Things that Caught My Eye this Week: The Leisurely Brunch Edition

Spotted on my way to brunch this morning.
Spotted on my way to brunch this morning.

Just got back from a delightful pancake brunch with a good friend at Sabrina’s Cafe, a Philadelphia institution. Whenever we get together, we always go over all of the things we’ve watched/listened to/read since the last time we’ve caught up.  Here are some of the things I’ve been into lately:

Black Earth – ( I was obsessed with Timothy Snyder’s book about the Holocaust in Eastern Europe Bloodlands when it came out a few years ago, and his new book continues his scholarship on the topic and focuses on how statelessness and state destruction play a much more significant role in the Holocaust than previously understood.  This misunderstanding changes how we face contemporary events, to disastrous effect. If you love fresh scholarship on World War II history, this is a can’t miss. My only complaint is I wish Snyder narrated his own works himself.

Interview with Timothy Snyder – (New Books in Eastern European Studies) If the above book intrigues you, but you’re not ready to dive in, check out this hour long interview with Snyder discussing the book as well as additional topics on Eastern European history.  For Eastern European history lovers, dig into the archives on this podcast–it’s full of great stuff. (Check out the interview on iTunes here).

The History of English Podcast – ( I’m a sucker for a really good history of English, and Kevin Stroud’s podcast does not disappoint.  Starting at Proto-Indo-European, he is working his way methodically through history (73 episodes later, and he’s now in the 12th century).  If you’re interested in vowel shifts, the origins of runes, and what words were handed down from the ancient Franks through the French to the Normans to middle English, this is definitely for you.

War & Peace (The BBC) – I’ve read a lot of Russian literature, but I’ve never cracked War & Peace.  To be honest, I’ve been reading Anna Karenina a chapter at a time for about a decade. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to the end.  But the BBC’s mini-series of War & Peace is mesmerizing.  Prince Andrei is gorgeous, Natasha is stunning and innocent, and Count Bezukhov is bumbling.  It’s so perfect.  I just never thought Paul Dano could be so unsexy.


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