Fragrant wild strawberries can be foraged in some woods in the grand duchy.
This month the Delano team has been grilling, foraging and enjoying a few guilty pleasures. Here are the team's top picks for June.
John Freeman’s“Dictionary of the Undoing”is a short read but one which hit a nerve with me this month. He has compiled words from A to Z which describe the roots of apathy and frustration of our times, yet he empowers us as citizens to use our bodies and our words to build a better world. The M chapter, for example, is on “Monuments” and is a thoughtful reflection on who we decide to memorialise in our public spaces and why--a timely question. NG
Thanks to Audible, this month I was able to multitask lengthy lockdown walks with reading. Meg Wolitzer’s lengthy novel “The Interestings” was an unplanned read but one I didn’t regret. It charts the lives of six friends who meet at a creative summer camp up until they reach their fifties. I loved Wolitzer’s flawed characters, and the way she explored selfishness and envy through their detailed perspectives. I’d also love to have attended a camp like the one they did. JB
A year after it was published, I’ve caught up with Kevin Barry’s electrifyingly taut “Night Boat To Tangier”. Set in the wretched Algeciras ferry terminal in southern Spain, the novel features two mesmerizingly malevolent Irish small-time gangsters in their fifties, Charlie and Maurice. They are searching for Charlie’s missing 20-something daughter, whom they believe is heading for Spain on a boat from Tangier. Barry has a brilliant ear for authentic dialogue and it is his portrayal of Charlie and Maurice--two determined, no-nonsense, but tragically poetic Beckett like figures who are awkwardly aware of their fading rakishness--that really showcases his talent. Superb. DR
I’ve been reading Gordon Parks’ “A Choice of Weapons”based on a friend’s recommendation, and it hasn’t disappointed. Despite the violence, tragedy and racism Parks (1912-2006) witnessed or experienced, he describes how key decisions in his life, coupled with key advice from his mother (who died when Parks was young), led him to overcome the poverty and bigotry, leading him to become a renowned photographer, composer, filmmaker and more. It has all the elements I like in a memoir—it’s lean, gritty, inspiring. (If you don’t have time to read the book, this article is also illuminating.) NG
Listen to this
Rose City Band’s “Summerlong” will probably live up to its title and be on permanent loop all summer long. The band is in effect a solo project by Ripley Johnson, the ace guitarist and singer of the glorious Wooden Shjips and Moon Duo. The 8-track album is a gorgeous swirl of country rock melodies topped by Johnson’s delicious psychedelic guitar runs and often featuring an underswell of organs and synths. The result is a dreamy and blissful record that is perfect listening for a sunny late afternoon. Listen to opening track ‘Only Lonely’ here. DR
I was engrossed by an image tweeted a couple weeks ago by Nina Lamparski, a Luxembourger journalist at the AFP news service, that illustrates the relative number of speakers of Indo-European languages by the size of leaves on a tree. Luxembourgish is located just below and to the left of German. AG
Take the stress out of your life by following Daily Owls on Twitter. Each day the feed brings up a new video of an owl--often doing something cute with an appropriately witty caption, but also sometimes a more serious clip with trivia and information about different breeds of owl and their attributes. DR
I don’t generally binge-watch TV, but I couldn’t resist when I found“Homeland” Season 8 on Canal+. So much more than just another spy thriller series; the plot twists and fascinating relationship between protégé and mentor, Carrie and Saul, pitch you into a grey world that expands your mind when it comes to defecting spies. I just adore Claire Danes’ intense and conflicted portrayal of the protagonist. For me, season 8 offered a finale that was both surprising and satisfying. But I wouldn’t complain if they commissioned a ninth season. JB
While you have to exercise caution with this one, summer is an excellent time for foraging! I’ve been trying to teach my daughter to identify local plants (especially those stinging nettles, so she can steer clear of them!) and this month we’ve rediscovered old hiking trails and found some new ones. I now have some great locations for wild strawberries and raspberries, and I’m looking forward to the autumn months for walnuts and more. Here’s one of many guides if you want to get started. NG
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