Ben Cohen writes about sports for The Wall Street Journal. In 2011, he also published a Kindle Single and wrote for Grantland, The Classical, Tablet, The Awl and Yahoo! Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @bzcohen.


I don’t know that I can pinpoint exactly what it was about these stories that compelled me to re-read them, over and over, but I do know that you’ll find yourself doing the same. In any case, you don’t need me to explain how to enjoy these stories, or why you should adore them. They speak for themselves. So, in the spirit of the season: gifts that keep on giving!

“‘It’s Too Bad. And I Don’t Mean It’s Too Bad Like “Screw ‘Em”,’” Jessica Pressler, New York: Lloyd Blankfein goes to a diner.

“Welcome to the Far Eastern Conference,” Wells Tower, GQ: Starbury goes to China.

“The Hangover Part III,” Brett Martin, GQ: Aziz Ansari, David Chang and James Murphy go to Tokyo.

“The History and Mystery of the High-Five,” Jon Mooallem, ESPN The Magazine: Hand goes high.

“Why John Calipari Can’t Catch a Break,” S.L. Price, Sports Illustrated: Coach goes to Kentucky.

“It’s The Economy, Dummkopf!” Michael Lewis, Vanity Fair: Michael Lewis goes to Germany.

“Danny Meyer on a Roll,” Sean Wilsey, The New York Times Magazine: Restauranteur goes… everywhere?

“Jennifer Egan on Reaping Awards and Dodging Literary Feuds,” Boris Kachka, Vulture: Jennifer Egan goes to Brooklyn.

“The Confessions of a Former Adolescent Puck Tease,” Katie Baker, Deadspin: Teenager goes to the Internet.

“American Marvel,” Edith Zimmerman, GQ: I’m not sure who goes where, or when, or why, but what!


Share your own Top 5 Longreads of 2011, all through December. Just tag it #longreads on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook.