Things I Read That I Love #4

HELLO and welcome to the fourth 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 serial killers and iCarly! 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.

I just wanna say that I’m really happy you guys are into this feature. That’s all! Also, the six of you out there who read my personal blog back in the day might be thinking to yourself, “this is kinda like auto-fun of the day, isn’t it?” because I personally had that revelation like, yesterday. Anyhow! LETS GO GADGET GO!!!

Sweet 15 (March 2009), Texas Monthly: It would seem that for some families, Quinceañeras are the new Sweet Sixteen (or Bat/r Mitzvah), which means crazy expensive shit happens here, essentially.

Document the Symbolism (Dec 2011), The Paris Review: A smartass kid actually wrote all the major writers of the time to see if they really did intend to imbue their work with the symbolism English teachers ask their students to uncover. Includes amazing actual letters from Ayn Rand, Jack Kerouac, Ralph Ellison, John Updike and more. Seriously you must click!!!

In the Life of The Wire (Oct 2010), The New York Review of BooksLorrie Moore on The Wire, which is probably the best television show of all time. So what we have here is one of my favorite writers of all time and one of my favorite teevee shows of all time, together. (Like when she wrote about Friday Night Lights!)

The Good Girl, Miranda Cosgrove (March 2011), New York Times Magazine: I knew absolutely nothing about iCarly before picking up this magazine, which marks the second time the NYT Magazine has been my source for tween trending. (The first time was Degrassi, which I’m now obsessed with) Anyhow, it’s a compelling piece:

“If you don’t recognize Cosgrove’s name, you must not be between ages 2 and 14, the parent of such a child or, possibly, British (nearly 8 percent of England’s population tunes into “iCarly”). You’re also not of much interest to Nickelodeon, which aims for the eyeballs, as well as the prodigious pocket change, of today’s media-hungry tweens. “iCarly” is the network’s most popular show among that desirable demographic… “

The Seduction of Jane Doe (Nov 1994), Texas Monthly: What happens when a teacher takes up an affair with a student and everybody looks the other way — a precedent-setting case.

The Soundtrack of Your Life: Muzak in The Realm of Retail Theater (April 2006), The New Yorker: “Moe’s Southwest Grill, for example, wants only songs by Roy Orbison, Jimi Hendrix, and other artists who are dead.”

Three At Last (December 2011), GQ: Have you seen Paradise Lost and/or its sequel with the story of the “West Memphis Three”? Either way, what happened to these guys is fucked, but now they’re finally free.

If The Serial Killer Gets Us, He Gets Us, (December 2011), Texas Monthly: I’ve actually read two stories about this case but can’t find the first one. This one focuses on Darcus Shorten, the brave investigator who pursued the case of a serial killer of prostitutes that nobody else wanted to touch.

Picture Me Not Posting (October 2011), The Morning News: A writer asks himself “If distractions poison a writer’s ambitions, then surely a summer with no internet access is the antidote?” and sets out to answer that.

Another thing I’ve started reading a lot of since registering Autostraddle as an LLC are articles about start-ups, successful businesses and various entrepreneurs, regardless of industry. Sometimes they turn out to be totally irrelevant to my business interests but interesting nonetheless. I’ve read three recently about the food retail industry that I found compelling as a consumer:

It’s a WaWa World (June 2011), Philadelphia Magazine: “By now, it’s obvious that Wawa, our homegrown convenience-store chain, has achieved the level of cult-like customer devotion that every consumer brand on the globe dreams about. To build a world-class cult, you need a core of gung-ho zealots and a mass of zombie followers, and Wawa is fully loaded in both categories.”

Inside the Secret World of Trader Joe’s (August 2010), CNN Money:  The genius of Trader Joe’s is staying a step ahead of Americans’ increasingly adventurous palates with interesting new items that shoppers will collectively buy in big volumes.

How Whole Foods “Primes You” To Shop (September 2011), Fast Company: Have you ever been primed? I mean has anyone ever deliberately influenced your subconscious mind and altered your perception of reality without your knowing it? Whole Foods Market, and others, are doing it to you right now.


gossip girl (which, by the way, I first heard of by reading this article in New York Magazine.)

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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 3223 articles for us.


