9 Long Articles to Read If You're Having Trouble Getting Through Books These Days
Last month, I wrote about how I, someone who literally gets paid to read and write about books, am finding it pretty impossible to get through a book right now. One way I’ve been able to read is by prioritizing longform articles over 300-page books. Here are nine pieces I’ve found particularly compelling over the last few weeks.
1. “Breonna Taylor’s Family and Friends Remember Her Greatness” by Eva Lewis (Teen Vogue)
On March 13, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police in her home in Louisville, Kentucky. In this article, Chicago-based writer, organizer, and artist Eva Maria Lewis speaks with Taylor’s friends and family to reflect her life and the legacy she leaves behind.
2. “Why You Need to Stop Saying ‘All Lives Matter’” by Rachel Elizabeth Cargle (Harper’s Bazaar)
Writer and activist Cargle wrote this piece last year, but it remains as crucial as ever. In it, she defines “Black Lives Matter” as a rallying cry for a shift in statistical numbers that show that people who are Black are twice as likely to be killed by a police officer while unarmed, compared to a white individual. Read this, then show it to a friend or family member who needs to see it.
3. “The Strange and Dangerous World of America’s Big Cat People by Rachel Nuwer (Longreads)
If you, like much of the country, was captivated by Netflix’s Tiger King, you need to read this deep dive by Rachel Nuwer. In it, she explains how Joe Exotic’s story opened many people’s eyes to the world of America’s big cat people, and how that momentum could lead to actual reform in the industry.
4. “Stewed Awakening” by Navnett Alang (Eater)
Last month, an interview with cookbook author Alison Roman in The New Consumer caused (deserved) uproar the foodisphere. Roman made some out-of-nowhere cutting remarks about fellow foodie Chrissy Teigen, as well as Marie Kondo, which…were not good. It brought to the surface a criticism of Roman and other white food stars for using “exotic" ingredients (and becoming famous as a result). Navnett Alang’s piece dives into the backlash against Roman, as well as the greater implications of food colonization.
5. “Black Communities Have Always Used Food as Protest” by Amethyst Ganaway (Food & Wine)
Since the late 1500s, Black Americans have used food as a form of protest. In this fascinating history, Amethyst Ganaway writes,“Black lives lead the vanguard toward equality and revolution as they have done so many times before. We are demanding, not asking, for 'Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice And Peace.'”
6. “1,112 and Counting” by Larry Kramer (New York Native)
Late last month, playwright and AIDS activist Larry Kramer died at 84. This landmark piece, first published in 1983, was a passionate appeal against apathy in the face of the AIDS crisis. It’s titled referred to the number of people, at the time, diagnosed with serious complications from AIDS, and it accused nearly everyone connected with health care in America, from CDC officials and doctors to local politicians, of refusing to acknowledge the implications of the growing epidemic.
7. “He Lost His Leg, Then Rediscovered the Bicycle. Now He’s Unstoppable” by Peter Flax (Bicycling)
Thirteen years ago, Leo Rodgers, now 35, lost one of his legs in a motorcycle crash. During his rehabilitation, he found that his thirst for speed and thrills, could be sated by a bicycle. He has since competed four times at the U.S. Paralympic Track Cycling Open, and came away with eight total medals. Inspiring doesn’t begin to describe it.
8. “The Science of Sourdough Starters” by Tim Chin (Serious Eats)
Raise your hand if you or someone you know has used this time in quarantine to bake bread—lots of bread. Sourdough, in particular, has reached new levels of popularity, and this helpful article explains how it even works. Chin writes that, “You don't have to understand the science of sourdough yeasts and bacteria to bake great sourdough bread, but it sure can help.”
9. “How the Pandemic Turned Brené Brown Into America’s Therapist” by Sarah Hepola (Texas Monthly)
Brené Brown is a renowned lecturer, author and podcast host. Though her fanbase has been devoted for years, the COVID-19 pandemic has shot her to new heights, leading her to serves, essentially, as America’s therapist. But as writer Sarah Hepola finds out while profiling Brown, the fifth-generation Texan would rather not be called that.