Longreads Filter
  1. Falling in Love with Words: The Secret Life of a Lexicographer

    In the first chapter of her new book, Merriam-Webster lexicographer and Harmless Drudgery blogger Kory Stamper describes how she fell in love with words and offers a peek into the world of writing dictionaries.

    Authors
  2. Taking a Trip Through Love Canal: The Residuum

    “That’s where we are at. As a society, our bodies and minds are in such a poor condition that we cannot touch our proverbial toes—we cannot control ourselves, yet we want to control something outside of ourselves.” Jack Caseros on environmental contamination, not climate change, as our most pressing environmental issue.

    Commentary
  3. What is America Anyway? An Interview with Eula Biss

    “We have a president who was elected not by popular vote, but by electoral college. And, the history of the electoral college is intimately tied to slavery and slave-owning states and is there in part to give more sway to states that had large populations of slaves who couldn’t vote.”

    Authors
  4. The Complicated Past and Present of a California Utopia

    “And yet, like all utopian experiments, Esalen’s cracks widened as it grew in popularity and began to attract this wealthier set. Today’s guests hardly care about any sort of counterculture; they care, as Wolfe pointed out, about self-improvement.” Cody Delistraty spends a weekend at Big Sur’s Esalen Institute, once a bastion of hippie counterculture.

    Culture
  5. The Story of Heady Topper, America’s Most Loved Craft Beer

    How a difficult-to-obtain American double IPA brewed in a small town in Vermont developed a worldwide cult following, with beer fans traveling hundreds of miles just to get a taste.

    Business
  6. Atlas Minor

    The website of author James A. Reeves features thoughtful blog posts and longform essays on topics that range from philosophy and art to health and family.

    Authors
  7. Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber

    Susan J. Fowler on what it was like to work at Uber: “And when I think about the things I’ve recounted in the paragraphs above, I feel a lot of sadness, but I can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous everything was. Such a strange experience.”

    Business
  8. The Darkest Town in America

    “Hundreds of miles from anywhere else I’d ever been lies one of the darkest places in the country, tucked away from the bleeding glow of civilization.” A FiveThirtyEight writer visits Gerlach, Nevada, one of the few areas in the US mostly untouched from light pollution.

    Environment
  9. What It’s Like to Lose Your Short-Term Memory

    Christine Hyung-Oak Lee had a stroke at age 33. Read an excerpt from her new memoir: “But my stroke would teach me things too, among them the value of taking a break from the unending pressure to be perfect.”

    Authors
  10. My Father Worked for Both Parties at Seven Inaugurations. I Can’t Stand Trump — But I’ll Be There For Dad.

    From Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, Michael Estrin’s father taught him that patriotism transcends partisanship.

    Essay
  11. Art, Animal, Essence: The Drawings of Charley Harper

    “To this day, animals are my guides to distant lands and fantastic realms beyond my urban experience and human reality.” Isaac Yuen describes drawing animals as a child and explores his favorite nature illustrations from the late Ohio artist Charley Harper.

    Animals
  12. The Best of Tropics of Meta in 2016

    The editors at Tropics of Meta compile their favorite posts from 2016, on topics including architecture, hip hop, and politics — both tragic (the Orlando shooting, the US presidential election) and inspiring (struggles for social justice).

    Commentary
  13. My Favorite Animal Longreads of 2016

    Pam Mandel from Nerd’s Eye View shares her favorite stories about animals from 2016.

    Animals
    Photo by Pam Mandel
  14. Pulse shooting’s youngest victim left teammates with a mission

    At ESPN’s The Undefeated, journalist Timothy Bella tells the story of Akyra Murray, the youngest victim of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, and how her high school women’s basketball team in Philadelphia is honoring her memory.

    Essay
  15. Looking Back on Thirty Years in the Warehouses of Oakland

    “This marginal life, this DIY life: in it, they created themselves. We created ourselves. This is why spaces like this matter more than ever now, as gentrification scours the creative life out of Oakland.” Kaya Oakes reflects on the Ghost Ship fire that killed 36 people in December 2016.

    Essay