GET IT?I’m now in a different time zone, although one rather less glamorous than the one I left yesterday. On the other hand, with temperatures in the mid-50s, it appears that my childhood home has decided to cease being part of the mid-South and instead become part of the tropics.

One consequence of my not being in DC at the moment is that this is an unusually U.S.-centric package of links. This is also the consequence of Foreign Policy‘s apparently requiring some new signin stuff, which I refuse to do on principle and which threw a wrench in my link-gathering strategy for the day. Sorry.

Finally, last minute gift ideas, if you’re really stuck!

  1. Private Empire, Steve Coll’s biography of ExxonMobil. I’m normally skeptical of biographies of corporations and anything that smacks of How-X-Explains-The-World (Cod! Salt! Soccer! And soon, presumably, escargot!) but Coll’s exploration of ExxonMobil, nonstate actor nonpareil, is gripping.
  2. City of Heavenly Tranquility, Jasper Becker’s history-cum-travelogue of life in a vanishing Beijing.
  3. The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries, catnip and the best murder mystery I’ve read in a decade. Transformative in its ability to reshape how I see the role of religion and science in the ancient world.
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