1. The Malcolm Gladwell/Paul Simon audiobook is very good. Hearts and Bones is my favorite Simon creation, to pick up on one question raised by Gladwell.
2. Douthat is right: “Cruise’s Maverick isn’t actually leading his last mission in the real world: He dies in the movie’s opening act and he’s training pilots in some kind of purgatory, working through his life’s mistakes to work out his own salvation, to reach a Christian version of Valhalla.” (NYT)
3. The new 18-year-old van Cliburn winner plays Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes. Recommended. And his Rach 3 cadenza (sadly I do not really like the music, but astonishing playing).
4. Supposedly the average American has been to five of these places, how many have you been to? Never done “Road to Hana,” on my side.
6. The Russian book market, for those of you who have not been paying attention.