Essay Filter
  1. Wandling Free?

    Musings at Richly Evocative on the Wandle in London: “Walking next to a river, perhaps especially an urban survivor like the Wandle, is the chance to connect with something beyond ourselves. Where the river goes and how it turns, or loops back on itself, meanders and twists, is often nothing to do with us humans.”

    Environment
  2. The Teen Idol Vanishes

    “Without 24/7 media, without the internet, a fiction like Dylan McKay could overtake a fact like Luke Perry.” 90210 star Luke Perry’s untimely death reminds us that Dylan McKay was one of the last icons of adolescence.

    Commentary
    Adam Scull / AP, Getty, Collage by Katie Kosma
  3. The Ugly History of Beautiful Things: Pearls

    Born from irritation and intrusion, luminous and complex, surprisingly durable: pearls are rich with symbolism and saturated with pain.

    Essay
    Illustration by Jacob Stead
  4. Atlantic City Is Really Going Down This Time

    There’s no doubt that Atlantic City is going under. The only question left is: Can an entire city donate its body to science?

    Essay
    Illustration by Matt Chinworth
  5. Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction

    “What I do when I look at Twitter is less akin to reading a book than to the encounter I have with a recipe’s instructions or the fine print of a receipt: I’m taking in information, not enlightenment.” Mairead Small Staid explores the work of Sven Birkerts and reading in our digital age.

    Books
    JOHAN GUDMUNDSEN-HOLMGREEN, LAESENDE LILLE PIGE, 1900
  6. My Year of Writing Anonymously

    “I found that when students wrote without their names, much that was awkward, dull, strained, and frankly boring fell away. It was like watching people who thought they couldn’t dance dancing beautifully in the dark.” Stacey D’Erasmo describes the freedom of writing, minus the byline.

    Authors
  7. A Year of Great Writing: The Most-Read Editors’ Picks of 2018

    From mental health to writing, these are the posts that have resonated the most with Discover readers.

    Diversity
  8. Why I Can’t Write a Good Personal Essay

    At Tenure, She Wrote, a grad student explains her decision no longer to write narratives of inspiration and gumption: “A little smarts and hard work and luck can’t make my chronically ill body ‘productive.’”

    Academia
  9. CrimeReads

    From thrillers to mystery novels, CrimeReads — created by the Literary Hub team — explores the far reaches of the world of literary suspense with essays, reading lists, and more.

    Books
  10. Ace of Spades

    “We were a board game family, not a card game family, but once I opened a drawer in the slender table behind the couch and found at least a dozen packs of playing cards. Some were still shrink-wrapped, others coffee-stained and smelling of the world after bedtime, the world inhabited only by adults.”

    Essay
    Photo by Jess Watters from Pexels
  11. Hakai Magazine

    Hakai Magazine explores our changing world through stories on oceans, coastlines, and marine life, written by today’s leading — and most engaging — scientists and environmentalists.

    Animals
  12. Living with Dolly Parton

    Asking difficult questions often comes at a cost.

    Essay
    Mark Humphrey / AP, Illustration by Katie Kosma
  13. VRV Blog

    Anime, sci-fi, horror, comedy: over at the VRV Blog, you’ll find thought-provoking articles on contemporary pop culture and the communities that engage with it.

    Comics
  14. Queens of Infamy: The Rise of Catherine de’ Medici

    At Longreads, Anne Thériault wittily chronicles the early trials and tribulations of Renaissance queen Catherine de’ Medici, from her childhood in war-ravaged Florence to the first few years of her fraught marriage with the heir to the French throne.

    Essay
    Illustration by Louise Pomeroy.
  15. Tim Harford: The Undercover Economist

    Economist and journalist Tim Harford blends insights on technology, business, and, economic history into accessible and engaging posts on a wide range of topics, from inequality to social media.

    Business