Coffee and a Doughnut →
by Geoff Dyer It was a thrill to discover the perfect cappuccino and doughnut in a New York cafe. But the ritual of their daily consumption soon spiralled out of control.
One Giant Leap to Nowhere →
by Tom Wolfe The space program, the greatest, grandest, most Promethean quest in the history of the world, died in infancy at 10:56 p.m. New York time on July 20, 1969, the moment the foot of Apollo 11’s Commander Armstrong touched the surface of the Moon.
The 36-Hour Dinner Party →
by Michael Pollan Build a single wood fire and, over the course of 30-plus hours, use it to roast, braise, bake, simmer and grill as many different dishes as possible - for lunch, dinner, breakfast and lunch again.
The Most Emailed 'New York Times' Article Ever →
by David Parker It’s a week before the biggest day of her life, and Anna Williams is multitasking. While waiting to hear back from the Ivy League colleges she’s hoping to attend, the seventeen-year-old senior at one of Manhattan’s most exclusive private schools is doing research for a paper about organic farming in the West Bank…
An Epidemic of Fear →
by Amy Wallace This isn’t a religious dispute, like the debate over creationism and intelligent design. It’s a challenge to traditional science that crosses party, class, and religious lines.
How To Trick an Scammer Into Carving a Computer... →
by Ron Rosenbaum A vicious and intriguing cyber-war has broken out in the Spamosphere, or more specifically in what I’d call the “Scamosphere.”
Couch Potatoes →
by David Blum What about all those people in restaurants? And all those tickets sold for Broadway shows? Who’s going to the ballet? And what about all those people who are still looking for the perfect spouse? Aren’t they still going out every night? How can anyone document what people aren’t doing?
One Thing to Read Before You Die →
Two Essays About Words →
How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read by Pierre Bayard - Not reading is our main way of relating to most literature, find out how to make the most of your ignorance. The Birth of ‘The New Journalism’ by Tom Wolfe - Who put the ‘I’ in journalism - Tom Wolfe seems to think that he and his friends were responsbile.
Three Gastronomic Adventures →
If You Knew Sushi by Nick Tosches - The author heads out in search of the world’s best Sushi. Virtuoso storytelling from a true connoisseur. The Last Meal by Michael Paterniti - Locked in a dark cage for weeks, then drowned in armagnac and eaten whole. A reporter re-creates President Mitterand’s almost mythical last supper. The Million Dollar Nose by William Langewiesche - How an...
Four Weird and Wonderful Tales →
Inhaling the Spore by Lawrence Wechsler - A classic article about an obscure and idiosyncratic private museum in LA’s Culver City. Later developed into a book, the original story is a rare feast of words and ideas. Inside the Bohemian Grove by Philip Weiss - The author sneaks into the secretive summer camp where world leaders meet to pee on trees. You can’t make this stuff up. Song of the...
Five Gender Problems →
The End of Men by Hanna Rosin - Women excel in education, in the workplace, all over the place. So what are we going to with all the leftover men? The Women’s Movement by Joan Didion - J-Diddy takes down feminism’s straw dogs with trademark lucidity. Either/Or by Ariel Levy - Is gender a state or a scale? This look at the problems faced by a world-champion athlete provides some...
Six Psychological Issues →
How Not to Talk to Your Kids by Po Bronson - Could telling kids that they’re smart be stopping achieving their full potential? The Possibilian by Burkhard Bilger - This standout piece explores how the subtlest shift in perception can create whole a new way of seeing the world. Java Man by Malcolm Gladwell - Wake up and smell the coffee. Gladwell takes the reader on a jaunt through the...
Seven Great Essays by Novelists →
Liking Is for Cowards by Jonathan Franzen - Is clicking buttons a way to avoid real commitment? A beautiful piece about our fear of real connections. The Vietnam Syndrome by Christopher Hitchens - Hitchens exposes the ongoing tragedy of Agent Orange with a power that only a few writers can muster. My Secret Life of crime by Geoff Dyer - Narrow esacpes from death, imprisonment and grevious...
Eight Epic Journeys →
Confessions of an Opium-Seeker by Nick Tosches - A breathtaking account of the author’s journey thorugh Asia in search of the mythical opium den. Shipping Out by David Foster Wallace - DFW’s seminal article about the dubious pleasures of the cruise. An absolute must-read. A Fleet of One by John McPhee - John McPhee at his arresting best as he steps into the hypnotic world of coast-to-coast...
Nine Things You Need to Know →
The Worst Mistake in History by Jared Diamond - Could it be that civilisation itself is a crisis measure, a result of the overpoulation brought about by the unique sucess humanity? A fascinating new perspective on progress. To Have is To Owe by David Graeber - Does anyone know what the green stuff really is? David Graeber cuts through centuries of monetary mythology to give an unusually...
Ten Authors We Love →
(with links to outstanding articles and essays) Hunter S. Thompson - The smokescreen of excess can’t disguise the raw power of Dr Gonzo’s electric prose. Some of his best work is available here. David Foster Wallace - Another non-fiction writer in a class of his own. DFW combines unrivalled intellect and originality with breathtaking style. For selected essays click here. Joan Diddion - When...
