The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Our favorite stories of the week, featuring, Backchannel, The New Yorker, Boom, GQ, and the Washingtonian.

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

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1. The Troll’s Lawyer

Adam L. Penenberg | Backchannel | Jan. 5, 2015 | 26 minutes (6,716 words)

Tor Ekeland, unemployed and burned out from his job working at a corporate law firm, decided to defend Andrew Alan Escher Auernheimer, a Jew-hating hacktivist also known as weev, and challenge a sweeping computer crime law.

 

2. The Talking Cure

Margaret Talbot | The New Yorker | Jan. 5, 2015 | 22 minutes (5,574 words)

In Providence, Rhode Island, the mayor hopes getting low-income parents to talk to their very young children more will help boost language skills and close the achievement gap.

 

3. Burying My Family’s History in Bakersfield

Marta Maretich | Boom | Jan. 7, 2015 | 22 minutes (5,523 words)

An essay about clearing out a dead father’s home, and the evolution of a landfill in California’s Central Valley.

 

4. Mainline Street

Sean Flynn | GQ | Jan. 7, 2015 | 22 minutes (5,523 words)

How heroin grabbed hold in the small town of Laramie, Wyoming, thanks to a drug dealer named Ory Joe Johnson, who started selling after getting addicted to prescription pain medication.

 

5. The Town Without Wi-Fi

Michael J. Gaynor | Washingtonian | Jan. 5, 2015 | 16 minutes (4,247 words)

People afflicted with “electromagnetic hypersensitivity”—ailments related to being around devices like cell phones that emit electromagnetic frequencies—have flocked to the town of Green Bank, West Virginia, where modern technology has been banned due to their possible interference with a government telescope. The locals aren’t happy about the stream of newcomers.