Reading recommendations

Best of what I’ve been reading, from essays to short stories to interviews.

September 2020

An essay by The Correspondent (sewing together many facts and pieces you already knew) on how the US has for long not been a democracy but a kleptocracy: Dear news media, stop covering the US as if it’s a democracy

A brief yet painfully anguishing story in The New Yorker on how humans have been destroying our oceans’ whale populations for hundreds of years, with an ever-growing recklessness. The author Amia Srinivasan asks: What Have We Done to the Whale?

A nostalgic interview with The editor at The Paris Review, Maxine Groffsky. On her longwinded path to becoming a TPR editor and her years in their Paris office, sidelined by trips to Italian villas and last-minute visits to their printer in the Netherlands.

March 2020

The New Yorker profile on Yuval Noah Harari: Yuval Noah Harari’s History of Everyone, Ever

Essay in The Times Literary Supplement on our addiction to documenting our lives in pictures: Visually speaking: The new ubiquity of photographic images

The New Yorker story on the environmental impact of eating meat & the brands working on alternative solutions: Can a Burger Help Solve Climate Change?

An essay from the Purple Magazine’ Brain issue on how plants experience the world through their completely different body structure: Plants Know

Another essay from the same Purple Magazine issue on how our brains have become increasingly wired through technological advancements and globalization: The World Brain

An essay from Frieze on the climate impact of flying (from an art world perspective, but applies to all of us): Can the Art World Kick Its Addiction to Flying?

The New York Times story on the KitKat craze in Japan: In Japan, Kit Kat Isn’t Just a Chocolate. It’s an Obsession

Joan Didion’s Essay from the New York Times’ archive: Why I Write

Interview with Milan Kundera on the purpose of literature and his writing style: Milan Kundera, The Art of Fiction No. 81

What else to browse:

The New York Times’ section covering climate and green topics: Climate and Environment

More essays and interviews from the Purple Magazine: Latest issues

For more literary & anthropological essays: Times Literary Supplement

The interviews section of the Paris Review: Interviews