Emily Perper is a word-writing human working at a small publishing company. She blogs about her favorite longreads at Diet Coker.

I have a group of comedian friends; we go bowling every Wednesday and contribute to a magazine called The Annual. In the wake of recent personal misfortune, they’ve been a refuge for me. After spending time with them, I feel inspired. I listen to comedy podcasts, commit myself to books I haven’t quite finished, and make furtive jots in my journal.

Here are four pieces about people I don’t know who do the same thing.

“Tig Notaro And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Yet Somehow Completely Amazing Year.” (Sandra Allen, Buzzfeed, August 2013)

What an utter badass. I’m all about women, and women in comedy, and women in comedy getting the recognition they deserve. Tig had cancer and a breakup and a death in the family and wow, wow, wow, she leads this life of grace and humor. She has a dozen projects going. What a human.

“Now We Are Five.” (David Sedaris, The New Yorker, October 2013)

Weirdly, gay memoirists are my go-to after breakups (by which I mean Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris). My favorite Sedaris essays are about his family. Here, Sedaris forgoes his typical absurdism in favor of a more reflective piece on the recent suicide of his sister, Tiffany. He is funny and tender.

“The Rumpus Interview With John Jeremiah Sullivan.” (Greg Gerke, The Rumpus, April 2012)

I am equal parts inspired and intimidated (actually, far far far more intimidated) by JJS. He’s the “southern editor” for the Paris Review. Is that even a real position? I think the Paris Review invented it just for him, because he was too important to not have on staff. Think about it.

“Tavi Gevinson, Rookie.” (Duane Fernandez, Left Field Project, September 2013)

Is this a “longread?” No, and I don’t care. Tavi is incredibly inspiring, not just because of her youth, but because she Makes Things Happen for herself. She is artistic and energetic and makes me want to Make Things.


Photo: CleftClips

We need your help to get to 5,000 Longreads Members.

Join Longreads now and help us keep going.