Things I Read That I Love #134: The Anti-Coloring Book

HELLO and welcome to the 134th 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 John Green! 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.


The Teen Whisperer (June 2014), by Margaret Talbot for The New Yorker – I actually had no idea that John Green had like a video series and stuff, I was wondering how the internet had so many opinions about this guy just from his three novels and, I assumed, a few interviews about those novels. Anyhow this was very interesting, you should try it!

Letters From An Arsonist (June 2007), by Dave Jamieson for Washington City Paper – OH MY LORD THIS MAN IS A MANIAC. THIS IS THE MOST BIZARRE THING I HAVE READ ALL MONTH. Also he’s gay, which is SUPER NEAT.

From Factory Farm To Organic Icon: Inside White Oak Pastures (September 2013), by Maryn McKenna for Modern Farmer – This is amazing, like this guy has an ENORMOUS organic farm? He took his family’s factory farm that mainly processed and sold fertilizer and feed grain and revamped it into like a living breathing thing.

Local Story (March 2013), by Rachel Aviv for The New Yorker – Wow this one has been sitting in my Instapaper forever and I finally read it and it was pretty interesting, it’s about how the local paper covered the Sandy Hook story and the paper’s general ties to and purpose within the small town to begin with.

America Dumbs Down (May 2014), by Jonathan Gatehouse for MacLean’s – Welp. Thank you MacLean’s for compiling all of this depressing information for me! No but at first I was like oh wow we are awful, but then near the end I was like, ok we are awful, but some of this shit you are saying is total bananas. (MacLean’s is a conservative and usually awful magazine, read at your own risk.)

Crazy (June 2014), by Rob Roberge for The Rumpus – The author sort of digs down deep and tells you about being bipolar even though usually he doesn’t want to tell you about that, he’d rather tell you about his past struggles with addiction, but mental illness is this whole other thing and there is this shame around it.

The Worst Party in Asia (June 2014), by Robert Foyle Hunwick for Roads & Kingdoms – Well I’m definitely not going to THIS party SO THERE. Actually I am sort of confused by the whole concept? It sounds like a bunch of white people go to Koh Phangan in Thailand and throw a bunch of beer in the ocean.

The Seventh Day (June 2014), by Claire Harlan Orsi for n+1 – This is like a personal essay but also weaves in pop culture references and literary references and real life facts and I actually wish it was a bit longer I feel like. It’s about divorce and joint custody and includes some very interesting tidbits about how lesbians have joint custody arrangements at enormously higher rates than straight people.

Exploring Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch (June 2014) by Jules Suzdaltsev for Vice Magazine – This isn’t really a longread, I’m just sharing with you because sharing is caring.

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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 3202 articles for us.


  1. I don’t know why this is called the anti-coloring book but I had the anti-coloring book as a child so yay shout out to the anti-coloring book!

  2. While I don’t agree with them on everything, both the Green brothers are kind, giving and inclusive. They are aware of their privilage and work very hard to give back and help wherever they can. I’ve learned a ton from their videos on Vlog Brothers, Sci-show, and Crash course. I highly recommend everyone watch John’s video about whether or not people deserve success and failure.

    People who know they are lucky and blessed and realize they have been given an amazing oppourtunity and responsibility from their successes are the ones I can admire. I have no fucking time for prima donnas and people who think they succeeded because they personally are such hot shit and owe no one anything.

  3. The Maclean’s article strikes me as a cliché case of Canadians looking to America’s blunders to help us feel better about ourselves. Not that anti-science American culture doesn’t appear relatively extreme but our government has done almost everything possible to silence scientists who critique the tar sands development and in fact our federal government policy on climate change is actually arguably worse than yours at this point. American evangelicals make a more interesting focus than our poorly regulated and dangerous oil industries and we really love to point at them instead.
    Riese, though you’re an honorary Canadian, I’m not sure how well you know Maclean’s because it’s a magazine most of us don’t read outside the waiting room at the doctor’s office and you don’t presumably enjoy the benefits of our health care system.Then again your Canadian appreciation is pretty extensive so maybe you are au courant, it wouldn’t surprise me. For those non-Canadians who aren’t so familiar, Maclean’s is actually a pretty conservative, racist magazine disguising itself as ‘moderate’ and should only be trusted as a representative of what our corporate media publishes; critical analysis is generally lacking. Notorious Islamophobe Mark Steyn is a regular contributor. Not long ago they published an article about how universities are becoming ‘too Asian’. In one article about the essential corruption of French Canadians, they cite Samuel Huntington as if he were a credible theorist. I would advise straddlers to approach Maclean’s with caution.

    • this info about macleans sounds familiar like something marni has told me before and probably will be delighted to find out that i have since forgotten, but i think i was lead to the article by a source i trusted and that’s why i gave it my time and at first i was into it and then the second half i was like what the fuck, dude? because it gradually just got ugly. basically it felt like the author would like americans to kill everybody who isn’t ridiculously intelligent and extensively educated and dedicated to intellectual pursuits.

      anyhow i will advise the straddlers to approach macleans with caution, thank you!

  4. I’ll admit it, there’s a part of me that sort of wants to experience a Full Moon Party. There’s also another part of me that thinks “I’m too old for this shit,” and knows that the reality is far more sleazy and pathetic and basically like a frat party than the “drinking/rave on the beach” version that I imagine.
    Have you ever read the novel “The Beach” by Alex Garland? He mentions this kind of thing (drunk/high/otherwise wasted Europeans passed out all over the place) in the context of “the traveler’s paradox” — if you find a place or a thing that’s incredibly awesome, do you spread the word so other people can enjoy it, or keep quiet, because more people will inevitably spoil it? It seems like that’s pretty much what has happened with Koh Phangan.

  5. I have been reading a lot (a LOT) about John Green lately, because I work in kidlit and I have to know about this kind of stuff. Young Adult publishing and the John Green Effect is a good article. Kelly Jensen has been saying a lot of smart things about the whole situation, too; I’d start with her Reductive Approach to YA article.

    Personally, I enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, I hated Looking for Alaska, and I do think we need to talk about industry sexism – even (or especially) in industries that are predominantly women, male privilege is a thing that exists.

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