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What We’re Reading This Week: ‘Holiday,’ Earth Day, Marathons

I was vacationing in Puerto Rico last week and stumbled across an old issue of Vanity Fair that had the most fascinating (and drool-worthy) article about Holiday magazine, which had its heyday in the 1950s. Everyone from Hemingway to Kerouac wrote for the glossy travel magazine that documented the most gorgeous places in the world for a rising jet set. A must-read for nostalgic travelers who long for the golden age of travel (and of publishing!). –Erica Duecy, Deputy Editor,

I am completely mesmerized by this Periodic Table of Storytelling. —Teddy Minford, Managing Editorial Assistant

Last week’s New Yorker had a fascinating feature by David Owen on how airlines keep upping the game of first-class accommodations and amenities. Since I’ll probably never be able to afford this level of travel, it’s interesting to get a behind-the-scenes look! —Jennifer DePrima, Senior Production Editor

I succumbed to the literary buzz and started reading Leslie Jamison’s astonishing essay collection, The Empathy Exams. Her long-form piece on the Barkley Marathon, in particular, does a masterful job of exploring why packs of runners eagerly subject themselves to extreme exhaustion and pain. —Luke Epplin, Associate Editor, Countryside and Adventure

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Fellow former English majors will love this One-Star Book Reviews, which proves even the most classic pieces of literature aren’t immune to Internet criticism. The single lines from one-star reviews for everything from Ulysses to Good Night, Moon are always laughable and sometimes actually have a point. —Amanda Sadlowski, Assistant Editor

For Earth Day, I caught up with Nicholas Lemann's “When the Earth Moved,” from The New Yorker in 2013. It's a captivating look at Earth Day’s start as a national teach-in back in 1970 and the environmental success stories that followed—and a sober evaluation of today’s politics of climate-change legislation. —Linda Cabasin, Editorial Director

I missed my subway stop because I was so caught up in Aaron Starmer’s The Riverman, a gripping story about a girl who travels to another world where whatever you can imagine becomes reality, but where there is also a dark presence stealing kids’ souls. Or is it all just a fantasy dreamed up to cover for a tough home life? This young adult novel was written by the husband of our very own Cate Starmer, and it’s a page-turner! —Salwa Jabado, Senior Editor, Countryside and Adventure

I’ve always been fascinated with the mysterious process that causes a forgotten word or movie title or whatever to spontaneously pop into your head. Maria Popov discusses such elusive cognitive mechanisms as well as the “marvels and flaws of our intuition” in a great piece called “Trying Not to Try.” —Eric Wechter, Editor, Cruises and Resorts

I’m reading A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor, a beautifully-written memoir of the author’s journey on foot across Europe in the 1930s. —Kristan Schiller, Editor, Cities and Cultural Destinations 

An old bio posted on The Guardian’s website lead me to Norman Lewis, a great British travel writer and lifelong globe-roamer. His Naples ’44 is a gritty, darkly funny, deadly honest account of his service as a military liaison with Italian civilians immediately after the Allied invasion of 1943. The writing is rich and enthralling. —Linda Schmidt, Managing Editor

April is Poetry Month, so I'm reading a collection called The Year of No Mistakes by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz. It’s very contemporary and a lot of the poems are about life in New York City. One of my favorites starts like this: “My Tiny God… likes balance. He has me step in dog shit today / so that I might catch an express train next week…” —Caroline Trefler, Senior Editor, Cities and Cultural Destinations

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