The Love of My Life by Cheryl Strayed
Notes From a Unicorn by Seth Fischer
Time and Distance Overcome by Eula Biss
No Man’s Land by Eula Biss
Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
My Foreign Mom by Mary HK Choi
Imagining Myself in Palestine by Randa Jarrar
Peyton’s Place by John Jeremiah Sullivan
Symbolism and Cynicism by Tayari Jones
Being Poor by John Scalzi
Occasional Dispatches From the Republic of Anhedonia
by Colson Whitehead
The woman behind Article of the Week, an excellent Tumblr that collects great magazine journalism, has put together a list of her 10 all-time favourite articles for us:
The Joplin Tornado by Luke Dittrich - An account of the Joplin tornado, and the people who survived it. This is my favorite article ever. I cried, buckets. Make sure you watch the video, too.
The Things That Carried Him by Chris Jones - The story of a soldier’s death, told in reverse, from his internment back to the moment he was killed. Incredibly moving and beautiful.
A Murder Foretold by David Grann - Simply an incredible mystery story, and Grann does some amazing work figuring it out.
So, Cricket? Maybe? By Michael Schur and Nate Dimeo - Two sitcom writers liveblog a cricket match. This is 12,000 words, I’ve read it three times, laughing out loud the whole way through.
Either/Or by Ariel Levy - A profile of the runner Caster Semenya, and a stunning meditation on gender and bodies and humanity.
A Rough Guide to Disney World by John Jeremiah Sullivan - Sullivan goes to Disney World with his family, gets high with his friend. Every single sentence makes you go “Yes!”
The Truck Stop Killer by Vanessa Veselka - When the author was a teenage runaway, she had a run in with a man who may or may not have been “the Truck Stop Killer.” She traces his history and hers, exploring crime, victims, consequences, and memory.
The Apostate, By Lawrence Wright - A great piece of reporting about Scientology - fair, well-researched, but still super juicy.
The Well Hung Boy Next Door by Wells Tower - Pieces about porn star James Deen are a personal favorite. Tower is such a crackerjack writer that this one is a joyride the whole way through.
The Immortal Horizon by Leslie Jamison - Every year there is a race in the mountains of Northern Tennessee. Only eight people have ever finished it, out of the hundred who have ever run. A crazy story of crazy people, well told.
Plus a bonus paywalled articles which would have been my number 5 pick: Transfiguration by Raffi Khatchadourian - How Dallas Wiens found a new face.
The Disappeared by Salman Rushdie - How the fatwa changed the writer’s life.
Diner for Schmucks by Alan Richman - The food was amazing, the setting sublime, the ambience charming. And, in fact, everything was going quite well. Until…
Come As You Are by Alex Jung - Lessons in breaking through fashion anxiety to find yourself — in a pair of drop-crotch pants.
Can You Die from a Nightmare? by Doree Shafrir - It was creepy to wake up violently in the middle of the night. It was creepier when no one could tell me why it was happening.
Webstalker by Katha Pollitt - “Are you Webstalking him?” a friend in her twenties asked over coffee. I hadn’t known there was a word for what I was doing.
Up with Grups by Adam Sternbergh - An obituary for the generation gap.
Last week we posted our 150 favourite science and tech reads. Of course there were a few classics we missed, and Maria Popova, proprietor of the consistently excellent brainpickings.org was kind enough to let us know about a couple:
“I was a bit surprised to see no Feynman. My favorite is his lecture on the role of scientific culture in modern society.”
“And Adam Gopnik’s How The Internet Gets Inside Us is possibly my favorite tech read of all time.”
We strongly recommend that anyone with a hungry mind head over to brainpickings.org where you’ll find a wealth of great posts about everything from art and literature to science, technology and the whole spectrum of the social sciences.
The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
The Duke in his Domain by Truman Capote
The Peekaboo Paradox by Gene Weingarten
Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
Secrets of the Little Blue Box by Ron Rosenbaum
Radical Chic: That party at Lenny’s by Tom Wolfe
What Do You Think of Ted Williams now? by Richard Ben Cramer
The Ketchup Conundrum by Malcolm Gladwell
The Silent Season of a Hero by Gay Talese
Frank Sinatra has a Cold by Gay Talese
The Crack-Up by F Scott Fitzgerald
The Apostate by Lawrence Wright
The Falling Man by Tom Junod
Orchid Fever by Susan Orlean
We asked NYMag Editor Justin Miller to pick his favourite articles for us and he came up with this triple bill of great crime stories:
The Lazarus File by Matthew McGough - In 1986, a young nurse named Sherri Rasmussen was murdered in Los Angeles. It took 23 years—and revolutionary breakthroughs in forensic science—before LAPD detectives could finally assemble the pieces of the puzzle. When they did, they found themselves facing one of the unlikeliest murder suspects in the city’s history.
