

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