Happy New Year! Here’s our first Top 5 list of 2023.
The Secret Lives of MI6’s Top Female Spies
“For the first time ever, SIS officers reveal why women often make the best spies for our times.”
The Top 5 Longreads of the Week
This week we are sharing stories from Thomas Hale, Sam Edwards, Kim Cross, Jaq Evans, and Matti Friedman
I Spent 10 Days in a Secret Chinese Covid Detention Centre
“What I learnt when I was ‘taken away’ to an island quarantine facility in the middle of the night.”
Cabin Fever: A Reading List for the Perpetually Isolated
How the pandemic made us confront what it means to be alone.
Japan’s Lonely Cherry Blossoms
Millions of people turn out to see Japan’s famous sakura blossoms. This year, Covid-19 kept the usual crowds at home, though the blossom makes a fitting metaphor for evanescence.
The Lost Art of Getting Lost
Pam Mandel’s absurdly earned travel resume is why she always have time for the same sentiments from other voices of this rootless era.
Olive Oil Trouble
Olive-oil fraud was already common in antiquity. Galen tells of unscrupulous oil merchants who mixed high-quality olive oil with cheaper substances like lard, and Apicius provides a recipe for turning cheap Spanish oil into prized oil from Istria using minced herbs and roots. The Greeks and the Romans used olive oil as food, soap, lotion, […]
The Sale of the FT and an Oral History of the News Business
The FT Group, which includes standout business newspaper the Financial Times, is being sold for $1.3 billion to Nikkei, Japan’s largest media company. Established in 1888, the FT has been lauded for its digital transition as the newspaper industry has declined. “Riptide” is an oral history project that was first launched in 2013 about what “really happened to […]
The Rise of Independent Travel Magazines
Subject matter can be almost self-consciously esoteric. The latest issue of Ernest includes a piece by Queen guitarist Brian May on diableries (19th-century stereoscopic photographs of clay model demons). Cereal has 10 pages on Anglepoise lamps; Avaunt has a feature headlined “Politics of map projections”. The new magazines also move away from the traditional “colonial” […]