Life Goes on Around Body Found Frozen in Vacant Detroit Warehouse by Charlie LeDuff - He’s encased in ice, except his legs, which are sticking out like Popsicle sticks.
The end-of-year carnage continues! Sharon Shasa, proprietor of Tumblr’s Asylum has put together a huge list of her favourite reads from 2012. So far, we’ve only managed to scratch the surface, but here are a few great picks that caught our eye:
How Companies Learn Your Secrets by Charles Duhigg - “If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that?”
How I learned a language in 22 hours by Joshua Foer - “He’s never been good with languages, so can Joshua Foer really hope to learn Lingala in a day?”
What Makes Us Happy? by Joshua Wolf Shenk - “Is there a formula—some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation—for a good life?”
State of the Species by Charles C. Mann - “Does success spell doom for Homo sapiens?”
Why Women Still Can’t Have It All By Anne-Marie Slaughter - “If we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women, here’s what has to change.”
The Honor System by Chris Jones - Stealing magic has become a commonplace crime. Teller, a man of infinite delicacy and deceit, decided to do something about it.
Guns ‘R Us by Jeanne Marie Laskas - “Where do you go when you need a shiny new Glock or a convenient AK-47?”
The Interpreter by John Colapinto - “Has a remote Amazonian tribe upended our understanding of language?”
Ego Depletion by David McRaney - The Misconception: Willpower is just a metaphor. The Truth: Willpower is a finite resource.
We’re really looking forward to exploring the full list, and we strongly recommend that you do the same.
Cancerland by Barbara Ehrenreich - “This instantly classic “fuck you” to the pink ribbon racket helped me understand the marketing practices that take normal human fear and sorrow and turn them into a zombie parade.”
How Not To Commit Suicide by Art Kleiner - “The story began as a high libertarian assignment to give people proper suicide instructions. But that’s not what it became. From a collection I recommend to everybody: News That Stayed News, Ten Years of CoEvolution Quarterly.”
A Silent Childhood by Russ Rymer (subscription required) - “I’ve thought many times about why this story, now 20 years old, was so meaningful to me. The inspiration here is both in the fact that Genie - a child who suffered severe abuse, lacking everything, even words - fought so hard, in such a human way, for what she wanted, and that Russ Rymer had the moral courage to tell her story without bending it to an easier, more palatable ‘lesson’.”
The fallout from the list of classic non-fiction we dropped last week continues. We asked the people over at Tommorow Magazine what was missing, and they (modestly) suggested a bunch of articles they wrote themselves. Luckily they were really good, so we can reproduce the list here with a clean conscience:
The End of Cheap Coffee by Zak Stone - How everone’s favourite pick-me-up went from 50c staple to $5 luxury.
Minimum Rage by Nona Willis Aronowitz - Why is it so har to improve conditions in the service industry?
How ‘Take Back the Night’ Keeps Some Victims Silent by Megan Greenwell - Making a noise about sexual abuse might not be helping everone.
I Used to Love Her, But I Had to Flee Her by Cord Jefferson - A writer quits New York for L.A. and lives to tell the tale.
Girl Geniuses by Ann Friedman - A meditation on female creativity through the words of Patti Smith.
What Women Want by Amanda Hess - In which we meet a porn star that women like.
The End of Gay Culture, by Andrew Sullivan, The New Republic, 2005 - Does assimilation mean the death of disitinctive gay culture?
The Devil in Long Island, by Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Times Magazine, 1993 - Between NYC and the upscale weekend retreats of the hamptons lies an island full of dark secrets.
And a few you’ll need to break out your credit card to read:
The Junket by Mike Albo, an Amazon Kindle single, 2011 - “A gimlet-eyed account of the back-biting media scene, a glimpse into the inner workings of the fashion crowd, and a candid portrait of what it takes to survive as a writer in today’s chattering and watchful New York City.”
I Shit My Pants in the South of France, by Jonathan Ames - This one pretty much does what it says on the tin.
My Heroin Christmas, by Terry Castle - An author explores her addiction to honesty in literature over a Christmas spent absorbed in the autobiography of jazz legend Art Pepper.