Two Graphic Novels, Illuminating Memoirs from the Middle East that are Fun to Read

Panel from Persepolis

For most westerners, the Middle East is a frightening and poorly understood part of the world. It’s impossible to develop an appreciation for the diversity of its people, its rich history, and the range of life experience in the region if you only rely on western news reports. In the…

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Fanciful Visions of Notre Dame’s Reconstruction

Christophe Pinguet, Que la lumière soit

Earlier this month, and more than a year after a disastrous blaze nearly caused Notre Dame’s total collapse, President Emmanuel Macron announced that the ancient cathedral’s spire will be reconstructed in its previous form. This declaration may seem a bit overdue. However, much has transpired since flames engulfed, then toppled,…

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Recent News from the World of Wine Forgery

Old wine bottles

Last summer I wrote a post about Rudy Kurniawan, perhaps the world’s greatest wine forger. His story is told in both a Netflix documentary, Sour Grapes, and an award-winning book, In Vino Duplicitas. Kurniawan, a young and charismatic wine collector who scammed wealthy wine collectors out of millions, makes a…

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Two Very Different but Excellent Podcasts

The Dying Gaul

The summer months have me outside on most days, working to restore my garden after years of my son’s punishing soccer drills. As I water, weed, trim, and thin, I like to listen to podcasts. I recently discovered two of the historical variety that I thoroughly enjoyed. In each recording,…

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