Things I Read That I Love #275: The Basic Self-Estrangement of Growing Up

HELLO and welcome to the 275th 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 Grand Theft Auto! 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.

What the Hell Happened to Darius Miles?, by Darius Miles for The Player’s Tribune, October 2018

This is everything a good personal essay should be — an engaging voice that made me laugh out loud and also made me sad in parts and also set the scene and made me think and made me remember ’90s NBA basketball.

Grounds For Return, by Wayne Drehs for ESPN, May 2018

I ended up here after googling the appeals attorney featured in season two of Making a Murderer on Netflix and landing in a k-hole of “exonerated prisoners.” Nevest Coleman spent 24 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit because the body was found in his basement. This is how that happened and how he eventually got out.

Video Games: The Addiction, by Tom Bissell for The Guardian, March 2010

Tom Bissell had several books and heaps of essays under his prolific writer belt when he descended into an extensive hibernation devoted entirely to cocaine and Grand Theft Auto, which he does not regret one bit. It both sounds insane and is insane and made for a remarkably vivid, affecting piece of writing.

Adult taste can be demanding work – so hard, in fact, that some of us, when we become adults, selectively take up a few childish things, as though in defeated acknowledgment that adult taste, with its many bewilderments, is frequently more trouble than it is worth. Few games have more to tell us about this adult retreat into childishness than the Grand Theft Auto series.

I Remember You, by Adrienne Sharp for Tin House, September 2018

He was more than brilliant, more than talented, more than handsome, but he’d inherited his father’s bipolar disorder which he refused to manage with drugs, preferring instead to outwit the illness by quitting everything and everyone that mattered to him and running somewhere else to start over again, hopefully where his own dark moods couldn’t find him. He did this again and again. In his twenties, this seemed romantic, adventurous—he left one college for another, left one graduate writing program for another and another and then another.

The Case of Jane Doe Ponytail, by Dan Barry and Jeffrey E. Singer, photographs and video by Todd Heisler, for The New York Times, October 2018

A divinely and intricately told story of a tragedy — a Chinese immigrant and sex worker who jumped to her death as police were storming her building, and how her family is still looking for answers, and about the culture of 40th Road in Flushing, Queens — there’s just so much in here, it’s just so well done.

My Life With a Sleep Disorder That Makes Me Nocturnal, by Ilana Strauss for The Cut, January 2018

Wow I related to so much of this story about a person who has “delayed sleep phase disorder.”

“The Virgin Suicides” Still Holds The Mysteries of Adolescence, by Emma Cline for The New Yorker, October 2018

I loved this film, I loved this book, and this piece is apparently the introduction to the new edition of The Virgin Suicides, which as I have mentioned, I loved fervently, just like the boys loved the Lisbon girls.

The world of “The Virgin Suicides” was gothic and mundane, just like the world of teen-agers, with our desire to catalogue and make meaning out of any sign or symbol, even the mildest of occurrences taking on great portent. It was exhausting to live that way, believing in the significance of every feeling, tracking every minor emotional shift. But still: sometimes I miss it.

The State of the Bookstore Union, by Rebecca McCarthy for Longreads, October 2018

Apparently the people working at The Strand are not having as much fun as I used to have going to The Strand.

Unprotected, by Finlay Young for ProPublica, October 2018

The story of a white woman who went to Liberia and decided to start a charity to build schools for girls, hoping to save many of them from sexual exploitation — only to discover they were being sexual exploited by a man she’d hired to run the school. This is a long one and I ended up watching the documentary too — it’s a really upsetting white-savior-industrial-complex story — for a broader look at the issue, this Vox piece is really great.

By the way, Longreads is currently doing a fundraising drive which you should contribute to if you enjoy their work!

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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 3213 articles for us.


  1. I just discovered delayed sleep phase disorder myself recently and it was like ohhhhhhhhhhh. Wouldn’t be a problem at all if the rest of the pesky world didn’t have its little schedule fixation. ;)

  2. Powerful video game essay. So true that video games don’t come to you to be appreciated, you must go to them. It takes effort. Love that because it’s been my experience. Video games aren’t dogs, they’re cats.

  3. Holy smokes, Autostraddle is just being SO GOOD today! There is so much Saturday morning reading here! Thank you so so much- I am so far away from the community right now (so far) and there are so many great articles that tick all my boxes (how did I miss all that Brandi Carlile last week?!) Anyway. I’m gushing now, but I just wanted to say thank you, and you guys are great.

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