A roundup of the longform pieces, features, fiction, essays and speeches from 2013 that stuck with me for days, weeks, even longer. I’m so glad my path crossed with each of ’em.
1,000 Miles of Men
“What is a man? That was my question. I asked it up and down I-65…Gas stations, bars, outlet malls, diners, hotels, breakfast places, casinos, at the base of office buildings, at colleges, over cocktails, over bagels, as we waited for barbecue, in Big Boys and Denny’s and there at Jersey Mike’s.”
By Tom Chiarella for Esquire
Beyond the Finish Line
“Jeff Bauman was waiting to see his girlfriend when the bombs went off. Then his Boston marathon began.”
By Tim Rohan for The New York Times
The Boy with the Least Toys
“Six years ago I would have pleaded to write this for free. I don’t want to forget that.”
By Cord Jefferson for Scratch
Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice?
“‘Before this happened, I loved Conor,’ she says. ‘I knew that if I defined Conor by that one moment — as a murderer — I was defining my daughter as a murder victim. And I could not allow that to happen.'”
By Paul Tullis for The New York Times Magazine
Children and Guns: The Hidden Toll
There are roughly twice as many child victims from accidental firearm deaths than official records show or our national debate about gun control lets us believe.
By Michael Luo and Mike McIntire for The New York Times
Death of a Cyclist
The story of a 26-year-old bike commuter and his collision with a 28-year-old motorist who’d just left a crowded bar, and the larger question about our attitudes toward those who drink and drive.
By Keith Griffith for the Chicago Reader
George Saunders’ Advice to Graduates
“Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.”
By George via The New York Times
How I Met Your Mother
“I shall speak responsibly and say that love is built on years of struggle, on business, on the tight-spots from which you brawl your way out.”
By Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic
“It would be really good, it would be a really good thing, if the NFL moved its boundaries in such a way as to show some minimal respect for mental health.”
By Brian Phillips for Grantland
Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer
The problems of breast cancer “overawareness.”
By Peggy Orenstein for The New York Times Magazine
“He lives within walking distance of the Goodwill, and that’s where we go on Saturdays when our heads hurt too much to read the books we pretend to like.”
By Bridget Gamble for the Chicago Reader
*Disclosure that Bridget is my sister. 🙂