Reading Outdoors – New York Times

Reading Outdoors – New York Times

What’s the best setup for serious outdoor reading? I suggest it is in a chair, sitting upright, in the shade of a tree or umbrella, comfortable but not too comfortable. A beach towel or picnic blanket works, but the sun moves, your back or neck stiffens, it’s not safe. My friend Avi insists you have to be in one of those zero-gravity recliners that I’m sure would double as a cradle for adults and instantly put me to sleep.

According to my colleagues Elisabeth Egan and Erica Ackerberg, who compiled this brilliant album of outdoor bookworms, “There are only a handful of non-negotiables when it comes to outdoor reading: sunscreen, hydration, repeat.”

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 just-sunny restaurant terrace where I went back and forth on 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 spare an hour or an afternoon to read outside this weekend, there are plenty of promising new books to choose from. Perhaps Tess Gunty’s “dense, prismatic and often fascinating 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 “The Displacements” by Bruce Holsinger. I recently read ‘Magpie’ by Elizabeth Day in two rapturous afternoons. You may prefer a paperback, lest a hardcover prove too heavy to hold if you plan to sit back. We have a bunch of those too. (And if you’re more of an e-reader, you have all these options and more.)

What have you read recently, outdoors or otherwise, that you’ve loved? Tell me about it.

  • Stephen King testified that the proposed merger of publishing giants Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster would hurt authors.

  • Warner Bros. canceled the release of “Batgirl” as the parent company looked for budget cuts following a merger, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

  • As Lieutenant Uhura in “Star Trek”, Nichelle Nichols changed what we thought was possible, writes Stacy Y. China. Nichols died last week, aged 89.

  • “Days of Our Lives,” a daytime network mainstay since 1965, is moving to NBC’s streaming service, Peacock.

  • The Art Newspaper got a preview of the redesign of the Storm King Sculpture Park in upstate New York.

  • Theater actors rethink the demands of the stage, including sometimes dangerous work.

  • The pedal steel, once a staple of country music, finds 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.

🎮 “Newspapers, please” (out now): This critically acclaimed game felt like a throwback to a decade ago after its first desktop release, with its retro 2D animation style. However, there is a dark timelessness to the story. It’s 1982 and you play a checkpoint inspector for a fictional communist nation. Who do you let in? Who do you keep out? Do you accept bribes to help buy food for your struggling family? It messed me up a bit! Now available to play on iOS and Android devices, so you can take that feeling of moral turpitude with you wherever you go.

📺 “Five days at the memorial” (Friday): In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and staff at Memorial Medical Center found themselves trapped and unable to evacuate patients, forcing some doctors and nurses to make a terrible choice. The always interesting Vera Farmiga stars in this Apple TV+ adaptation, based on the 2013 book by The New York Times correspondent Sheri Fink.

Kelp, a sweet-and-salty sauce often used to season Japanese grilled meats, is the secret to making these quick salmon skewers. Fry some garlic and ginger, then add water, soy sauce, a touch of turbinado sugar and a little vinegar. While you’re cooking the salmon and vegetables, whether on a cast-iron grill or a hot grill, stay nearby so you can keep turning the skewers and brushing them with homemade tar. In just a few minutes, they will brown and caramelize, creating a beautiful, appetizing glaze. And don’t worry: If you don’t have a grill pan or grill, you can cook these skewers under the broiler, just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

A selection of New York Times recipes is available to all readers. Please rate a Cooking subscription for full access.

In the kitchen: Making your own soy milk is easy.

From Denmark to Spain: Europe has beaches that the whole family will love.

San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB: Baseball’s center of gravity has shifted to Southern California. The Padres and Dodgers were reportedly both finalists among the teams vying to trade for Juan Soto, the 23-year-old superstar whose numbers rival a young Ted Williams. On Tuesday, the Padres got him. The Dodgers will have to make do with their six 2022 All-Stars. 7 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, ESPN.

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