The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Allie Conti, Joe Sexton and Nate Schweber, Alexander Chee, Nell Scovell, and Bee Wilson.

This week, we’re sharing stories from Allie Conti, Joe Sexton and Nate Schweber, Alexander Chee, Nell Scovell, and Bee Wilson.

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1. I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb

Allie Conti | Vice Magazine | October 31, 2019 | 23 minutes (5,753 words)

When reporter Allie Conti got a call from her Airbnb host 10 minutes before she was supposed to check in to her rental in Chicago, “Andrew” claimed the toilet had backed up, making the unit unavailable. The good news, he said was that he had a larger place he managed nearby. Little did Allie know that she stumbled on an Airbnb scam involving nearly 100 property listings in eight cities.

2. The Wrong Goodbye

Joe Sexton, Nate Schweber | ProPublica | October 31, 2019 | 30 minutes (7,659 words)

On July 29th, 2018, the family of Frederick Williams said a tearful goodbye as a man was taken off life support following a suspected drug overdose at St. Barnabas, a facility run by Hospice of New York. It wasn’t until the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, as part of routine procedures, ran fingerprint tests and discovered a grave error.

3. How to Unlearn Everything

Alexander Chee | Vulture | October 30, 2019 | 9 minutes (2,461 words)

“When it comes to writing the ‘other,’ what questions are we not asking?”

4. Ten Years Ago, I Called Out David Letterman. This Month, We Sat Down to Talk.

Nell Scovell | Vanity Fair | October 30, 2019 | 14 minutes (3,510 words)

Comedy writer Nell Scovell — who quit her job on Late Night with David Letterman in 1990 after just five months because of sexism and “sexual favoritism,” and who called out Letterman in another Vanity Fair piece 10 years ago, following the revelation that he was cheating on his wife with various women who worked for him — sits down with a newly chastened Letterman, and receives a genuine apology from him.

5. The Instant Pot Understands the History of Women’s Labor in the Kitchen

Bee Wilson | Bustle | October 29, 2019 | 19 minutes (4,794 words)

The history of domestic cooking is littered with useless gadgets that were supposed to make home cooks’ lives easier, and failed. The Instant Pot is a rare exception.