Things I Read That I Love

So it’s been a bit of a slow news week aside from the OWS action. Therefore I have nothing crucial to impart to you today from “the world” (besides that once again the OUT 100 is 80% men) and so I thought instead I’d share with you some of the things I’ve read over the last month or so. The idea is that maybe you will want to read them too.

As I’ve perhaps mentioned in the past, I am a GIANT fan of long-form journalism & essays and try to read 2-3 longish magazine/newspaper feature stories a day so that my brain gets bigger. I read online but I also save things I want to read via instapaper and then download them onto my kindle to read elsewhere.

I also read a lot of feature journalism about crime and criminals, which is sort of embarrassing. But, if you’re into that stuff though I can do a Things I Read That I Love: Law & Order Edition next week. I also have plenty of stuff for an Occupy Wall Street Edition. Lemme know! If anyone even reads this post!

I picked stuff that isn’t really directly tied to the news or even to the homos aka stuff I had no reason to tell you about until this day and isn’t this day exciting? It is!

So here’s some things you can read today:

Very Deep in America – Lorrie Moore via The New York Review of Books – Thoughts on the book, movie and television series Friday Night Lights.

The Death-Wish Kids – Joe Morgenstern via – A 1984 story on “the teenage suicide pact that left one survivor and many questions.” Haunting, brilliantly written.

Group Portrait With Television – David Finkel via The Washington Post – I found this fascinating. It’s from 1994 about a writer who spent some time with a family that literally watched television CONSTANTLY.

Deadly Secrets – Ali Winston via Colorlines – How California law shields Oakland police violence. Truly shocking stuff that you should probably know about.

The Glory of Oprah – Caitlin Flanagan via The Atlantic – “Why the “talkinest child” understands women and the power of television better than anyone else.”

No More Nice Girls and Standing in the Goods – Sady Doyle via Emilybooks – Sady on Ellen Willis (and the trouble of being a feminist in this world) and Eileen Myles (on the trouble of being a working-class artist in this world), respectively.

Confidence Game – Den Starkman – via Columbia Journalism Review “The problem is that journalism’s true value-creating work, the keystone of American journalism, the principle around which it is organized, is public-interest reporting; the kind that is usually expensive, risky, stressful, and time-consuming.”

The Fierce Imagination of Haruki Murakami – Sam Anderson – via The New York Times –  “I prepared for my first-ever trip to Japan, this summer, almost entirely by immersing myself in the work of Haruki Murakami. This turned out to be a horrible idea.”

Just Kids  -Evan Hughes via New York Magazine – On the evolving friendships/rivalries between Jeffery Eugenides, Jonathan Franzen, Rick Moody and the late David Foster Wallace.

The Hunted – Jeffery Goldberg via The New Yorker –  The story of Mark and Delia Owens, American conservationists in Africa who adopted some very controversial methods and saw a documentary teevee show on them transform into a snuff film.

A Letter from “Manhattan” – Joan Didion via The New York Review of Books — a 1976 relic about Woody Allen movies and her astonishment that people proudly identify with his state of mind — “the peculiar and hermetic self-regard in Annie Hall and Interiors and Manhattan would seem nothing with which large numbers of people would want to identify.”

Q&A with Writer/Celebrity Profiler Vanessa Grigoriadis – via The Writearound“Obviously I said a lot of things in that Britney piece that were obnoxious, but they needed to be said. She was having this meltdown that was so epic and everybody was participating in it and watching these pictures of her coming out every day – why can’t I call her an “inbred swamp thing?” That’s what everyone’s thinking, looking at these images on their computer!” 

Patrick Bateman Was Me – James Brown via Sabotage Times – A remarkably intimate and revelatory interview with Brett Easton Ellis, who did a lot of coke the night before.

Getting In – Malcom Gladwell via The New Yorker –  The ridiculousness of Ivy League admissions processes as analyzed by a Canadian. From 2005.

* Title “things i read that i love” inspired by Emily Gould’s tumblr “things I ate that I love

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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 3201 articles for us.


  1. Riese, you should know by now that we soak up every scrap of word wisdom you place into the internets. It’s like heroin for our souls.

    But, you know, better for our health and shit.

  2. “But, if you’re into that stuff though I can do a Things I Read That I Love: Law & Order Edition next week.”

    Yes please!

  3. I am studying abroad in France right now and I feel like I’m completely slacking on my duties as a liberal arts student–I am so out of the loop concerning Occupy Wall Street and everything related (like the police brutality or the mutterings I’ve heard that they got kicked out at the beginning of the month). I have skimmed many articles but to be honest I don’t feel like I have the time to read all of the stories and opinions out there. Can you do a crash-course Occupy# post?! That would be the best.

