Posts in category Recommended Reading

Miscellaneous inspiration and whatnot.


NotebookRecommended Reading

ReadIt: Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic on Writing

This whole interview, which I found at Medium.com, is full of excellent stuff about writing. A few highlights: Your ass has to be in the chair to get any work done, so you should put your ass in the chair. [O]nce I have the story in hand, I don’t like to spend too long researching before I start writing something — a headline, a dek, a few sentences. If I don’t do that, the idea of the story gets too big …

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Recommended Reading

‘Defector from anti-gay church struggles with her past’

Riveting interview with Libby Phelps, granddaughter of Fred Phelps, the pastor of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, infamous for picketing the funerals of American soldiers and other events with signs that say “God Hates Fags” and the like. The picture above is of Phelps in 2006. She’s picketing a Billy Graham event.

Highlights below. Full story here.

The most killer, heartbreaking line in the whole story, the one that sums it all up? “Libby married in July 2011. Her parents did not attend.”

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LifeRecommended ReadingWork

Read It: ‘Minds Are The Strangest Thing’ by Giles Harvey in The New Yorker

Really fascinating read, this one. Give yourself a minute and make sure you’re properly dosed up on caffeine, because it’s heavy reading, but worthwhile. A few highlights below. (Bolded stuff was bolded by me, not The New Yorker.) To catch thought as it flies has long been an ambition of the high-end literary novel.  Nabokov complained that Joyce “exaggerates the verbal side of thought. Man thinks not always in words but also in images, whereas …

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JournalismRecommended Reading

How To Be A Pulitzer Finalist, via Eli Saslow of The Washington Post and ESPN

Eli Saslow, a Washington Post staff writer and ESPN The Magazine contributor as well as the author of Ten Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their President, was recently a Pulitzer Prize finalist for feature writing for his story about a struggling swimming pool salesman. Nieman Storyboard interviewed him for one of their latest Annotation Tuesday posts, which is excellent and which you should probably go read right now. They had him annotate his story in ESPN The Magazine …

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JournalismRecommended Reading

‘102 Hours in Pursuit of Marathon Suspects’ by the Boston Globe’s Staff

Thought this was a strong, strong piece of reporting by the Boston Globe — which did, really, a near-perfect job covering the Boston Marathon bombing on the whole — that traces the 102 hours officials spent hunting down and nabbing Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Chechens suspected of committing the crime. It reads quickly and it’s loaded with all the information you’d want to know and then some.  For five indelible days, the unthinkable became …

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JournalismRecommended Reading

How Sports Illustrated Got The Jason Collins Coming Out Story

Click here to read a cool behind-the-scenes look at how SI landed that groundbreaking Jason Collins cover story. Highlights:  At 9 a.m. last Friday the writer Franz Lidz drove to the Los Angeles home of Jason Collins with a completed draft of a story on which the two had collaborated two days earlier. When he arrived, Lidz was introduced to Collins’ mother and father; his twin brother, Jarron; and a high school classmate. They, along …

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JournalismRecommended ReadingSports

Read It: Patrick Hruby’s Story About Medical Marijuana In Sports

Thought this was a solid report by Patrick Hruby for SportsOnEarth about the benefits that medical marijuana could have for athletes:  Guys popped pills, Vicodin and Oxycontin, serious stuff, at first a few and then a few more. Guys took injections, Marcaine and Toradol, potent liquid lifelines that wouldn’t be out of place in a trauma ward. Jackson did the same, swinging the rubber hammer. The shots made him uneasy. The pills made him groggy. …

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JournalismRecommended ReadingSports

Read It: ‘Allen Iverson, NBA Icon, Struggles With Life After Basketball’ by Kent Babb

Kent Babb at the Washington Post wrote a good story about Allen Iverson:  Three years after Iverson’s last NBA game, the spotlight has shifted from his play to his flaws. His refusal back then to play by society’s rules was seen as an independent player’s quirks, part of the character and the brand, same as his cornrows and tattoos. Practicing with hangovers added to the legend. Skipping team functions and refusing to obey the league’s dress code …

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JournalismLifeRecommended Reading

Elizabeth Merrill of ESPN.com With Near Perfect Piece On Ray Lewis

Really impressed with pretty much everything about this story about Ray Lewis by Liz Merrill of ESPN.com. There’s been a ton written about Lewis lately and there’s going to be more, as much because of how passionate and dominant he is at the game as for his possible involvement in two murders in Atlanta in 2000. Predictably, some reporters are fixating on the latter, such as Tim Graham of the Buffalo News and Kent Babb …

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JournalismLifeRecommended Reading

The Greatest Bowling Documentary Ever

Hey you guys, remember back when I posted D Magazine’s Michael Mooney’s story about Bill Fong—The Greatest Bowling Story Ever. Quick refresh: Bill Fong came within one pin of bowling a perfect 900—three straight perfect games—when he had a stroke. Well, now an ambitious guy named Joey Daoud is working on a documentary about Fong’s story that he’s calling “Strike,” and he’s got a Kickstarter page going for it. He asked if I’d tell you …

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LifeRecommended Reading

Read It: ‘Your Sixth Sense’ from Psychology Today

“There’s nothing the mind likes better than a good story.”— “Your Sixth Sense,” Psychology Today Shoutout to Byliner. Took a lot away from this one. I read a lot about psychology and the human mind and things like that, anyway, but this one consolidated a lot of important info into a single article. The biggest point I took from all this? Just because you can’t explain something doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an explanation. Don’t trust …

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