- The New York Times Company | CHARLES McGRATH | 4/3/11 | 7 min2 reads3 comments9.5The New York Times CompanyCHARLES McGRATH|4/3/11|7 min2 reads9.5bill13 hours ago
Even Steinbeck’s son John said he was convinced that his father never talked to many of the people he wrote about, and added, “He just sat in his camper and wrote all that [expletive].”
- Longreads | 2/5/20 | 12 min3 reads2 comments9.3Longreads2/5/20|12 min3 reads9.3bill13 hours ago
Ten. I’ve been following the hullabaloo over American Dirt quite closely. This is an even bigger story about the source of Oprah’s power. It’s amazing.
Also, Susan Sontag is everywhere, which is always a good thing. Her words are poetry.
- The Paris Review | Benjamin Nugent | 1/6/20 | 8 min1 read1 comment10The Paris ReviewBenjamin Nugent|1/6/20|8 min1 read10bill1 day ago
Perfect. Writers on writers and writing.
The whole creature is a sack full of brains.
I need to switch into a writing mode with a lot more structure.
- Update (2/16/2020):
This is the PERFECT companion piece: Elliott Spencer by George Saunders
- Update (2/16/2020):
- The Wirecutter | Ganda Suthivarakom | 2/11/20 | 17 min8 reads10 comments8.5The WirecutterGanda Suthivarakom|2/11/20|17 min8 reads8.5bill1 day ago
- Decentralization is good.
- “Third-party” marketplaces are awesome.
I don’t like or use Amazon because I don’t like stuff. Especially new stuff. But when I do need something, it works perfectly. So why all the frustration?
This article was above average, but on the topic of fake stuff, the best ever is There’s No Such Thing as a Free Watch by Jenny Odell. Odell succeeds precisely where this article fails. She brings empathy. She introspects.
In the 2010s, the spread of misinformation and “fake news” meant learning to consume articles and news programs with skepticism.
As far as I know, there’s more learning to do there.
- Marker | Sahil Lavingia | 2/7/19 | 17 min5 reads4 comments9.3MarkerSahil Lavingia|2/7/19|17 min5 reads9.3bill3 days ago
YES. Okay. Thanks to this article, today is going to be a good work day! :) This is packed with insights (and mantras) that are extremely relevant to me right now as ceo of Readup.
Thankfully, my co-founder and I have a very “receptive” approach to our company. We’re excited to see what the market will bear, assuming we do what we need to do in the coming years. And we’re open to anything and everything. We think we’ve got a billion dollar idea, but there are another million ways that this thing can go, and it’s worth reckoning, in advance, with all of those different potential journeys.
Ok, now back to growing Readup :)
- The New York Times Company | Norimitsu Onishi | 2/11/20 | 15 min6 reads3 comments9.3The New York Times CompanyNorimitsu Onishi|2/11/20|15 min6 reads9.3bill4 days ago
This is fascinating. Read it. Share your thoughts.
#metoo began as a way for the voiceless to have a voice.
Conveniently, “voice” and “space” aren’t zero-sum games. There is room for everyone to be heard and understood. Though that sometimes seems challenging, even impossible, I believe it’s the only, inevitable way forward.
Hopefully, #metoo continues to evolve towards openness, dialogue, and understandings.
My (small, weakly held, borderline-casual) opinion: I felt one way until I got to the very end of this piece. Then I thought, “Wow! F*ck Matzneff for not even reading Springers book.” Engage!
New York Times reporting is, as usual, an A+. I can’t believe this reporter tracked this guy down at his favorite cafe, chatted for three hours, and got this incredible coverage. (The writing is a B-. It’s a hot take. A “newspaper” take. I loathe the choppiness, quick paragraphs, and too many names and characters. NYTimes should do more storytelling, even with the “news.”)
- An Interview With the Woman Who Wrote the Viral 1,000-Word Job Listing for a “Household Manager/Cook/Nanny”Slate | Ruth Graham | 1/25/20 | 8 min13 reads6 comments8.5SlateRuth Graham|1/25/20|8 min13 reads8.5bill4 days ago
- CNN | Rob Picheta, CNN | 2/10/20 | 3 min10 reads6 comments8.9CNNRob Picheta, CNN|2/10/20|3 min10 reads8.9bill4 days ago
I'm not the least bit surprised that this gentleman was so woke. He was a reader, writer, and thinker. He kept a journal, and was clearly very mindful about how he was getting informed.
There's too much energy around this idea of the "lowly" farmer. People who work the land -- grow life, make food -- these are elevated individuals.
