Staff Picks: ‘Rules of Civility,’ Scott’s Photographs


This Week’s Reading

New restaurants hold no interest for me, and neither did restaurant reviews—until two years ago, when Sam Sifton took over at the Times. Who else would write, of an aged duck, “It looked like an abscess, frankly. It tasted like godhead”? He was the first thing I read every Wednesday. Now that he’s gone to the National desk, do I have to start reading the news? —Lorin Stein

I’ve been enjoying Amor Towles’s Depression-era Rules of Civility with delight; it’s a good read in every sense. —Sadie Stein

I’m excited to see this spectacle of a concert at the New Museum on Saturday. Pitchfork and its sister site, Altered Zones have invited a lineup of ten performers and five DJs to take over the museum lobby, auditorium, and sky deck after-hours alongside an installation by Nuit Blanche New York. —Artie Niederhoffer

I was curiously entranced and chilled by the newly discovered photographs of Scott’s expedition to the South Pole. They’re bleak, beautiful, and suffused with doom. Deirdre Foley-Mendelssohn

This week I went to a talk advertising itself as a “productive disagreement” between art critic Hal Foster and architecture theorist Sylvia Lavin. As a disaffected academic, I am sometimes wary of claims to productivity in theory-based discussions. This evening proved me wrong and set me digging deeper into the work of Foster and Lavin. —Emma Gallwey

The world’s largest prize for children’s literature, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award—named for the Swedish woman who dreamt up Pippi—just announced the nominees for 2012. —Jessica Calderon

The movie Weekend is, somehow, at once a hyperrealistic, can’t-believe-it’s-not-documentary-style story and a conventional romantic comedy that includes a grand gesture at a train station. If you haven’t seen it already, you could not make better use of the weekend. —A.N.

If you’re in New York, take the time to see the Frick’s show of Picasso drawings; the evolution is fascinating, and some of the pieces are strikingly beautiful. —S.S.