    Thank you autostraddle for making my day and keeping the necessary amount of queer in my relatively-closeted invisible queer femme girl european life.

  4. I haven’t had a chance to read this thoroughly yet but I LOVE the idea, not least because it reminds me of Emily Gould’s tumblr “Things I Ate That I Love” and I’m really loving the AS/EG lovefest that’s been happening recently. Thanks for more wordy goodness, Riese.

  5. Riese – I would enjoy the law and order edition also. Always drawn to stuff like that especially if it’s well-written.

    NY Mag has some good ones every now and then; there was an interesting one about a complicated (and sad) child welfare case that really got into some of the problems social workers face with the system. Really enjoyed it, especially since a few of my friends work in that field and I know how hard that job is. I think it was a few months ago.

    • yes, I read that one too! It was really really interesting! Here it is: The Knock at the Door.

      I always read New York Magazine unless it’s about something boring, like think this week’s issue was boring, about like old jewish men that live a long time or something. still subscribe to it even though I’ve left New York, for those feature stories.

  6. I’m having a bad night. A really bad, shitty, terrible night. And this was such a wonderfully welcome distraction. Thank you for your perfect timing!

  7. I just picked up a book of Eileen Myles poetry today at the library and can’t wait to read it. So thanks for your previous recommendation of her!

  8. Gotta admit, my first reaction to Sady Doyle’s article about Eileen Myles and Inferno was that she was behind the times since Autostraddle had reviewed the book ages ago

      • Of course we remember what books you chose for Autostraddle’s book club!! I work in a book store and help people find books for their book clubs about 20 times a day, and every time I’m hunting for their titles, all I can think is: this doesn’t come close to comparing to the awesomeness of the book club I’m a part of!!

  9. so so so much love for this post. can this be a thing? things to read on the internet? because that would be absolutely super (i vote for law and order edition too!).

    question though… when do you sleep?

    • i sleep usually between 12:30/1 am to 7:30/8 am!

      i do a lot of this reading at the gym, or while waiting for things like the doctor (a 3+ hour wait). also was traveling a lot this summer which means lots of flying while reading. i don’t have a car, funds or a social life, so basically work-break activities include simply biking, the gym, reading, doing crossword puzzles, writing while watching tv, talking to laneia on g-chat and being with my girlfriend. I live a very glamorous life is what I’m telling you. Very glamorous! JAM-PACKED with lots of reading opportunities. It’s fulfilling, though, it really is, I highly recommend it.

  10. Yes please to the Law and Order Edition! I think you just made my kindle even more enjoyable, and I didn’t think that was even possible.

  11. This is great! I always love getting reading recommendations from interesting people!

    I’ve got a book rec for anyone looking for something new to read. Right now I’m reading ‘Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV’ by Jennifer Pozner. It’s a hilariously snarky, but serious academic take down of reality TV and it’s regressive, offensive ideas about women, people of color, and the poor. It’s putting into words many of the things that have pissed me off for years.

    • oh i just read that book actually! i have a draft in wordpress where i talk about it and a handfull of other things i’ve read about how reality tv is ruining everybody’s souls/brains. really good read, i agree!

  12. I want my brain to consume all of the things that have been posted here.

    Stop posting stuff that I like, or I’ll never sleep again. How/why do you do this to me, autostraddle-team-of-all-things-great-and-wonderful-on-the-internet?

  13. I liked “getting in”. It makes me feel a lot more justified in having hated my experience at Cornell, despite having a decent social life and decent grades. (I apologize to any Cornell students/graduates who like the school – I’m glad you have had a better experience).

    • yes, i found it really really really validating. it’s interesting from my friends at umich, the ones who were wealthy and had professional connections through their parents are all employed well now, those of us who weren’t; aren’t. I don’t fault them for that, of course, but it’s interesting from this perspective how little our professional success related to anything we did in college, our grades, what we studied. that all kinda faded away after graduation.

      also the fact that college admissions started in the first place as a way to weed out jewish people is so fucked and hilarious

  14. I really appreciate this.


    I just realised I’m physically incapable of leaving a comment that short, so I’m going to say I really appreciate this again.

  15. Just browsed but I’m certain I will read most of them, just wanted to stop first and tell you I(we) love to hear what you read/ think/care about. I told you on formspring that I dreamt of you and I did again last night. You were giving me a massage(in a profesional situation) and dot dot dot we were on a date, I knew it was you, auto straddle CEO and all, but I was trying to be cool. Then you said something about knowing a friend of a friend of mine and I realized you knew me as a reader and YOU were trying to be cool :)

  16. My head is exploding from all of the reading goodness, and you have given me a new way to use my kindle in a useful way.

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