A Boston book fair goes virtual
Boston’s antiquarian book fair has run for 43 uninterrupted years — until now. This year, it has turned into the first-ever Boston Virtual Book Fair, a three-day event with renowned speakers and a literary marketplace with booksellers from around the world. The otherwise-free event, running Nov. 13-14, includes a paid preview on Nov. 12, which showcases rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, political documents, atlases, photographs, and more (tickets $50). Over the weekend, tune in to curator Marylene Altieri, who explores the culinary collection at Harvard’s Schlesinger Library (including chef Julia Child’s papers); Boston-based scholars Allison Lange and Theo Tyson, who discuss the Women’s Suffrage Movement; and Nicole Aljoe from the Africana Studies Program at Northeastern University, who talks about a recently discovered 19th century text. www.bostonbookfair.com.
Celebrate the MFA with Monet
See dozens of Claude Monet’s oil paintings during a show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston that opens Nov. 15 and runs through Feb. 28. “Monet and Boston: Lasting Impression” includes all 35 of the museum’s Monet oil paintings — the first time these works have been displayed together in a generation — and loans from private collections. The show, which celebrates the museum’s 150th anniversary, also includes MFA works that inspired Monet, from 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints to European paintings. The exhibit explores Monet’s fascination with the beauty of ordinary objects and natural scenes, and the Impressionist’s artistic development over time. You’ll see everything from “Grainstack (Sunset)” and “Grand Canal, Venice” to “La Japonaise.” Access the exhibition’s wall texts for free using the MFA’s new mobile app, and book timed-entry tickets in advance (members and nonmembers). $30 per person, includes general admission and Monet exhibit. www.mfa.org/visit.
Scholarships on tap for women
Calling all women of color who would like to pursue a career in the beer industry. Boston-based City Brew Tours has launched a Talent on Tap educational scholarship program that offers up to $2,500 to women of color so they can pursue their education in the beer industry, including beer science programs and Cicerone and other hospitality certifications. You can request funding for any beer industry-related educational cost at an institution of your choice. Submit your application by Dec. 1 (you must be 18 or older). Those selected will start their beer studies adventure in 2021. City Brew Tours will also support scholarship recipients by providing career support and access to leaders in the craft brewery industry. Get an application at: www.citybrewtours.com/talent-on-tap.
See Australia on two wheels
Ready to start thinking big for future travels? Ride and Seek has launched a new 26-day cycling adventure from Sydney to Hobart, Australia. The 1,315-mile route follows in the footsteps of Polish explorer Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki, who led trailblazing expeditions through Tasmania and southern and central Australia. The three-stage bike expedition will take you up Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko (7,310 feet) and up Mount Hotham on the country’s highest sealed road (6,037 feet). You’ll also travel through the Snowy Mountains, the country’s capital city (Canberra), and the island of Tasmania after an overnight ferry from the mainland. Each stage includes between 26,700 feet and 31,000 feet of climbing, but don’t worry: You have plenty of time to train. The Strzelecki Tour runs March 6-31. Rates start at $3,908 per stage, or $11,110 for entire trip. www.rideandseek.com/tour/strzelecki-sydney-to-melbourne.
A sleek and lightweight translator
Gone are the days of typing words or sentences into a language translator and waiting for the result. Cheetah Mobile’s new portable real-time translator called CheetahTALK Plus can translate two-way conversations in 73 languages as soon as the words are spoken. The device uses Microsoft’s automatic speech recognition software to captures your sentences accurately, and artificial intelligence technology to translate to another language instantly. Just push a button on the palm-size device and talk for up to 30 seconds, then listen to the translation. Check the 1.54-inch LCD touchscreen to see your text-to-speech results and read the translation. Best of all, the CheetahTALK Plus works while social distancing: It can capture conversations from up to 9 feet away and offer high-quality playback thanks to two noise-canceling microphones. Use the app to change languages, record conversations, and update software. The device must pair with your phone to work. $199. www.cmcm.shop.
A blanket for any occasion
Toss the new Rumpl NanoLoft Travel Blanket in your bag or car and be ready for any occasion when you need a cozy layer for warmth — while on a road trip, at a vacation cottage, sitting on a hotel chair, or even at the park while chatting with a friend. The blanket’s NanoLoft technology will play with your senses: It mimics the properties of down, creating clusters of fabric that feel like down to the touch and that also trap in heat to keep you toasty. The blanket has a water- and stain-resistant outer shell and a stuff sack that comes with a roll-top buckle closure. The best part: It comes with a Cape Clip, so you can fasten the blanket around yourself and channel your inner superhero. The Rumpl blanket measures 38 inches by 52 inches, weighs just 11 ounces, and packs down to about the size of a 1-liter water bottle. It’s also machine-washable. $99. www.rumpl.com.