Things I Read That I Love #105: The Rainbow, The Stars, The Statue Of The Panda

HELLO and welcome to the 105th installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can read them too and we can all know more about Lisa Frank! This “column” is less feminist/queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is feminist/queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are.

The title of this feature is inspired by the title of Emily Gould’s tumblr, Things I Ate That I Love.

Also, this week I did a Things You’ll Read And Love: A Gift Guide For Longform Lovers! You should check it out. Remember last week how so many of you commented on TIRTL, that was so nice. I like hearing about what you think about these essays!

Chasing Alexander Supertramp Into the Wild (December 2013), by Eva Holland for Skye – Read this one on a web browser because it’s laid out really nice. “Twenty years after the world first heard about Christopher McCandless, fans of “Into the Wild” continue to risk their lives to reach the bus where he died. Our writer hit the trail to learn more.”

Inside The Rainbow Gulag: The Rise and Fall of Lisa Frank (December 2013), by Tracie Egan Morrisey for Jezebel – I’ll be surprised if a ton of you haven’t already read this, even though it was just posted yesterday. But the whole thing is full of shocking and disappointing surprises about that brand I loved so much growing up (and of course, many of us still do).

22 Hours in Balthazar (October 2013) by Willie Staley for The New York Times – This place is right around the corner from where I interned for, and there were always long lines in the morning. It was where journalists would eat to interview somebody New Yorky and Important, etc. This is what happens behind the scenes.

Life Times Six (November 2013), by Louis Hanson for The Virginian-Pilot – “Travion Blount’s punishment may be the harshest in America for a teen who didn’t commit murder. The 15-year-old robbed a Norfolk party with two older gang members. He hurt no one. His friends got 10 and 13 years. But as it stands, Blount will die in prison.”

After The Fall (December 2013), Jessica Contrera for The Indiana Daily Student – About an Indiana University student named Rachael who died two days after moving into her freshman dorm room when she tripped down the stairs at a party. She seemed okay so they left her to rest on the couch downstairs, not knowing her brain was bleeding internally. This is about what happened after that; grief, mostly.

The Pulp Appeal of Law & Order SVU (June 2013), by Emily Nussbaum for The New Yorker – “Still, none of this would work if it weren’t for Hargitay’s Benson, a Xena with empathy, the woman created from—but not destroyed by—rape. The worse the stories get, the stronger she becomes; it’s the show’s unspoken dialectic.”

Blue Star State (November 2013), by Maurice Chammah for Guernica – “Wendy Davis’s filibuster becomes a book, a performance piece, the origin story of a new political star, and a symbol of change in a maybe-not-so-red Texas.”

State of Play (April 2013), by Mike Deri Smith for The Morning News – “Does your minor want to be a miner? How about a McNugget cook? Welcome to KidZania, a revolutionary theme park coming soon to the U.S. that lets kids play at corporate-sponsored employment.”

23 And You, by Virginia Hughes for Matter – Investigative look at how online genealogy websites and family-tree-maker stuff and at-home DNA tests have enabled millions of people to discover their heritage, for better and for worse, and about the privacy issues at stake.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3177 articles for us.


  1. I know better than to open a new TIRTIL win only a few minutes left of the kids’ lunch recess, but I was so curious that I couldn’t resist. Now I have all afternoon to practice being patient.

  2. Oh jeez, After The Fall left me so sad! Ugh. Wonderful selection as always Riese.

    Oh and I sent you a PM Riese about a question I have.

  3. This is,without a doubt, my favorite thing on Autostraddle. I’m browsing, I’m procrastinating but I’m learning. So I feel a little virtuous! Thanks, Riese!

  4. The New Yorker piece about SVU articulated so many things I’ve thought about the show. Fascinating.

  5. Whoa, that “State of Play” article really takes me back: as a kid in Buenos Aires my favorite thing was going to the Museo de los Niños (children’s museum) where all of the activities were these occupation-type simulations, though so much less structured than in this new Kidzania franchise thing. But I remember you could pretend to work at the supermarket, the bank, the gas station, be a bus driver, a doctor, journalist, news anchor, cook/serve fast food, I think there was a milk factory?? It was very very fun.

    Anyways there was way less gross corporate sponsorship grossness and it was all free play do whatever you want kind of thing, much less creepy and profit-motivated than the model this place seems to be following. Shame.

    • In Madrid they have something similar too, called Micropolix. Some of my students went there on a class trip and said it was amazing.

  6. Riese, this comment is mostly unrelated to this edition of TIRTIL (which is excellent) but could you do another post on authors that you love/books you’re currently reading? I just finished Veronica by Mary Gaitskill and everything else by Mary Gaitskill is checked out of my library. I need your halp.

  7. What’s up with the FDA banning online-based genetic testing? The article “23&Me” got me super-hyped to buy a kit, only to discover moments later the health option has been suspended indefinitely by our government. WTF.

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