- Organizer Sandbox | Deep Dave | 12/16/19 | 2 min23 reads11 comments9.2Organizer SandboxDeep Dave|12/16/19|2 min23 reads9.2bill4 days ago
AWESOME! I'm so stoked to have Deep Dave in the Readup community.
Just like Dave, I have been trying to better understand how I learn. And I'm trying to improve the way I consume information, especially over the internet.
I too read Cal Newport's Digital Minimalism. In fact, I was with Cal the night before the book launched. He shook my hand, signed my book, and said he was interested in Readup (which was then still called "reallyread.it.") Pretty surreal memory at this point. All of that happened before I started living in a way that can only be described as radically-digitally-minimal. These days, I'm at peace with the black mirror, which I still keep at a safe distance. For the most part, I know how I want to dance with the devil. It's fun.
Great to have you here, Dave. Keep reading and writing! Your English is great!
- AUX | Ines Bellina | 2/10/20 | 4 min6 reads6 comments8.4AUXInes Bellina|2/10/20|4 min6 reads8.4bill4 days ago
I definitely want to read In the Land of Men. That's a provocative title. Millions of people will read this book for one simple reason: to get closer look into the brain and soul of David vis-a-vis David and Adrienne.
I can't get enough of stuff like this, which alternates between mundane and steamy, always in a weird, sad way:
"Miller was 26 when a 36-year-old Wallace came into her life. The intellectual chemistry between them is alluring, and there’s something satisfying in her ability to hold her own with someone who, for all his faults, was incredibly talented. Miller is clear, however, on what a nightmare Wallace was as a romantic partner. Needy, dismissive, manipulative, and demanding, he gave her backhanded compliments and held grudges.
- POLITICO | 24 min1 read1 comment7.0POLITICO24 min1 read7.0bill4 days ago
Interesting. I think Bitecofer is 100% right to focus on turnout versus swing. That actually seems obvious and undeniable.
“I am arguing radical shit, OK?” Bitecofer told me over a series of phone calls over the past several weeks in her Virginia office. “What I am saying is that almost all of this shit is set in stone for three years, that almost none of the shit that people are hanging onto, in terms of daily articles, or polls, or the economy or incumbency or ideology is really worth that much.”
I don’t think that that’s “radical.” In fact, I think that that’s what almost everyone (who doesn’t work in politics) thinks.
- Bloomberg | Anders Melin | 2/11/20 | 7 min3 reads2 comments9.0BloombergAnders Melin|2/11/20|7 min3 reads9.0bill5 days ago
I want to do this. Who’s with me?!?
“By flooding the consciousness with gnawing unpleasantness, pain provides a temporary relief from the burdens of self-awareness” and helps participants “create the story of a fulfilled life,” the authors wrote.
Fatigue strips away many petty worries that occupy the mind.
- The New York Review of Books | Joyce Carol Oates | 38 min3 reads1 comment9.0The New York Review of BooksJoyce Carol Oates|38 min3 reads9.0bill5 days ago
First published in 1999!
God knows why I’m reading about JonBenet Ramsey at 6am, but I totally loved this. Anything written by Joyce Carol Oates, one of America’s most celebrated living writers, is sure to be excellent.
I was too young to experience the JonBenet craziness in all its glory. Utterly wild! The criminal justice system is (still) broken, exactly as Oates described decades ago.
- harpers.org | 12/1/19 | 9 min4 reads4 comments9.3harpers.org12/1/19|9 min4 reads9.3bill5 days ago
Spectacular. I could read about Minimalism forever.
The shadow is real. The purpose of living with less (stuff and distractions) is to get closer to an embrace with life’s most fundamental essence. That doesn’t always mean “light” though. Sometimes the deepest truths are... dark. Then again, I’m with Plath — shadows are beautiful.
- The New York Times Company | MJ Franklin | 2/10/20 | 5 min3 reads3 comments10The New York Times CompanyMJ Franklin|2/10/20|5 min3 reads10bill5 days ago
Dear aspiring novelist, Stop thinking so much. (Write it!) With love, You
- Attention Activist | 8 min8 reads10 comments9.2Attention Activist8 min8 reads9.2bill1 week ago
This is an amazing testimonial for Readup:
I’ll admit, the first time I saw a ReadUp post described as a “29 min read”, I was totally scared off. But after I came back and actually read it, it dawned on me: this app solves a real problem.
- The Atlantic | Sebastian Mallaby | 12/19/19 | 11 min2 reads1 comment8.0The AtlanticSebastian Mallaby|12/19/19|11 min2 reads8.0bill1 week ago
I knew nothing about Krugman before reading this piece, which I enjoyed, but in general I'd rather hear perspectives from people who are in the action, rather than just studying things from the outside. Plus, ranting and moralizing aren't good looks.
