Briefings: Fictitious Dishes, Bale in at 27, Monocle Radio, Arab Women in Sport, and Lady Brett Ashley

It’s been a strange and unsettling week in America. We’re trying to keep our heads about us by spending time with friends and family and keeping up with other, more light-hearted news. We left out the videos of watermelons wrapped in rubber bands exploding, but there’s some other good stuff, like softcore food porn and an interview with Christian Bale from the archives.

It’s a big and complicated world. We’re at tips [at] if you think there’s something we should know about.

1. What to Eat | Fictitious Dishes

The preponderance of food porn is of the hardcore variety: rare meat in its jus, whole fish oiled up and splayed out on the grill, pineapple upside-down cake fresh from the pan. Sometimes we’re looking for something a bit less explicit, more literary. Role playing, if you will. Fictitious Dishes is exactly that, food photos of meals characters eat in a handful of classic stories like Catcher in the Rye, Moby Dick, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

2. What to Read | Bale Circa 2001

With the Dark Knight trilogy now at its end, we’ve been doing some reflecting on Christian Bale’s career. There’s a lot to love: his great suits in American Psycho, playing a Greek fisherman in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, everything in Newsies. Interview magazine had a conversation with Bale when he was 27, when he was still something of a secret. Here he is talking about his devoted online following: “I appreciate it, but I try to keep a distance. I’ve always felt that I would rather see an actor, writer, or musician’s work, rather than actually know the person. If you know too much about an artist, it somehow lessens their ability to do their work as well.”

3. What to Hear | Monocle 24

Lately we’ve been enjoying Monocle 24, the magazine’s around-the-clock radio station that launched late last year. Like the print publication, it’s a mash-up of international news, culture, music, travel — the kind of stuff we’re interested in here — that’s similar to the BBC (from which it recruited several broadcasters), but a little more fun. The Global Music hour is a good way to spend an hour between coffee and lunch.

4. What to Preview | Arab Women in Sport

With the Olympics coming up at the end of the week, Vanity Fair has gallery of photos dedicated to female Arab athletes. It’s a preview of an upcoming exhibition, “Hey’Ya: Arab Women in Sport,” by VF photographer Brigitte Lacombe and her sister, Marian, which will show at Sotheby’s in London and then the Qatar Museums Authority Gallery in Doha. You know, if you’re in the neighborhood.

5. What to Look For | A Damned Good Looking Woman

We make no secret of our appreciation for Hemingway — the man, the books, the mythology. (The jury is still out on the hotel chain, however.) Nor should it be a secret that we’re on the lookout for a fine partner in this life. The Paris Review has a brief study of Lady Brett Ashley, the object of much affection in Hem’s The Sun Also Rises: “The universal appeal of Brett’s look is that it’s more about insouciance and style. But what makes Brett’s odd gamine-bombshell hybrid most alluring isn’t simply the clothes, but her attitude … and also that a man—Hemingway, at that—imagined her.”