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Reading List: 7 Things We Loved This Week

Best 10 Food Lover’s Hotels in America,” Bon Appetit
A word of warning: don’t read this article on an empty stomach. From the fabled fare of Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm (where there is no distance between farm and table) to the espresso-fueled lobbies of the Ace Hotels (New York, shown above), this expertly curated list will have you canceling your dinner reservations and packing your bags before lunch. —Kim Fortson

Travel Confidential,” Condé Nast Traveler
Ever wondered what it’s like to walk a night in the heels of a Vegas cocktail waitress or a day in the costume of a Times Square entertainer? CNT’s editors go undercover to work as the service industry employees who make our travels memorable. Let’s just say it made me thankful to be sitting behind a desk instead of cleaning hotel rooms for the rich and famous. —Lara Takenaga

The Great Escape,” Vanity Fair
Holiday magazine, the pioneering 1940s travel monthly, is still an inspiration for us here at AFAR, for both the content and the design. This Vanity Fair slideshow, which accompanies a great piece by Michael Callahan, shows the incredible illustrations and photography that appeared in the magazine, which still feels so fresh today. —Davina Baum

In Praise of Very Large Staircases: A Brief History of the Social Function of Stoops,” Good
Where do urban dwellers who don’t have front porches sit to watch the world go by? What’s the connection between a stoop and a spaldeen? Where did stoops get their name? —Derk Richardson

The Ascent of Japanese Whisky,” The Wall Street Journal
Japan does most things more perfectly than the rest of the world, including mixing a proper cocktail. For years mixologists from New York City, London, and Paris all looked to the bartenders of Tokyo and Kyoto and copied their cocktail mastery—the way they artfully sculpted the ice and used the proper glassware and mixing spoons. The actual alcohol that went into those drinks, however, was usually not from Japan, until now. Writer Lawrence Osbourne reports that Scotland had better watch its back because the Japanese have also now perfected the art of distilling whisky. Osbourne tells the story of the two men responsible for Japan’s whisky industry and reveals what makes the spirit so distinct. Whisky connoisseurs might want to start planning a trip to Kyoto. —Jen Murphy

In the Beginnings: Sebastião Salgado’s Genesis,” Time LightBox
If you’re in London this summer, you must check out photographic giant 
Sebastião Salgado’s exhibition, “Sebastião Salgado: Genesis” at the Natural History Museum. The photographer spent the last 8 years exploring 32 countries capturing the world’s last untamed places, now revealed in the collection’s world premiere. —Tara Guertin

Stone Cold Country,” Deep Roots
Two major American musicians died recently: George Jones, the greatest singer in the history of country music, at age 81; and Bob Brozman, 59, a masterful guitarist known mainly to fans who shared his passion for vintage instruments (including National steel resonator guitars), old-time blues, and authentic musical styles from around the world (Hawaii, the Caribbean, India, Okinawa). Even if you’re acquainted with Jones and his legacy, the Deep Roots tribute will yield new insights, via an excerpt from Bill Malone’s Country Music USA, videos of essential Jones performances, and a listener’s guide to later George Jones recordings. PRI’s Marco Werman offers a brief remembrance, plus his 2007 “The World” interview with Brozman, and a live performance video. —Derk Richardson

Photo by Greg Oates/AFAR.com.