The Electric Typewriter

Sep 30

The Best American Travel Writing 2014 -


The Best American Travel Writing 2014 will be released next week. The publisher has also posted a list of the nominations online — we looked through them and picked out ten of the very best:

The Books They Carried by Peter Jon Lindberg
Excuse Us While We Kiss the Sky by Matthew Power
How to Spend 47 Hours on a Train and Not Go Crazy by Nathaniel Rich
The Luckiest Village in the World by Michael Paterniti
An interview with Chris Hadfield by Emma Brockes
Stranded on the Roof of the World by Mike Finkel
On the Trail with the First Skiers by Mark Jenkins
America the Marvelous by A. A. Gill
Now We Are Five by David Sedaris
First Australians by Mike Finkel


Sep 29

The Best American Essays 2014 -


The Best American Essays 2014 will be released next week. The publisher has also posted a list of the nominations online — we looked through them and picked out ten of the very best:

Joy by Zadie Smith
Thanksgiving in Mongolia by Ariel Levy
Seeing the Speed of Sound by Rachel Kolb
What Lies Beneath by William Langewiesche
Forty Thoughts on a Fourth Daughter by Mark Oppenheimer
The Old Man at Burning Man by Wells Tower
Wildcatting by Susan Elizabeth Shephard
The Ghost Writes Back by Amy Boesky
The Devil’s Bait By Leslie Jamison
Company Man by David Sedaris


Sep 24

How to... -

A Literary Guide to Life

The Electric Typewriter's literary guide to 12 essential life skills (in approximate order of importance):

How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett
How to Be Polite by Paul Ford
How to Get a Nuclear Bomb by William Langewiesche
How To Write A Love Poem by Jim Behrle
How to Disagree by Paul Graham
How To Be a Person by Lindy West
How to Spend 47 Hours on a Train and Not Go Crazy
by Nathaniel Rich

How to Raise Men by A.J. Jacobs
How to Win the Nobel Prize in Literature by Jim Behrle
How to Bully Children by Sarah Miller
How to Use a Squat Toilet by Frank Bures
How to learn a language in 22 hours by Joshua Foer

For more advice about life from the world’s top writers click here.

Sep 23

5 Great Articles about Psychology and Society -


What is the Monkeysphere? by David Wong - What can monkeys teach us about crime, racism and even spam?

Are Your Friends Making You Fat? by Clive Thompson - Could behaviour be contagious?

The Social Cell by Daniel Dennett - What do debutante balls, the Japanese tea ceremony, Ponzi schemes and doubting clergy all have in common?

We Aren’t the World by Ethan Watters - Why the people we study may be giving us a skewed picture of how our minds work

Why We’re Sometimes Kind Without Reason by Charles Montgomery - How the physical world affects our behaviour

Sep 22

The Best of Aeon Magazine -

20 amazing articles and essays


Since it launched in 2012 Aeon has been putting out some of the best writing on the web. We went through their archive and picked out out favourites so far:

Not Nothing by Stephen Cave - Should we worry about killing insects?

How to Choose? by Michael Schulson - Why random decisions are sometimes better than informed choices

The Origin of Laughter, Smiles and Tears by Michael Graziano - What our most distincitve facial expressions tell us about evolution

The Great Forgetting by Kristin Ohlson - Why we forget the first few years of our lives

The Reality Show by Mike Jay - Schizophrenics used to see spirits. Now they talk about hidden cameras – and make a lot of sense

Endless Fun by Michael Graziano - What will happen when we upload ourselves?

Cyborg Dreams by Tom Chatfield - Gadgets are the first thing we touch in the morning and the last thing we stroke at night. Are we their slaves?

The Vegans Have Landed by Rhys Southan - Are vegan ethics really about animal rights?

The vegan carnivore? by Julian Baggini - When we can grow meat in a lab, what will happen to vegetarians?

Omens by Ross Andersen - What will humanity look like millions of years from now?

