Sometimes described as a “National Geographic for Millennials,” Atlas Obscura was founded in 2009 by journalist Joshua Foer and documentary filmmaker Dylan Thuras. In 2016, the company began organizing guided tours to some of the remarkable sites that it describes so enticingly. That same year, it also published its first book for the armchair traveler: Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders (Workman). Now a brand-new Second Edition has just been released, adding more than 100 new places and featuring a dozen city guides and a fold-out map for a round-the-world dream itinerary. A version for younger readers, The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid, was released in the fall of 2018.
Almanac Weekly | Books
In a contrary motion that J. S. Bach likely would have appreciated, Like Falling through a Cloud moves from an ethereal, poetic confusion in its earliest pages toward an all-too-grounded diagnostic clarity as the reality sinks in and the author advances, often with great reluctance, from consultation to consultation as the unnamable is named.
Woodstock reading on Sunday, November 3: Many of the myths regarding Joplin read out like cautionary, puritanical sermons, luridly celebrating her passionate performances as something inspired and beyond her control, meanwhile excoriating her for her weakness, the demons and hedonism that ultimately defeated her. The standard line on Janis has allowed precious little acknowledgment of her personal agency, her seriousness of purpose and her accelerating artistic growth and self-determination, all of which are major and richly substantiated themes in George-Warren’s deeply engaging new biography.
Tuesday, Oct. 22: Kimball left city life behind and, with her new husband from New Paltz, took on the immense job of starting and running a CSA near Lake Champlain, known as Essex Farm. It currently comprises 1,100 acres and is managed with horsedrawn farm machinery rather than tractors, using no chemical pesticides or fertilizers. The goal was to supply its 150 members year-round (up to 200 now) with ingredients for three organic meals a day – not just vegetables, salad greens, herbs and a few fruits, but also grains, flour, beans, eggs, meat, dairy, honey, maple syrup, cut flowers, even soap. Kimball calls it “the world’s first full-diet CSA, as far as we know.”
Thursday, Oct. 10: Isabella Tree, author of Wilding, comes to Bard to explain how England’s Knepp Castle was returned to nature.
Michael Maruti Projansky’s autobiographical memoir I Don’t Know…I Love (Epigraph Publishing, 2019) might have been restricted to the literary technique of episodic collage by the unique conditions of its writing. A genuine exit project, I Don’t Know…I Love finds the well-known New Paltz patriarch, psychologist, world traveler and spiritual seeker in his own words, “progressively disentangling from being human,” in his late 70s and five years into a struggle with a rare form of ALS that will claim his life – within half a year, by the author’s own estimation at the time of publication.
Tuesday, Sept. 10: Long, long after his brilliant modernist masterpiece The Satanic Verses made him newsworthy and transformed his public and private life in unfortunate ways, the British Indian novelist continues to be prolific and expansive. His 13th novel, Quichotte, is a Don Quixote for the modern age.
Sunday, Sept. 8: Kingston is in the midst of a rent crisis, defined as having a vacancy rate of five percent or less for rental properties.
Jessica DuPont lovingly stocks shelves in Uptown Kingston, Tivoli and plans to open a science fiction bookstore in Midtown. She has twice come upon first US editions of Tolkien’s The Hobbit, found a first edition of On the Road haphazardly thrown into a plastic bin and even opened a poetry book to find that it had come from the private library of Orson Welles.
Sunday, Sept. 8: Ponckhockie Union’s Benedict Arnold “Ben” Rose is a struggling filmmaker who is in the early stages of producing a Howard Zinn-inspired documentary about the Burning of Kingston.