  1. I’ve got to say, I’m relieved that there wasn’t any dirt on Miranda Cosgrove. I kind of love iCarly, but only because of the lesbian subtext. Any other Cam shippers? No?/

  2. Just read the piece on the serial killers done by the texas monthly. It is frightening considering all the predators that were around the women 1 yikes but 3? I was struck by the fact that the detectives were working without “profiles” done by the FBI. It was just plain on dogged unglamorous police work. Done by a physically diminutive soft spoken detective. who hung in there for 5 years.

  3. might i recommend tru crime library? it was were i learnt of US first serial killer and the white city. lots of articles

  4. I have a job which involves mostly sitting at my desk waiting for someone to need something from me. Please don’t stop writing this series for a while?

  5. I have not commented in forever [forevs], but I came out of hibernation to tell you that I love reading things that you love, because we have similar taste in reading material. And this does indeed remind me of auto-fun and I also love that. Love, love, love. Okay,bye.

  6. I really love this column/series of articles btw. You make me feel so intelligent! And I am actually improving my brain!
    *gets to reading*

  7. Not allowed to read The Seduction of Jane Doe. =/ I need a password for it.

    And it seemed so interesting!

    • you just have to register, you don’t have to pay or anything. it’s worth it, they don’t send you emails and the texas monthly has the best stuff

  8. I wasn’t allowed to read it either :(

    Maybe it’s worth the register?

    Loved the Trader Joe article…I wish I lived near one (I used to, so I know I am missing out)

  9. just bought a cookbook called “i <3 trader joe's," so that article was pretty relevant to my interests. yay!

  10. so gooood. particularly for someone recently single and now alone on a friday night in a foreign country :( books/internet/cat, will you really always be there for me?

    howeverrr, I wanted to mention that quinceañeras are not exactly a new thing in terms of being the Latin American equivalent of 16 sixteen, it seems that what’s new however is the crazy expensive shit. But that’s comparatively new for sweet sixteens too. And weddings. slash life in general? So as much as I love gawking at the crrrrazy quinceañera magazines next to the bridal magazines in Panamericana (since I currently live in Bogotá), perhaps “why lavish quinceañeras have suddenly become so popular” is not very complicated: the consumer culture has turned the world to crap.

    • although thinking more, what *is* interesting about this particular article is that it is a source of Latin pride for these very Americanized girls (as opposed to their mothers, very Latin girls who wanted to be American). But still, why they can be so lavish in both here and the states is definitely that “image of success” thing.

  11. I too am really loving this new feature. I enjoy these long-form pieces but considering the many hours I spend on the internet never went looking for them and just felt lucky stumbling upOn them. So I’m glad to have some new stories and sources (texas monthly-who would have guessed) to check out. Also recently discovered byliner dot com and it has a lot of great recommendations and you can follow the registered authors. They also have some of their own original material you can pay for if you’re interested.

  12. Some of those responses to the kid who sent out the symbolism survey are amazing. Ayn Rand was such a bitch! I wish they had posted the whole Isaac Asimov and Iris Murdoch responses, I would have loved to read those.

  13. The piece about the Houston murders is so amazing. I’m from Vancouver where dozens of sex workers disappeared from the downtown eastside before any investigation happened seriously, and then it was dragged out and mishandled for years. So much crap with the cops not following tips, dropping balls, not giving a shit, etc etc etc. The missing women’s inquiry is finally happening now, and community groups are being blocked from participation.

    This is all to say. That it’s amazing what can happen when a female cop has the authority and compassion to take these cases seriously. Also amazing that she had worked as a decoy sex worker. Really says a ton about the importance of female cops, esp advocates with first hand experience.

  14. Document the symbolism and the good girl were delightful.I look forward to reading the rest after I’m done with the stuff I’m actually suppose to read…

    I like you,nytimes: ‘An article on Page 32 this weekend about Miranda Cosgrove, the teenage star of the “iCarly” television show, and the difficulties that child stars have when they grow up, misspells the surname of a young actress who recently ended up in rehab after suffering emotional stress. She is Demi Lovato, not Lavato.’

  15. Loooove that symbolism thing. Definitely seems like something my smartass high school self could’ve done. And Ralph Ellison seems like the very nicest, while Rand’s taste for gratuitous cruelty comes through here as ever (why answer at all?).

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