I’m in Philadelphia this week, visiting the Historical Society of Pennsylvania for the papers of Benjamin Rush, Henry Drinker, and other Philadelphians who backed William Cooper’s enterprise as well as tried to create their own maple sugar “plantations.” This is a followup to April’s trip to the Hartwick College archives, going through the Cooper papers for material on his maple sugar scheme of 1790-1791.


  • Robert Charles Wilson, The Affinities
  • George Eliot, Middlemarch
  • Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia

Recently finished

  • George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia
  • Hannu Rajaniemi, The Quantum Thief
  • Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 1
  • Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Moon
  • Matthew Thomas, Maple King: The Making of a Maple Sugar Empirereading notes
  • Alice Herdan-Zuckmayer, The Farm in the Green Mountainsreading notes
  • Yoon Ha Lee, Revenant Gun
  • Hannu Rajaniemi, Summerland



  • New Japan Best of the Super Juniors: The finals are on Wednesday, 5 June between two of the best wrestlers in the world, Shingo Takagi and Will Ospreay. The winner faces junior heavyweight champion Dragon Lee on 9 June at Dominion.
  • Pittsburgh Pirates baseball: For the next six months baseball broadcasts will be the constant background noise in our house.

Updated Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Joshua Beatty @joshuabeatty