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Tom_Hardy_Italia via YouTube

Let Tom Hardy Read You a Bedtime Story

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Tom_Hardy_Italia via YouTube

Tom Hardy, the British actor who came to prominence playing characters averse to shaving and bathing, had a holiday surprise for fans on New Year’s Eve. He was featured on the BBC’s CBeebies anthology series, where actors are tasked with reading bedtime stories to young viewers.

Hardy’s selection was You Must Bring a Hat by Simon Philip and Kate Hindley (who provided the illustrations), a whimsical tale in which a boy invited to a party tries to adhere to the dress code by taking along a monkey sporting a cap. Hardy uses several different voices during his segment; the dog dozing in his lap is reported to be the actor’s own.

The spot is likely to be the most family-friendly appearance by the actor in the foreseeable future. He can next be seen in Taboo, the BBC One and FX period drama about an anti-establishment provocateur that Hardy has described as being “part Hannibal Lecter.” You can catch all of Hardy’s reading engagement below.

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Hamilton Broadway
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Food
A Hamilton-Themed Cookbook is Coming
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Hamilton Broadway

Fans of Broadway hit Hamilton will soon be able to dine like the Founding Fathers: As Eater reports, a new Alexander Hamilton-inspired cookbook is slated for release in fall 2017.

Cover art for Laura Kumin's forthcoming cookbook
Amazon

Called The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating, and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World, the recipe collection by author Laura Kumin “takes you into Hamilton’s home and to his table, with historical information, recipes, and tips on how you can prepare food and serve the food that our founding fathers enjoyed in their day,” according to the Amazon description. It also recounts Hamilton’s favorite dishes, how he enjoyed them, and which ingredients were used.

Recipes included are cauliflower florets two ways, fried sausages and apples, gingerbread cake, and apple pie. (Cue the "young, scrappy, and hungry" references.) The cookbook’s official release is on November 21—but until then, you can stave off your appetite for all things Hamilton-related by downloading the musical’s new app.

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fun
New Tolkien-Themed Botany Book Describes the Plants of Middle-Earth
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iStock

While reading The Lord of the Rings saga, it's hard not to notice J.R.R. Tolkien’s clear love of nature. The books are replete with descriptions of lush foliage, rolling prairies, and coniferous forests. A new botany book builds on that knowledge: Entertainment Weekly reports that Flora of Middle-Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium provides fantasy-loving naturalists with a round-up of plants that grow in Middle-earth.

Cover art for botanist Walter Judd's book
Oxford University Press

Written by University of Florida botanist Walter Judd, the book explores the ecology, etymology, and importance of over 160 plants. Many are either real—coffee, barley, wheat, etc.—or based on real-life species. (For example, pipe-weed may be tobacco, and mallorns are large trees similar to beech trees.)

Using his botany background, Judd explores why Tolkien may have felt compelled to include each in his fantasy world. His analyses are paired with woodcut-style drawings by artist Graham Judd, which depict Middle-earth's flowers, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and shrubs in their "natural" environments.

[h/t Entertainment Weekly]

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