Things I Read That I Love #59: That Cosmic Biblioteca Back Home

table-with-paperHELLO and welcome to the 59th 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 Ben Affleck! 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.

Good Will Hunting: An Oral History (January 2013), by Janelle Nanos for Boston Magazine –Fifteen years after the release of the movie that made them stars, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck—along with the rest of the cast and crew—reflect in their own words on how a long-shot film by two unknowns became one of Hollywood’s biggest success stories.”

My Lost Library: Books, Exile and Identity (September 2011), by Ariel Dorfman for The Chronicle – “After I hung up, I sat there for a while in our home in Bethesda, musing about this lack of sentimentality regarding the library that had formed the cornerstone of my life. Was it because those books had vanished for me before that telephone call, had been taken from me forever, in effect, the day I had been forced to flee Chile after the 1973 military coup? Was it that I had already mourned their disappearance during the bleak nights of banishment as I reviewed the exact ethereal order in which certain favorite tomes were lodged on a shelf, and they had begun to fade from my life when, day after day, I was unable to open one page, consult one note, look up one scene from Shakespeare or Cervantes I had earmarked?” 

Is Suze Orman’s Advice Dangerous? (January 2013), by Anna Clark for The American Prospect – This is actually quite interesting! It’s an interview with the author of Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side Of The Personal Finance Industry, about how personal advice gurus shortchange us “by throwing the problem back on the individual, all-too-frequently deny or underplay the role of the greater economy on our lives.” Also talks about why women are often the target of these gurus.

Tales Out Of School (March 2008) by Sandra Tsing Loh for The Atlantic – “How a pushy, Type A mother stopped reading Jonathan Kozol and learned to love the public schools.” As a huge huge fan of Savage Inequalities, this article really made me think.

The Life & Death of The American Arcade (January 2013), by Laura June for The Verge – Did you know that pinball machines were banned in New York until 1974 because they were machines from the devil? I didn’t, but now I do.

Million-Dollar Murray (February 2006), by Malcolm Gladwell for The New Yorker – This was super interesting! I mean it’s Malcolm Gladwell but whatever. It’s about how the impact of problems like homelessness are actually easier to fix than we think because the number of people who are causing the largest drain on the system is much smaller than you think. This also applies to car emissions.

The Double Life Of A Zumba Instructor (February 2013), by Bethany McLean for Vanity Fair – Reading this is like watching one of those Investigative Criminal Shows they have on like, A&E and shit at night. You know the deal — a Zumba Instructor was secretly a prostitute and a porn star! Omg!

The Story of a Gun (January 1993), by Erik Larson for The Atlantic“After 60,000 deaths from firearms use over the past two years, America is in a gun crisis. Yet gun laws remain weak, gunmakers continue to promote killing power, and gun dealers accept no responsibility for the criminal use of what they sell.”

The Commuter Kings (December 2012), by Kevin Rose for New York Magazine – All aboard the facebook bus!

The Rape Of Men (July 2011), by Will Storr for The Guardian – Aside from the fact that this article seems to think the rape of women is well-reported and dealt with in some kind of efficient or humane way, which’s false, this article contains a lot of scary shit I didn’t know about regarding the rape of men in war, like the scope of this issue is enormous, and severely underreported.

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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 3200 articles for us.


  1. I know that these posts don’t get as many views, but I appreciate them anyway. Thanks riese.

    • I completely agree! I always love these. They’re one of my favorite things each week.

      Thank you Riese! <3

      • Mine too! I don’t always read everything, but there are always at least a couple that are relevant to my interests.

    • These posts for me are like window-shopping for things I can’t have. I always click to see what incredibly interesting articles have been linked that I definitely don’t have time to read right now, so why am I looking? Hmph.

  2. Yes, thank you Riese! I think these posts are actually one of the main reasons why my ability to read fast has increased in the past couple of months, like I can actually get through an entire TIRTIL in a couple of days at work now (hey now, I work in the service industry, so it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m slacking off, it’s all boredom and bullshit at those jobs, right?), so I’m now working through the TIRTIL archive. So many gold nuggets! Anyways, my point is, this is my favorite part of autostraddle.

  3. Re: Zumba – soooo… She’s on the internet as a porn star under her real name, advertises her services, people can easily google her and find her performances, and everyone in town knows about it. I’m pretty sure that means anything BUT that she was “living a double life”.

    • Also- there’s a line from a lawyer saying “I’ve had major drug cases where the charge has been deferred for a year if they clean up, then it’s dismissed […] why can’t this been the same?” Um, is this actually asking like ‘hey, why can’t they just not go to a prostitute for a year, that means they’re cured!” when they might have only gone once ever?

      This is just ridiculous. Prostitution should really just be legal. The woman’s running a legitimate business that makes her happy and is pretty lucrative. It’s her choice, and it’s the choice of her clients to go to her. If divorce or such happens, it’s certainly not her fault. The moralizing is absurd.

  4. I was kind bummed out by how racist/classist the “Tales Out of School” one was. As someone who worked in a South LA elementary school, where I couldn’t even scare up a whiteboard eraser, a few magic phone calls is not all it’s going to take. Sure there were some good thoughts in there, but I can’t actually trust them to be in earnest. I mean, “If integration then means gentrification, so be it.” Seriously?

    Also, word, sex work should be legal. Not going to get myself riled up with the Zumba article. D:

    positive note: but I love this column in generalllll.

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