What We’re Reading This Week: Airbnb, American Sign Language, ‘Hausfrau’

The newly revamped New York Times Magazine—expanded with a refreshed look, new features and contributors like Teju Cole (on photography), Jenna Wortham (on internet culture), and Troy Patterson (on fashion). This week’s Global Issue includes an article on Airbnb’s challenges expanding their model into the Japanese market: “Meet the Unlikely Airbnb Hosts of Japan.” —Katie Punia, Director of Publicity

I’ve just returned from vacation and was thrilled to have read two great novels coming later this summer. Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal, out this July, and The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows, on sale in June. —Amanda D’Acierno, Senior Vice President and Publisher

“I just finished Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum. Make sure you have a strong support system of friends and loved ones around you as you read this—maybe some Swiss chocolate, too, to help get you situated in the Switzerland geography (any excuse, right?). It’s a heartbreaking, elegant, and honest portrayal of a woman who is unraveling. A great read to get the emotions brewing in these cold, wintry months.” —Lara Kramer, Digital Marketing Manager

This fascinating slideshow on TheAtlantic.com, “Investigating the Mysteries of Antarctica,” documents the trail of photographer Natacha Pisarenko as she follows scores of scientists for a dozen days in January in the midst of the frigid Antarctic summer. Upon viewing Pisarenko’s vivid images, you may feel as if New York’s polar vortex is a mere walk in the park! —Kristan Schiller, Editor, Cities and Cultural Destinations

Internet slang meets American Sign Language” explores—complete with GIFs—how American Sign Language evolves to include new slang terms such as photobomb, emoji, and duck face. Very interesting! —Susan Wiker, SEO Marketing Manager

This week, I interrupted my reading of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to read Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum in time for a special Random “Haus” Book Club event. Coincidentally, Hausfrau mirrors Tolstoy’s classic by introducing readers to a modern woman, also named Anna, who also happens to cheat on her husband. The parallels continue as Essbaum’s novel traces Anna’s thoughts on morality, mortality, and the responsibilities we have (or in Anna’s case, choose to ignore…) to ourselves, our family, and society. Hausfrau simultaneously disturbs and intrigues with a plot interspersed by psychoanalysis and German language instruction. —Megan Mills, Publishing Assistant