My First (Delicious) Impressions of Vietnam,” Legal Nomads
Jodi Ettenberg has just arrived in Saigon, her first time in Vietnam. And after only a few days she’s managed to eat some great-looking food, like the spread shown above. —Davina Baum

Monet Refuses the Operation,” by Lisel Mueller
I reread this poem every once in a while to remind myself that “seeing” means different things to different people, and sometimes it takes a lifetime to achieve “vision.” —Derk Richardson

The Year in Photos,” The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal looks back at 2012 with a spectacular collection of 365 photographs that capture everything from surfers paddling out to catch a monster-size wave in Spain to Bill Murray at the Cannes Film Festival and more serious images like an Egyptian man waiting to vote at a polling station outside of Cairo. —Jen Murphy

Talking to the Dead: Channeling William James in Berlin,” The Awl
I am well armed with zingers next time someone suggests I move to Berlin … or wants to intelligently discuss William James. —Evan Arnold

Pesticides: Now More Than Ever,” New York Times
Prominent food writer Mark Bittman discusses the rampant use of pesticides in American agriculture, how embedded they are in our society, and that recognition is the first step to reduction. —Joe Diaz

How to Avoid Being a Hellish Hostess,” The Bold Italic
Aida Mollenkamp is the consummate hostess, so listen to her advice. And look out for her Friday on AFAR.com—she’ll be our featured traveler. —Davina Baum

The Untouched Landscapes of Antarctica,” Conde Nast Traveler
Writer Graham Boynton braves some of the roughest seas on the planet to report from one of the last great undiscovered parts of the world—Antarctica. His piece looks back at what first drew adventurers to the harsh continent in the early nineteenth century, ponders why travelers are still drawn to the virtually uninhabitable place, and talks about the environmental threats it faces today. Photographer Sebastião Salgado’s black and white images of icebergs, seals, and penguins are hauntingly beautiful. —Jen Murphy

Photo courtesy of Jodi Ettenberg, Legal Nomads.