best of the sunday times

“An objective rule in the process of modernization is we have to complete the process of urbanization and industrialization.”

~ Li Keqiang (Chinese Prime Minister)

Front Page

As China attempts to accelerate the urbanization of its rural farmers, high costs and pitfalls abound.

As a conservative legislature makes abortion an increasingly difficult option for Texans, Mexico offers a prescription-free abortion pill just across the border.

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tuesday reading list

“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education”

~ Albert Einstein

How do you make the already tense relations between Ecuador and Peru worse? How about when the Ecuadorian ambassador to Peru assaults a woman and her daughter in a supermarket in Lima.

Want to feel better about your excessive drinking this summer? Check out Grist’s Guide to Sustainable Ales.

Although Japanese and English seem to have no grammar, sound, or letters in common, linguists now believe that they were once the same language.

What’s in a name? Cash. Money. Quartz shows us how the shorter your first name, the longer the number on your paycheck.

With all of the hoopla about the Gatsby movie coming out, Kathryn Schulz of Vulture lets us know all of the reasons that she hates the book.

monday reading list

“I think we agree, the past is over.”

~ George W. Bush

Paul Miller of the online tech magazine, The Verge, has finally finished his year of living without the internet. Guess what! You can be just as unproductive without Reddit and Facebook.

Reuters reports this morning that the UN has evidence that the Syrian Rebels used the Sarin gas, not the Assad regime. Score one for Obama having played it close to the chest on this one. Score zero to whoever is found to have provided the rebels with chemical weapons.

With the conservative media beginning to turn against him, Marco Rubio may no longer be the right poster child to pass immigration reform while saving face for Republicans who face staunch opposition to reform in their home states.

Not to be dissuaded by the Patriot Act or hiked-up security measures in a post-9/11 world, al Qaeda has begun a new strategy of recruiting disenfranchised American Muslims to take up smaller attacks on US soil.

What makes a book business? Richard Nash of the Virginia Quarterly Review looks at the publishing industry and how they must change to stay afloat in a world of eContent.

way too much advice on writing

writers-block-guy

Maria Popova, the Bulgarian writer behind the blog Brain Pickings, loves literature. For proof, look no farther than the mountains of tips for writers by writers on the site. Between her work and the millions of other pontifications published by writers out there, it’s almost impossible for an aspiring writer today to find a path of his or her own. Yet trying to take someone else’s path is strangely addictive. To fuel the addiction, feast your eyes on some of the best that they have to offer on writing.

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wednesday reading list.

paris 1927

Chosen for quality.

POLITICO’s Manu Raju, Carrie Budoff Brown and Anna Palmer follow the trail of how the immigration deal was hammered out. Note: prepare something happy to read or watch for when you finish.

John Reed of the Paris Review offers a real-life timeline of Animal Farm by George Orwell. It’s a good throwback for those of us who haven’t approached the novel since middle school english.

Alec MacGillis of The New Republic explains how, through the numerous concessions that they made to the smaller, less populous states, the founding fathers may have already doomed gun control.

Al Jazeera’s Patricia Vieira asks “Does reading make you smarter?” While there is no doubt that literature can have a huge effect on our lives, there is no panacea for making people good writers or to make them like reading.

In Bloomberg Buisinessweek, 50 famous people tell you what to do if you want to become smarter, better looking, more successful, or like Newt Gingrich?