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Humpday recommendations 7/12/13

Listen/learn about: Equatorial Guinea. An oil-rich, Spanish-speaking African country with the continent's longest-serving ruler, who ousted his sorcerer uncle and whose son flaunts his obscene wealth on Instagram. The more you know about Equatorial Guinea, the more rabbit holes you'll go down. Discover the weirdest country you've never heard of on this episode of the excellent “Red Line” podcast. — Carlos

Read: Runaway, by Alice Munro. This beautiful collection of short stories reveals Munro as a master of vivid character detail. Few writers can match her talent for using observation of behavior to take the reader inside the mind of a protagonist in a jam. — Willis

Be greeted: with cries of hate. There’s never a bad time to revisit Albert Camus’ sun-scorched existentialist classic The Stranger. According to the note in my book, the last time I encountered Meursault, old man Salamano with his scabby dog, Raymond the pimp, the lovely Marie, and the two Arabs on the beach was in… 2001! Twenty-plus years later I find Meurseault’s deadpan moral inertness both oddly funnier and much more chilling than last time. — Alex

Listen: to Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). I could give you a rec that makes me look original and cutting edge, but in truth, this is all I have been listening to since its midnight rerelease on Thursday. But Taylor Swift is cutting edge AND geopolitical! From world leaders from Chile to Hungary personally requesting her Era’s tour grace them with her presence, to the $4.6 billion it’s generating for local economies (if you haven’t heard why she’s rereleasing her old albums, here’s a good primer). – Riley


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