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Literary Hub


The digital answer to the trusty bookstore clerk, Literary Hub is a guide to contemporary literature, publishing excerpts from the season’s most anticipated titles, aggregated reviews of recently released works (think Rotten Tomatoes for books), and sharp literary criticism—read Nathan Scott McNamara on the rise of homesickness in the millennial memoir. But Lit Hub’s most intriguing original content is found in its essays on the craft of writing. See the extraordinary Ocean Vuong (above) on the 10 books he needed to write his debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. (lithub.com)

Eat

The Carmel Markets


Paul Donnelly, executive chef of Chinese Tuxedo in New York, first experienced the glory of Israeli cooking when a craving for the “silkiest, lightest” hummus sent him packing to Tel Aviv. “If you are looking for pure Israeli daytime culture, from people cracking fresh pomegranate to throwing a load of ‘Jerusalem mix’ [chicken and beef innards] onto a smoking-hot plancha grill,” he says, “you cannot miss out on the Carmel Markets.” Donnelly advises locating, among the many stalls and vendors, some burika, a blend of “spiced ground lamb, potatoes, and egg, fried in a thin pastry.” But, he warns, “as you indulge in your first bite, beware of the yolk that will pour out of this light and crispy shell.” (Carmel Markets, at Allenby, King George, and Sheinkin Streets, Tel Aviv)

Ride

GreenChamp Bike


In a world of still-increasing emissions, bicycles are a traveler’s ideal. But before bike lanes can be populated, kids need to learn to ride, and why not teach them about sustainable materials while you’re at it? GreenChamp’s balance bikes are simple, elegant, and made almost entirely from bamboo. Available in dark and light wood tints (we prefer the dark), these vehicles are meant to prepare eager newcomers for bicycles with pedals. Built for children under five, this balance bike will serve its purpose and look good in your basement long after it’s been outgrown. ($165, available soon at greenchampsbikes.com)

Watch

Couples Therapy


A marriage between psychotherapy and reality television should be doomed to fail. But Showtime’s docuseries Couples Therapy seamlessly unites the discordant duo, bringing about a remarkably authentic portrayal of both the therapeutic and marital relationship. Following four real couples in treatment with Dr. Orna Guralnik, a charming, accented, and accredited therapist, the analytic premise gins up the voyeuristic pleasures promised by most reality dramas. But these couples, unlike, say, the Real Housewives, fight over who should wash the dishes and when to have a child. As Dr. Guralnik probes her patients’ pasts, she reveals that the dishes are never just the dishes. Here, psychological breakthroughs become narrative dénouements. (sho.com)

Write

MMerch Composition Notebook


Colby Mugrabi, an AIR MAIL Editor at Large, founded Minnie Muse in 2017, and the site quickly built a devoted set of fans, who have come to love its encyclopedic coverage of fashion, art, architecture, and design. Now Mugrabi has spun her editorial perspective into a line of merchandise, MMerch, which reflects Minnie Muse’s stylish yet sensible ethos. We love their Composition Notebook, fashioned after a timeless Mead but outfitted with practical and aesthetic bonuses: the back interior cover features a clothing and shoe-size conversion chart, and with two sheets of playful yet tasteful stickers you can personalize the notebook’s cover. But if you’re a minimalist—stickers aren’t our thing, either—give these to a daughter or a niece, who will adore them. ($45, mmerch.com)

Listen

Passable in Pink


No Gen Xer who grew up watching movies can forget Addy Stevenson’s prom-related angst at Chicago’s Northwood High, or the hit single—the Spurts’ “Here Comes That Heartache”—that so perfectly captured it. No Gen Xer can remember it, either, since none of it actually existed. Until now, with the “cinematic audio experience” Passable in Pink, a John Hughes-ish send-up written by Mike Sacks and featuring Gillian Jacobs and Judd Nelson, among others. For its alternate-80s-universe soundtrack, producer Mark Rozzo (an AIR MAIL Editor at Large) called on real musicians from bands like the Psychedelic Furs and the Smithereens, and concocted 13 songs (credited to made-up bands) that fit seamlessly into the eclectic era. How is it possible no one thought to record “Pop Collar Nites” back in the 80s? Well, better late than never. ($9.99, omnivorerecordings.com)

Issue No. 18
November 16, 2019
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Issue No. 18
November 16, 2019
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