Weekly Round-Up: Snow Days Edition

Snow Days from Space

Snow Days from Space

 Photo Credit: NASA/GSFC/Aqua/MODIS

Welcome to the Words After War Weekly Round-Up: “Snow Days” Edition. In this space we share links relevant to our mission of improving the military-civilian dialogue through high-quality literary programming.

The first few days of this New Year brought frigid temperatures and blizzard conditions to much of the northeast. On Friday morning, I awoke to a city blanketed in white with hopes of a DC-like shutdown. No such luck.

Later that day, I saw a tweet that read something to the effect of ‘the only thing a snow day does is simply remind me that I am now an adult.’ I can’t help but relate to that sentiment, considering that even though the city streets had turned to a soupy gray slush and temperatures refused to rise above freezing all day, it was business as usual for most of us grown-ups, as we braved the elements and went to work. Later that evening, as I walked home from work, I thought to myself, ‘These are the moments my parents warned me about.’

There’s a part of me that is constantly in awe of this city’s sheer resilience and absolute refusal to slow down. Somehow, despite the extraordinary weather, we all decided to reject an afternoon of pajamas and Netflix in favor of suits and snow boots. And there’s this other part of me that really wanted us to collectively decide that it’s not a sin to sit around in gym shorts and enjoy the snow falling on a Friday.

In honor of snow days, here are some links for those of us who dream of a workday spent reading indoors.

Here we go.

  1. Wounded veterans get a new and very important mission: prosecuting child predators. Check out this interesting Stars and Stripes feature on how wounded warriors are chasing down criminals.
  2. Apparently George Saunders was named as one of Salon’s ‘Sexiest Men of 2013.’ Read about this and many more interesting facts in David Daley’s Q & A with the author.
  3. For those who have been monitoring the deteriorating situation in Fallujah, you might find Col. (Ret.) Peter Mansoor’s new book, Surge, to be a rather timely read. Journalist Paul Szoldra has compiled some of the highlights from a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AmA) with Col. Mansoor, which provides extrodinary insights into the planning and execution of “The Surge.”
  4. On the New Yorker’s “Page Turner” blog, Hannah Rosefield presents a critique and brief history of author interviews.
  5. Tom Nissley recently published a fascinating book, A Reader’s Book of Days, detailing literary facts for every single day of the year. I don’t mind saying that I received this as a gift over the holidays and will be reading my way through it the entire year. You can read some of Nissley’s January recommendations on The Millions.
  6. Over the past few years, a real industry has risen up around TED, a conference devoted to 15-20 minute long stories that engage with ‘important ideas’ in the fields of technology, education and design (among other things). Benjamin Bratton has written a rather thoughtful essay on why those short, feel-good TED talks might not be all that good for humanity.
  7. And for all of us who love to delete our stories, read about all the stories that Bob Brody never wrote.

P.S. If you have the means, please consider supporting this important project from poet Maurice Decaul: Lioness, the Pride of America, a play in one act.

Stay warm out there.

–Brandon

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