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SHAKESPEARE, William (Stratford-on-Avon ,1564-1616). English writer. The nineteenth century colored engraving.

The Sonnets

Shakespeare’s Sonnets is an app that offers the Bard’s 154 sonnets performed to camera by a cast of British actors, including Sir Patrick Stewart, David Tennant, Stephen Fry, and Dominic West. The two and a half hours of video content is bookended with accessible commentary on each sonnet by Scottish writer, poet, and musician Don Paterson. Explore any perplexing word or line with the simple touch of a finger, which will access a corresponding note from the Arden Shakespeare. You may spend hours thumbing through the sonnets, thanks in part to Paterson’s notes—reading them feels like chatting with a smarter, more literary friend. ($10,


1967 Iso Grifo GL Series I

A singer whose voice has filled the back seats of many American teenage dreams deserves a car to fit the fantasy. In 1966, riding high on the successes of “Unchained Melody,Bobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brothers bought a 1967 Iso Grifo GL Series I and commissioned the great George Barris (of Tom Wolfe’s Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby) to refinish the exterior. If you’re searching for that lovin’ feeling in the form of an Italian sports car, check the block at RM Sotheby’s in Paris on February 5. (Starting estimate at $220,360;


Greatest Green Tea

Bancha is the second-most-common green tea consumed in Japan, after sencha, the well-known steamed variety. But iribancha tea—produced exclusively by Ryuouen, one of the oldest and most respected purveyors in Japan—deepens the classic. Made in a process that begins with roasting leaves at high temperature, the tea has a deeply smoky flavor akin to that of Lapsang souchong, but with the gentler mouthfeel of a peaty scotch. It is best served with savory dishes, or after dinner as a clever smoking-cessation aid. ($24,


Brass Bullet Sharpener

Writers have always been particular about their instruments—Hemingway and the Moleskine notebook, Churchill’s Montblanc fountain pen—but now that most writing is done on laptops and touch screens, tools for longhand scribbling have taken on an added feeling of anachronistic charm. This handsome pencil sharpener is made by Möbius and Ruppert, who have been producing their trademark product, among other paper-related goods, in Erlangen, Germany, since 1922. It’s lovely enough to inspire hesitant writers to wear down their graphite just to need to sharpen it again. The solid-brass Bullet is fitted with a ring so it can be secured to a key chain, easily accessible to chisel a Ticonderoga. And if you’re so inclined, it’s been heuristically proven to work on an eyeliner pencil in a pinch. ($6.50,


The Assistant

The Assistant, which arrives in the middle of the Harvey Weinstein trial, spans a very long day in the life of Jane (Julia Garner), a recent college graduate who works for a media company very much like Weinstein’s, and who is increasingly distressed by signs that her boss is a serial abuser. It’s billed as a #MeToo thriller, but the deliciously ominous trailer is misleading. Kitty Green, the writer and director, went to great pains to strip her story of any Hollywood showmanship: there is no music as the camera slowly follows Jane through her menial tasks, and the office appears grim and even seedy. The Assistant is both a searing indictment of Weinstein and his enablers and a cold rejection of the razzle-dazzle filmmaking that made him rich and famous. (In theaters now)

Issue No. 29
February 1, 2020
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Issue No. 29
February 1, 2020