Questions for Me About Dying

Celebrated Australian novelist Cory Taylor was diagnosed with cancer in 2005. Rejecting the taboos that prevent humans from talking openly about death, she goes on the record with her answers to some of the most typical questions people have asked her about dying.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jul 31, 2017
Length: 14 minutes (3,712 words)

Notes from a Baby-Names Obsessive

Names channel our identity — or at least our parents’ idea of our future identity — in ways both big (class, ethnicity) and small (subcultural affiliations, self-awareness). When the mother’s American and the father’s French, things get complicated, fast.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jul 31, 2017
Length: 15 minutes (3,986 words)

America’s Future is Texas

It’s a long road, how we got to now, and a lot of it happened in Texas first. Lawrence Wright, who has lived in Texas for most of his life, explains how the state’s deliberate shift from blue to red, to an extreme red, relied on a calculated series of political moves over the last twenty years that are best seen with the long lens of history.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jul 10, 2017
Length: 76 minutes (19,000 words)

The Reality-TV Star Spencer Pratt on America’s Addiction to Drama

Spencer Pratt’s fame “doesn’t necessarily stem from any immediately recognizable talents.” He and his wife Heidi Montag were the villains of the mid-aughts reality show The Hills, where they were beloved for their strange California-accented-behavior. (Implants! Cristal! Crystals!) Seven years later, Pratt has become a elder-statesman of sorts, a connoisseur of pseudo-celebrity he once peddled, and an expert on the the reality star who currently occupies the Oval Office.

Author: Naomi Fry
Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jun 30, 2017
Length: 8 minutes (2,200 words)

Nick Kyrgios, the Reluctant Rising Star of Tennis

Twenty-two-year-old Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios is ranked 20th in the world and has beat tennis greats Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic on the court. He’s also flagrantly tried to lose matches on purpose out of frustration, argued with umpires, and berated ball kids. The tennis world is waiting for Kyrgios to mature, but his heart might not be in the game.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jul 3, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,658 words)

The National Enquirer’s Fervor for Trump

The National Enquirer has made political careers, but more often it has broken them. (John Edwards ended his presidential candidacy after the magazine revealed he’d had a child out of wedlock.) But during a presidency rife with scandal, the tabloid has remained quiet thanks to its owner David Pecker, who makes no secret of his love for his old friend Donald Trump.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jun 27, 2017
Length: 26 minutes (6,700 words)

My Dentist’s Murder Trial

James Lasdun tells the story of how his Kingston, NY-based dentist, Gilberto Nunez, D.D.S., wound up in prison. Lasdun writes about attending Nunez’s trial for the murder of his lover’s husband — a man he called his friend — with an eye toward the ways in which law enforcement can botch a case by determining too soon that it knows what happened, and how hard it can be to judge someone’s character.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jul 3, 2017
Length: 24 minutes (6,229 words)

The Persistance of Prog Rock

If the ‘prog’ in prog rock meant “progressive,” did this form of synthy jazz rock ever achieve its high art future? It certainly generated legions of fans and haters.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jun 19, 2017
Length: 15 minutes (3,907 words)

China’s Mistress Dispellers

The mistress, or what is known in Chinese as a xiao san, or “Little Third,” has become a problem in China, and a new job has sprung up to battle these emotional and financial third wheels: the mistress dispeller. Part private investigator, part emotional confident, the mistress dispeller is tasked with ending the relationship by any means necessary.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jun 20, 2017
Length: 25 minutes (6,264 words)

Mosul’s Library Without Books

How the Mosul University Library — once home to books and documents dating to antiquity and destroyed by ISIS militants — is becoming the epicenter of Iraq’s cultural rebirth as the homemade mines are removed, Mosul University is rebuilt, and the book drives begin.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jun 12, 2017
Length: 6 minutes (1,541 words)