Briefings: Jack Reacher, NYC Housing, Running of the Bulls, Creative Spaces, and Malcolm Gladwell’s Next Book

It’s funny, we were just reading John Jeremiah Sullivan’s essay about the coming battle between humans and animals, “Violence of the Lambs,” when we realized the bulls are running in San Fermin. A few cuts and bruises, a few people gored — but this has been going on since Medieval times, so nothing to get nervous about. Outside has a man on the ground, plus a new Cruise movie, in this week’s Briefings.

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1. What to Preview | Jack Reacher

Here’s what we have to say about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes: Not a thing. We will say that it’s already been too long since Mission: Impossible 4, and we find comfort in the knowledge that Cruise will be back on the big screen in December as the title character in Jack Reacher. The film is an adaptation of Lee Child’s One Shot, the ninth book in the Reacher series, in which the the former U.S. Army Military Police Major investigates a five murders and then metes out his own brand of justice. Happy belated birthday, Tom. Keep the classics coming.

2. What to Design | The Future of NYC Housing

Earlier this year we read Eric Klinenberg’s book, Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, a very interesting read that hits close to home for 20- and 30-somethings living in cities. The book ends in Stockholm, where 50% of the households have just one person, and where the city has tried to adapt by offering more — and more community-based — single occupancy housing. It looks like New York may be heading in the same direction. Mayor Bloomberg announced a design competition to develop a model for rental buildings composed of so-called ‘micro-units.’ (If any readers are interested, there’s a pre-submission conference for potential design teams on July 31, 2012 at the American Institute of Architects’ Center for Architecture.)

3. What to Live Vicariously | The Running of The Bulls

“My face, knees, and elbows all hit in a simultaneous instant,” Bill Hillman writes. “A millisecond later my testicles smack the stones. I’ve never felt pain like that.” Hillman is Outside’s man on the ground for the 2012 San Fermin Festival in Pamplona. The Running of the Bulls. He’s got daily updates from Spain’s biggest fiesta, which continues through July 14. There’s still time to catch a plane.

4. What to See | Where They Create

We’re always curious about how people work. What does a writer’s desk look like? How do painters arrange their studios? What environments inspire creative work? Where They Create is photographer Paul Barbera’s website about just this — a collection of photos taken during his visits with artists, designers, and creative agencies. (It’s also a book by the same name, with interviews.)

5. What to Think About | Gladwell’s New Book

The New Yorker’s resident scholar — author of The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers — has a new book coming out in 2013. David and Goliath is about how underdogs win by compensating with effort and strategy, and he talks about it in this video with the magazine. “Underdogs win all the time,” he says. “They win way more than one would intuitively think. Given the fact that they win so often, why do we continue to call them underdogs? Does it suggest that the kinds of traits we consider to be disadvantages aren’t disadvantages at all?”