rachel ammann

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Women Are Writing the Best Crime Novels

They don’t seem to believe in heroes as much as their male counterparts, which in some ways makes their storytelling a better fit for the times.<p>Once upon a time, in the smoky, violent neverland of crime fiction, there were seductive creatures we called femmes fatales, hard women who lured sad men …

Books

Why Winter Is the Best Time to Visit Venice

In the colder months as tourists depart, Venetians in fur coats and hats reclaim their piazzas, their churches, and the good tables (on the ground floor) at Harry’s Bar. Fog rolls over the islands, and shoppers—carrying bags of chestnuts or pears with stems in red wax—pause to watch the gondoliers …

Frank Sinatra and the Scandalous but Scholarly Biography

Having come out of the closet, or the casino, not long ago, as an unqualified Frank Sinatra idolater, I approached the second volume of James Kaplan’s biography of the singer (“Sinatra: The Chairman”) with what our critical mothers and fathers would have called immense trepidation, since the book …

Literature

Three Questions About the Downed Russian Jet

On Tuesday, a Turkish F-16 fighter jet, flying near Turkey’s border with Syria, shot down a Russian Su-24 military jet. It is not clear whether the Russian plane, which was presumably deployed as part of Russia’s operations in support of the Assad regime, had entered Turkish territory. Turkey said …

Middle East

Schnitzel, Sweets, and Shopping: A Day in Vienna With Aerin Lauder

The Estée Lauder creative director carries on her family’s long love affair with Vienna—a city known as much for its old-world appeal as for its persistent modernism.<p>On a Saturday morning in Vienna, Aerin Lauder hardly looks like she just stepped off a red-eye from New York. Dressed in a cream silk …

European Travel

Top 10 books about spies

Betrayal, seduction and subterfuge: these devilish arts are central to the ancient craft of spying. And, whether in fact or fiction, the literature of espionage continues to fascinate us with the enduring question of whether some kinds of dark, loathsome conduct may be ultimately justified.<p>The New …

Books

How to Make Bath Bombs for the Spa Lover in Your Life

<i>Welcome to ELLE.com's HoliDIYs, the more festive (and slightly chillier) version of our Summer FriDIYs. Check back every Friday for tutorials on creating homemade gifts that you'll actually want to give (no macaroni necklaces or potpourri in sight).</i><p>If bath bombs are a popular stocking stuffer, it's …

3 Exercises That Work Better Than Jumping Jacks

For a cardio workout that's anything but boring.<p>The thing about cardio is that it can bore you to tears in, like, a second (looking at you, elliptical). But you <i>can</i> get it done without slaving away on a treadmill and subsequently wanting to kill yourself.<p>Exhibit A: Jumping jacks. This classic …