- MIT News | 2/6/20 | 5 min1 read1 comment9.0MIT News2/6/20|5 min1 read9.0bill1 week ago
I can't think of anything more urgent than figuring out how to turn the ocean into healthy, safe drinking water. This is cool:
The key to the system’s efficiency lies in the way it uses each of the multiple stages to desalinate the water. At each stage, heat released by the previous stage is harnessed instead of wasted.
Also, it seems like a huge commercial opportunity, so it's surprising that some academics with pvc pipe are setting the curve on this. 🤷♂️
- The Hustle | 1/19/20 | 9 min21 reads8 comments9.4The Hustle1/19/20|9 min21 reads9.4bill1 week ago
You see fast food places all over super poor communities, and you know that nobody nearby is worth the million dollars necessary to own those chains. It’s a bit sinister. I think I like the Chick-fil-A model. I love Sundays off.
- The Baffler | 1/7/19 | 15 min4 reads6 comments8.8The Baffler1/7/19|15 min4 reads8.8bill1 week ago
Cancerian here! ♋️ I approve this message.(Amazing article.)
this is the foundation of the vogue for in-depth astrology: as in fiction, its fakeness allows it to inhabit an intuitive, shifting truth.
Whoaaaaaa. Yessss. The cosmos created us. And we’re all going to turn back into stardust. All around us, bundles of energy are moving in patterns. At a certain point in the last few years, I realized that I’m hunting for cheat codes, in real life, as though in a simulation, or giant game. It’s a way to feel alive. It’s something to work on. It’s a framework. (Just realized how much I love that word: frame-work.)
Anyway, if you’re not into astrology, that’s chill. I’m not either. But there’s zero reason to hate on the folks who are trying, in earnest, to get tiny glimpses of the big patterns.
Oyler! Oyler! Oyler!
- The New Yorker | Charles Bethea | 1/27/20 | 38 min6 reads9 comments10The New YorkerCharles Bethea|1/27/20|38 min6 reads10bill1 week ago
Oh my god. If 2019 was all about true crime thrillers with dystopian vibes, 2020 is all about true dystopian thrillers with crime vibes. The world is absurd!
The news information is very scarce now. It’s not like it used to be. I don’t know what happened.
“Most people don’t want to be confused with the facts.”
“Do you believe everything you read?” he asked. “What’s the truth? Who wrote it? Where’d they get their information from? It’d be better if I knew the person.”
Simpson told me that she was skeptical of a lot of what she sees now. “Not everything that’s printed is true,” she said, and TV wasn’t much use, either. “You’ve got people who sit down and suck the whole mess up and never dig into what is true. They just swallow it.”
My favorite sentence is “Let’s don’t pick on the town hall.” That's pure gold because it's exactly what the reader is thinking at that exact moment too. And it’s a great layup into the next paragraph, which positively blooms.
My (personal) hot take: For almost a year, I’ve been driving all over the country, in my truck, living in these “news deserts” for days or weeks at a time, getting to know people. I think, for the most part, that the author and I came to the same conclusion: news is dead, but it always has been, and the people are hip to that, even if the media isn’t. Also, despite dire circumstances (accelerated by climate change) there is hope; change is on the horizon.
OK. Now let's get this thing to AOTD! 📈
- Y Combinator | Aaron Harris | 4 min1 read1 comment8.0Y CombinatorAaron Harris|4 min1 read8.0bill1 week ago
Nuggets like these are extremely helpful for me right now:
- There's no single correct answer.
- Fundraising is never the deciding factor in the success of a company.
- Most investors are fine. (Don't over think it.)
Founders raise money in order to hit specific milestones. Founders need to raise enough money to actually hit those milestones, with some buffer to account for mistakes or delays. While the press loves to talk about gigantic fundraises, smart founders raise enough to succeed, and not more.
- Believer Magazine | 22 min6 reads5 comments9.7Believer Magazine22 min6 reads9.7bill1 week ago
I read this paragraph about six times:
Why do this? Why drag up every detail of something I have mostly forgotten? One answer is that I’m trying to finally pay off some of the interest on a debt. I don’t think it is an accident that I find myself fixated on the economics of the situation. I was worried all the time about money then, about stuffing enough cash into an envelope to make rent, about covering the difference from last month. Lately, I am more worried about a different kind of debt, the one that happens when you let someone else do the work of always telling the story, of remembering the details, of arguing and working for the thing you know is right. I find myself worrying about how to get enough cash into that envelope.
