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Hump day recommendations

Escape: your cage. Remember Flaco, the Eurasian Eagle owl that captured New York’s imagination and ruled the city’s night skies after he was mysteriously freed from his cage in the Central Park zoo? He died over the weekend after crashing into an apartment building window. It was only a matter of time, they said, before Flaco’s flight of freedom would end with rat poison in his veins or a losing encounter with a highrise of some kind. But for many locals, Flaco continues to soar as a symbol of something. “He was showing us how we can break free out of our cages,” one unjaded Gothamite told the Times, “the mundane, the things that don’t serve us, the things that hold us back.” -Alex

Read: Ukrainian Writers Respond to WarI picked this up at the Ukrainian Institute in NYC this weekend during their open house for the two year anniversary of Russia’s invasion and I haven’t been able to put it down since. This anthology is full of profound prose and powerful insight, documenting the everyday reality of Ukrainians at war. – Riley

Read: “Underground Asia” by Tim Harper. One hundred years ago, a bomb went off in the Victoria Hotel in Guangzhou’s foreign enclave of Shamian. The target? A visiting French colonial dignitary, intercepted on his way back to Vietnam by a secretive cell of freedom fighters, determined to throw off the Parisian yoke. The explosion failed to kill its intended victim, but it blew apart the fragile social structure and unleashed days of rage against the foreigners carving China like a melon. That’s the anecdote Harvard historian Tim Harper uses to open his deeply compelling history of the liberation movements that wrested East Asia from colonial control, from frozen Pyongyang to sweltering Melaka. Learn the oft-untold story of the revolutionaries that built the foundations of modern Asia. – Matt

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