The Wait of the World by Dava Sobel - How, for the first time in history, time could become disconnected from the turning of the earth

One More Time by Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis - The alchemy of repetition and the genesis of music

I Type, Therefore I Am by Tom Chatfield - How an explosion of text is changing the way we write

This World is Enough by John Quiggin - We have the resources, if we are willing to use them the right way

Enter Halophytes by Mark Anderson - How saltwater plants could be the food of our future

Ad Nauseam by Adam Corner - How the advertising world hacked the consumer backlash

The American Cloud by Venkatesh Rao - What really goes on under America’s hood?

A Raccoon of my Own by Lauren Slater - On homesickness, animals and growing up

Homelands by Charles Crawford - On the balkanisation of the… errr… Balkans

The Obesity Era by David Berreby - Is weight gain a personal issue or a global phenomenon?

Sep 15

10 Great Reads about Consumerism -


Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed by David Cain - Why the modern world is so great at making us spend

The Gollum Effect by Venkat Rao - Is Gollum the perfect consumer?

Ad nauseam by Adam Corner - How advertisers are anti-consumerism to make us consume more

Consumer Vertigo by Virginia Postrel - Is there such a thing as too much choice?

Inconspicuous Consumption by Virgina Postrel - How race and social class affect the way we spend

Sweatpants in Paradise by Molly Young - On the rise of the ‘immersive’ shopping

Nothing Grows Forever by Clive Thompson - How can the world sustian 7 billion people? We need to stop buying so much stuff

How Target Knows Your Secrets by Charles Duhigg - Can your shopping habits tell a company that you’r pregnant before you know it yourself??

Selling Out by David McRaney - How status drives consumerism and the capitalist economy

Proceed to Checkout by Dan Ariely - How online companies get you to share more and spend more

Sep 11

5 Great Reads about Our Relationship with Music -


Nostalgia on Repeat by Chuck Klosterman - On the amazing ability of music to transport us into the past

One More Time by Elizabeth Margulis - The fascinating psychology of music and how repeated sounds create music in our minds

How Headphones Changed the World by Derek Thompson - A short philosophical history of personal music

The Soundtrack of Your Life by David Owen - Inside Muzak, a company with deep knowledge of how music affects us

Seduced by ‘Perfect’ Pitch by Lessley Anderson - How Auto-Tune took over the world of pop

Sep 10

5 Great Reads about the Senses -


Mixed Feelings by Sunny Bains - How researchers and technology can hack our senses to create completely new ways of experiencing the world

The Blind Man Who Learned To See by Michael Finkel - The fascinating story of a man who is helping blind people to see using echolocation

Master of illusion by Ed Yong - How a neuroscientist from Stockholm can use mannequins, rubber arms and virtual reality to transport you outside your own body

Sense and Sensitivity by Andrea Bartz - Is it possible that some people’s senses are more acute than others, and that are our attitudes towards sensitivity are misguided?

The Possibilian by Burkhard Bilger - How the subtlest shift in perception can create whole a new way of seeing the world

Sep 09

How to be Happy - 7 Great Reads -


What Makes Us Happy? by Joshua Wolf Shenk - Is there a formula for a happy life?

The Futile Pursuit of Happiness by Jon Gertner - Why we are so bad at predicting what will make us happy

There’s More to Life Than Being Happy by Emily Smith - Is trying too hard to be happy making us unhappy?

Happiness is a Glass Half Empty by Oliver Burkeman - How seeing clouds rather than silver lines could make you happier

The Truth About Money by Gregg Easterbrook - We have more of it than effer before, so why aren’t we any happier?

Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed by David Cain - Does human misery keep the wheels of commerce turning?

Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy by ? - Happiness = reality - expectations

Sep 08

What is love? - 5 Great Reads -


Love by Lauren Slater - The amazing psychology of love

True Love by Haruki Murakami - On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning

This is Emo by Chuck Klosterman - Did Hollywood kill ture love?

Crazy Love by Steven Pinker - Does falling in love make us lose our minds?

Liking Is for Cowards by Jonathan Franzen - Is out love of likes destorying our ability to love?