To celebrate (or palliate, depending on your take) the first Monday of the new month, here are some excellent reads around the internet. Happy August!

- A high school graduation speech with powerful reflections on "the unprotected life": "Trust that your fears will sometimes tell you about your desires."
- The cutest place ever?
Margaret Atwood's frightening essay on climate change.
- And speaking of climate, heatwaves call for watermelon and Greek quinoa salad.
- The heartwarming story of how meeting the French chef Jacques Pépin saved this author's life.
Notable books to read and anticipate in the second half of 2015.
- Things to keep in mind while re-reading books
- The familiar feeling of spending too much at the makeup counter. 
- A must-read classic short story: "The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury, read by Stephen Colbert on the public radio program "Selected Shorts." (By some coincidence, I keep falling down internet rabbit holes and finding Colbert in them. I'm not complaining.)

What have you been reading lately?