- Update (2/5/2020):
I still can’t get enough of the second to last sentence in that paragraph: The use of “work,” not once, but twice. And no comma after arguing, thus “arguing and working” appear hand-in-hand, which is strange.
“The thing you know is right.” Ahhhh!
Also, the title is 🔥🔥🔥🔥
- Update (2/5/2020):
- Cosmopolitan | Sarah McClure | 1/14/20 | 17 min20 reads9 comments9.0CosmopolitanSarah McClure|1/14/20|17 min20 reads9.0bill2 weeks ago
Excruciating, but important to read.
Reminds me that I never got around to "Women Talking" by Miriam Toews, a book I've been wanting to read for a while.
Sometimes I find myself fascinated by these small, orthodox communities. But then I read stuff like this and it just sounds like 100% nightmare. It's really hard to see any light, anywhere.
- The Atlantic | Lauren Groff | 1/14/20 | 36 min8 reads5 comments9.8The AtlanticLauren Groff|1/14/20|36 min8 reads9.8bill2 weeks ago
Oh God. Yes.
I’m SO stoked that The Atlantic is publishing fiction now. This short story is a 10. It’s Mean Girls, but all grown up.
Lauren Groff FTW. I always think about Obama when I read Groff, because I know how much he loves her.
Spoilers: I loved the Hamlet-esque spy scene, where Nic hides in the bar eavesdropping. I loved everything about Dagmar. And I reallllly loved these lines, which drop like an axe, about 70% of the way through, when you know... this is about to get HELLA sexy:
You know I’d give you anything, Nic said. / Please do, Birdie said. / Nic took a deep breath, and she told Birdie the long version of the story, parceling out all the details she’d savored these years.
- The New Yorker | Nathan Heller | 1/20/20 | 24 min3 reads3 comments5.7The New YorkerNathan Heller|1/20/20|24 min3 reads5.7bill3 weeks ago
“They tell you that their products aren’t just better; they are simplifying the whole deal, changing how stuff works across society, and not a moment too soon.”
But what if it’s true!? That sentence really rocked me. The way it’s written (“They tell you that...”) is perfect. There is an art (which I need to master, quickly) of switching between reality and fantasy — quickly, honestly, and with candor. Not an easy thing to do.
The dream is:_____.
The current reality is:______.
We must discuss both at once. Not easy. But hella fun. Especially when you don’t have to fake that you really (1) believe in the dream and (2) care about it. And that you don’t even think the dream is a dream. It’s a future to make real. And your life’s work to do it.
- bill3 weeks ago
All hail Alexa! This essay bent my mind for hours. Great find.
So many incredible sentences, including:
Leaving Twitter for Instagram was like moving to Los Angeles, only cheaper.
“Literally just cleaned Parmesan cheese out of toddlers vagina.”
“I look nice and smug in this photo,” said a popular woman powerlifter I liked, “but I’m considering making a YouTube video about my recent nervous breakdown/identity crisis.”
This is brilliant:
New storefronts and restaurants were likewise optimized for the image. Considerations like comfort, accessibility, and acoustics were secondary to visual appeal. It was as if the landscape itself had dysmorphia, altering its physical appearance to fit an arbitrary standard that undermined its primary function.
Anyone who has ever used Airbnb knows exactly what the author is describing: a world made to look better than it actually is, for photos.
How was this even possible, this eternal volley between mimesis and life, mimesis and life, through which you could discover a stranger who felt like a friend, but a friend from whom you needed nothing?
- The Verge | Kaitlyn Tiffany | 2/15/18 | 7 min24 reads12 comments7.9The VergeKaitlyn Tiffany|2/15/18|7 min24 reads7.9bill3 weeks ago
8am, Tuesday morning, and I'm binging on excellent writing about dating apps. This stuff is fascinating
- London Review of Books | Lauren Oyler | 1/13/20 | 27 min6 reads9 comments9.0London Review of BooksLauren Oyler|1/13/20|27 min6 reads9.0bill4 weeks ago
Three cheers. Finally, the Jia Tolentino critique I’ve been waiting for!
Several of the articles mentioned here have appeared on Readup.
- Raptitude.com | 1/10/20 | 4 min16 reads12 comments9.0Raptitude.com1/10/20|4 min16 reads9.0bill1 month ago
It may not be a global crisis yet, but human interaction is definitely becoming rarer, and it’s hard to see how the trend will reverse itself, if each generation grows up less accustomed to face-to-face exchange than the last. I just think we should keep a protective eye out for human interaction, so it doesn’t slip away while we’re doing something else.