The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Our top stories of the week.

Illustration by Miguel Porlan For The New Yorker

Below, our favorite stories of the week.

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1. Ghost Stories

Burkhard Bilger | The New Yorker | Sept. 12, 2016 | 34 minutes (8,647 words)

Over half a century after WWII, a generation of Germans still struggles to come to terms with their ancestors’ atrocities. They are kriegskinder, the children of war. Guilt and spirits haunt them.

2. Are You Ready to Meet Your Fixer Uppers?

Taffy Brodesser-Akner | Texas Monthly | Sept. 21, 2016 | 36 minutes (9,143 words)

Home renovation shows package the American dream from anxiety-riddled nightmare to easily-digestible entertainment. In this profile of Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” Taffy Brodesser-Akner goes long on how the couple works together and how they’ve managed to rebrand Waco, Texas as a place not of tragedy, but of shiplap and dreams.

3. The Untold Story of Japanese War Brides

Kathryn Tolbert | Washington Post | Sept. 22, 2016 | 19 minutes (4,842 words)

“They either tried, or were pressured, to give up their Japanese identities to become more fully American. A first step was often adopting the American nicknames given them when their Japanese names were deemed too hard to pronounce or remember. Chikako became Peggy; Kiyoko became Barbara. Not too much thought went into those choices, names sometimes imposed in an instant by a U.S. officer organizing his pool of typists. My mother, Hiroko Furukawa, became Susie.”

4. Why She’s Suing Fox News

Danielle Bacher | Esquire | Sept. 21, 2016 | 16 minutes (4,228 words)

Conservative commentator Andrea Tantaros, a former co-host of “The Five” and “Outnumbered” on Fox News, speaks out about the experiences that prompted her sexual harassment suit against the organization and its former CEO, Roger Ailes.

5. I Used to Be a Human Being

Andrew Sullivan | New York Magazine | Sept. 18, 2016 | 21 minutes (7,077 words)

Retired Daily Dish blogger Andrew Sullivan’s meditation on the epidemic of digital distraction addiction—and his attempt to cure himself of it at a 10-day silent meditation retreat he attended after famously ending his 15-year blogging career.