On Lopez, and Paris and Stockholm

Work on another project has left me little time to update Deskbound Traveller lately, and there’s been plenty to catch up on. The latest “books update” email from The New York Times at the weekend included a link to Ben Ehrenreich’s review (which I missed when it was published last month) of a posthumous essay collection from Barry Lopez, Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World (Random House). If the essays “have a unifying theme and express a single mandate,” Ehrenreich writes, “they are about the redemptive importance of paying attention to the planet and to the other beings with which we share it. Attentiveness works as an antidote not only to distractedness but to the fatal unseriousness of modern life.”

In a new series, The New York Times has asked some of its favourite writers to suggest what visitors to their cities should read and what literary landmarks they should head for. The opening piece, from the novelist Leila Slimani, was on Paris; the second, from the husband-and-wife team who write crime fiction under the pen name Lars Kepler, was on Stockholm.

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