5280 Magazine's Geoff Van Dyke: My Top 5 Longreads of 2011

Geoff Van Dyke is deputy editor of 5280 Magazine in Denver. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Outside, and Men’s Journal.

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• “The Food at our Feet,” by Jane Kramer, The New Yorker

Kramer can almost make you smell and taste the stuff she’s picking: mint, asparagus, fennel, mushrooms. Plus, maybe my favorite lead sentence of the year: “I spent the summer foraging, like an early hominid with clothes.”

• “The Kill Team,” by Mark Boal, Rolling Stone

The disturbing investigation into an Army unit in Afghanistan that was killing civilians for sport.

• “Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts,” by Jonathan Franzen, New York Times

I kind of didn’t want to like this piece, but Franzen’s assessment of “consumer technology products,” and our fraught relationships with them, feels right on.

• “The Day that Damned the Dodgers,” by Lee Jenkins, Sports Illustrated

As a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan, it was heartbreaking to read this chronicle of how the Giants’ greatest rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers, have gone from one of the most respected organizations in sports to one of the most dysfunctional.

“What Really Happened to Strauss-Kahn?” by Edward Jay Epstein, The New York Review of Books

A fascinating investigation that suggests Dominique Strauss-Kahn was set up, perhaps even by people associated with French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

BONUS

Pretty much anything by Charles P. Pierce at Grantland, but especially his piece on the beginning of the end of NCAA sports and his unflinching essay on Jerry Sandusky and Penn State.

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