Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: The modern treehouse / Rethinking their post-9/11 decisions / Alabama’s first black poet laureate / The emotional beauty of Omar Little / Literature’s most memorable trees

This week: The modern treehouse / Rethinking their post-9/11 decisions / Alabama’s first black poet laureate / The emotional beauty of Omar Little / Literature’s most memorable trees

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism. Learn more about my academic background here.

1. Nature meets nostalgia: Treehouses return in style
By Tracee M. Herbaugh | Associated Press | September 2021
“Treehouses have proliferated during the pandemic. There are stylish backyard ones built by professionals, and makeshift ones thrown up just to escape the four walls of home. There are listings on sites like Airbnb for treehouses to camp in. Unlike the rickety treehouses of yore, many of these new ones have been upgraded. Most are still accessed with a ladder, however, requiring you to climb.”

2. They Created Our Post-9/11 World. Here’s What They Think They Got Wrong.
By Bryan Bender and Daniel Lippman | Politico Magazine | September 2021
“Seventeen prominent players reflect on the decades of war they helped wage and the domestic defenses they helped erect.”

3. Alabama’s First Black Poet Laureate Takes A Personal Approach To ‘Reparations’
By Jeevika Verma | NPR | September 2021
“The state of Alabama has a new poet laureate: Ashley M. Jones is the first Black poet to claim the title, and at 31, also the youngest.”

4. ‘You’re Food and Drink to Me.’ A Letter From Henry Miller to Anais Nin
By Shaun Usher | LitHub | September 2021
“Such explosive conditions resulted in countless passionate love letters from both parties. This particular missive was written prior to a heated few days at Nin’s home in France.”

5. The fictional complexity of Omar
By Robin Givhan | The Washington Post | September 2021
“Omar exuded the sort of stone-faced masculinity that for so long defined what it means to be a man, along with the threatening aura that has become associated specifically with Black men. Yet Omar also had a gentle touch for his boyfriend about whom he unabashedly expressed his affection. Omar sneered. Omar cried.”

6. Why Does Coffee Sometimes Make Me Tired?
By Wudan Yan | The New York Times | September 2021
“Lethargy, blood sugar and dehydration explain in part the paradoxical effects of coffee on our energy levels.”

7. Extreme Animal Weapons
NOVA :: PBS | November 2017
“Discover how a secret biological code has shaped nature’s battleground.”

8. The 18 Most Memorable Trees in Literature
By Christopher Cox | LitHub | August 2021
“At first we wanted to rank the trees, or pit them head-to-head, March Madness–style, to see which one came out on top. Would Whitman’s hickory defeat Yeats’s chestnut? In the battle of the oaks, who would reign supreme: Calvino or Kunitz? But the trees invoked here, and the works of literature in which they are found, resist such a reductive treatment.”

9. Black politics and history
By Eric Foner | Start Making Sense | August 2021
“Eric Foner talks bout how our understanding of Black politics and history, starting with Reconstruction, has changed — and about the historian-activists who challenged the prevailing racist historians back in the 1930s, starting with W.E.B. DuBois and James S. Allen”

10. This pictogram is one of the oldest known accounts of earthquakes in the Americas
By Carolyn Gramling | Science News | September 2021
“The written chronology in a 16th century codex was created by a pre-Hispanic civilization.”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

Handsome gentleman scholar, Civil War historian, unpretentious intellectual, world traveler, successful writer.

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