Smoked Out

A writer moves to a new town and finds himself living the environmental story in the books he’d agreed to review.

Published: Feb 1, 2019
Length: 17 minutes (4,306 words)

The Communal Mind

Patricia Lockwood travels through the internet in this piece, first delivered as a lecture at the British Museum in February 2019.

Published: Feb 13, 2019
Length: 27 minutes (6,896 words)

Diary: How I Write Music

Composer Nico Muhly writes about his primary goal: “to create a piece of art that is better than the same amount of silence.”

Author: Nico Muhly
Published: Oct 25, 2018
Length: 11 minutes (2,961 words)

After the Fall

It’s been 10 years since the 2008 financial crisis and we’re still living with the fallout: financial institutions have seen few major regulatory changes, the poor and middle class have carried the burden of austerity measures and have responded with a sharp rise in populism, and life expectancy has stagnated.

Published: Jun 27, 2018
Length: 30 minutes (7,694 words)

The Tower

In an epic seven-part piece, Andrew O’Hagan writes on the harrowing Grenfell Tower fire that took place in London, England on June 14th, 2017. Telling dozens of individual stories of survivors and victims of the catastrophe, his essay posits that shoddy renovations and a poorly managed fire response that urged residents to “stay put” and wait for rescue — a policy only rescinded until it was too late for residents on the upper floors to evacuate — cost 72 people their lives.

Published: Jun 4, 2018
Length: 240 minutes (60,028 words)


Between ambulance delays, an aging population and a lack of beds, emergency medical care in England is on the brink of collapse. Compounding the issues is the fact that the country’s National Health Service is trying to reform its entire structure, and so far the transition is not a smooth one.

Author: James Meek
Published: Apr 5, 2018
Length: 85 minutes (21,311 words)

You Are the Product

Facebook is really in the surveillance business, and it uses our data to market us stuff. Mark Zuckerberg wants to make sure you don’t know this, because if you did, why would you still use Facebook?

Published: Aug 17, 2017
Length: 35 minutes (8,943 words)

The Last London

“And now it feels, in the addiction and vertigo of the digital revolution, as if this ancient organism is wheezing, drawing its final breaths. We were never more than an extension of the geology of the Thames Valley.”

Published: Mar 30, 2017
Length: 27 minutes (6,850 words)

Women in Power

Mary Beard’s epic essay on women in power “from Medusa to Merkel” takes aim at representations of power throughout history, and how the definitions of authority, expertise, and knowledge have long excluded women.

Author: Mary Beard
Published: Mar 16, 2017
Length: 19 minutes (4,900 words)

I Say, Damn It, Where Are the Beds?

With the rise of Trump’s authoritarianism and campaign against truth, people are rereading George Orwell. This review of two books about Orwell offers a sidelong view into Orwell’s work and the person behind it, in order to show that Orwell is more than a brand and symbol. He was person of strange habits, strong convictions, artistic vision and foul smells.



Published: Feb 17, 2017
Length: 14 minutes (3,550 words)