Staff Picks: Food Rules, the American Dream


This Week’s Reading

I turned to a former history professor of mine, Niall Ferguson, for some interesting thoughts on Wall Street: “The American Dream is about social mobility, not enforced equality.” —Natalie Jacoby

Michael Pollan’s wildly informative Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual gets an update, with new rules as well as illustrations by Maira Kalman. —Jessica Calderon

What better way to get your Halloween thrills this weekend than with the Bernard Herrmann double features at Film Forum? His marvelously affecting scores were instrumental in making movies like Psycho, The Birds, and Vertigo so atmospheric and disturbing. —Deirdre Foley-Mendelssohn

I’ve been thinking about Galicia lately, what with Andrzej Stasiuk’s Dukla having just been released by Dalkey Archive, so it was a nice surprise to come across Timothy Snyder’s fascinating history of the region in the latest New York Review of Books. Nicole Rudick

Ever since I began patronizing NYC’s Treats Truck, I have been curious about the secret of their scrumptious Butterscotch Pecan Bar. Imagine my delight, then, when I learned they are releasing a cookbook! I’ve preordered my copy, and the office will doubtless reap the rewards. —Sadie Stein

This week I reread Allen Ginsberg’s 1966 interview in The Paris Review and found myself wandering back to the excellent recording of his poem “America” at the Poetry Archive. —Emma Gallwey

A friend gave me Anna Solomon’s The Little Bride and I haven’t been able to put it down. It’s the story of a Russian mail-order bride who ends up in the American West with a rigidly Orthodox husband—but really, that’s just scratching the surface. Last week, we fielded an advice question from a woman wondering about “good reads” that also had literary merit—I wish I’d finished this one at the time, as it matches that description perfectly. —S.S.

George Saunders’s “Tenth of December” in this week’s New Yorker is not to be missed. Who else can make you laugh so much in a story about a kid who tortures animals for fun and a suicidal cancer patient? —Artie Niederhoffer