The Vietnam Syndrome →
by Christopher Hitchens To be writing these words is, for me, to undergo the severest test of my core belief - that sentences can be more powerful than pictures. A writer can hope to do what a photographer cannot: convey how things smelled and sounded as well as how things looked. I seriously doubt my ability to perform this task on this occasion. Unless you see the landscape of ecocide, or...
Night-Shifting for the Hip Fleet →
by Mark Jacobson A college education is not required to drive for Dover Taxi Garage - all you have to do is pass a test on which the hardest question is “Where is Yankee Stadium?” — but almost everyone on the night line has at least a B.A.
Rhymes With Rich →
by Sandra Tsing Loh More and more these days, reading women’s writing fills me with a vague, creeping, slightly nauseating feeling. Problems of affluence have been recast as the struggles of feminism, and you find yourself in a dreamlike state of reading first person essays about them, over and over again.
How Tall Is Robert Redford Really? →
by Andrew Tobias How many other contemporary issues are there, after all, that have real, solid, definitive answers? I mean, if investigative journalism can’t answer this one, what can we be sure of?
Start-Up City →
by Edward L. Glaeser Entrepreneurship - along with January temperature and education - is one of the three great predictors of urban success. But nowhere is that more the case than in Gotham.
Nickel And Dimed →
by Barbara Ehrenreich In June 1998 I left behind everything that usually soothes and sustains me - home, career, companion, reputation, ATM card - and become part of the low-wage workforce.
Top Ten State Fair Joys →
by Garrison Keillor The big wheel whirls and the girls squeal and the bratwursts cook on the little steel rollers and the boys slouch around and check their hair. Be hypnotized! Gawk at cows! Indulge in fried Coca-Cola!
Marrying Absurd →
by Joan Didion To be married in Las Vegas a bride must swear that she is eighteen or has parental permission and a bridegroom that he is twenty-one or has parental permission. Someone must put up five dollars for the license. Nothing else is required.
Tourist Traps Worth a Visit →
by Peter Jon Lindberg A destination’s most popular sites got that way for good reason. So why not embrace the masses along with the monuments?
The Ballad of Big Mike →
by Michael Lewis Every other high-school football player in America was dying for Lemming to invite him to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Michael Oher had left his invitation on the table…
Lithium Dreams →
by Lawrence Wright Can Bolivia become the Saudi Arabia of the electric-car era?
Out West →
by Joe Wilkins Butchering chickens was an all-day affair, a late-summer festival of sorts, a kind of prairie celebration. We put on our old jeans and stained snap shirts and ate a big breakfast of hamburger steak, eggs, and potatoes.
How Gaetano Paterniti Became an American →
by Michael Paterniti Many years ago, when the world felt as if it were ending, my grandfather packed a valise in a mountain village on the island of Sicily with his boots, a few items of clothing, and a pair of steel scissors, and went to war.
My Secret Life of crime →
by Geoff Dyer There are three episodes in his life that Geoff Dyer prefers not to remember. He could have ended up in jail - but thankfully didn’t. So did he just get lucky?
David Lynch Keeps His Head →
by David Foster Wallace The first time I lay actual eyes on the real David Lynch on the set of his movie, he’s peeing on a tree. Mr. David Lynch, a prodigious coffee drinker, apparently pees hard and often.
The Physical Elite →
by John Van Doorn Their emblems - terry toweling, running shoes, skis - signal their existence to one another and their exclusivity to all of us.
The Problem with Boys →
by Tom Chiarella We’ve ignored all the evidence of male achievement and ambition deficits and stood aside as our sons have notched a growing record of failure and disengagement.
The Coming Death Shortage →
by Charles C. Mann Medicare, Social Security, retirement, Alzheimer’s, snowbird economies, the population boom, the golfing boom, the cosmetic-surgery boom, the nostalgia boom, the recreational-vehicle boom, Viagra - increasing longevity is entangled in every one.
Speaking of Soup →
by Calvin Trillin The culinary approach to Spanish.
Unhappy Meals →
by Michael Pollan Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy.
Consumer Vertigo →
by Virginia Postrel A new wave of social critics claim that freedom’s just another word for way too much to choose. Here’s why they’re wrong.
Letting Go →
by David Sedaris When I was in fourth grade, my class took a field trip to the American Tobacco plant in nearby Durham, North Carolina. There we witnessed the making of cigarettes and were given free packs to take home to our parents.
No Man's Land →
by Eula Bliss Fear, racism, and the troubling attitude of American pioneers, historical and contemporary.
The Megacity →
by George Packer Isale Eko is the oldest and densest part of Lagos, the world’s sixth largest city. Every square foot is claimed by someone - for selling, for washing, even for sleeping - there is almost no privacy.
The Sicario →
by Charles Bowden As I drank coffee and tried to frame questions in my mind, a crime reporter in Juárez was cut down beside his eight-year-old daughter as they sat in his car letting it warm up. This morning as I drove down here, a Toyota passed me with a bumper sticker that read, with a heart symbol, i love love. This morning I tried to remember how I got to this rendezvous.