Recommended Reading

Women dressed as handmaids promoting the Hulu original series "The Handmaid's Tale" stand along a public street during the South by Southwest Music Film Interactive Festival 2017 in Austin

In the past half a year I have read two Margaret Atwood novels (the Handmaid’s Tale and Hag Seed). So imagine my delight when the always fantastic Boston Review published an interview with the amazing woman herself and Junot Diaz. If your unfamiliar with Diaz, he is the author of several amazing novels himself, including the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which I read a few years ago.

Much has been said and written about Margaret Atwood and the Handmaid’s Tale as of late, many of which by people smarter and more eloquent than I. The interview is an amazing combination of great literary minds.

Read the article here

Independent Assignment // MLK Day

Oh, MLK day. One of the stranger “holidays” in my opinion. A day where many college students will be returning to school, a day off that has students celebrating. A day where many people pretend to remember and honor a truly great man; a day where others honestly remember him and have deep thoughts about the values he set forth. Then there are the people who I think really do this day justice and spend their time doing service work in their communities.

Today will not be a normal blog post. Instead, it’s an independent assignment. Please take some time out of your day to listen to Martin Luther King Jr.’s  iconic speech, and to read a separate piece of literature, the Letter from Birmingham Jail. Today I encourage you to think critically about your world and your life, and the events that are happening in your country.

 

The letter is available here as a PDF

Recommended Reading: Magazine Edition

I don’t know how many people actually read physical magazines anymore. Presumable some people do or they would have fizzled up fast. Especially because I rock the dorm life, I do all my reading online. Like sensible people, obviously. I used to get Rolling Stone delivered to my house, back when they had credible content, and I know my dad reads TIME. But he’s also a social studies teacher and put the covers up in his classroom. I don’t know how much reading he actually does.

There are many, many online magazines and news websites. Clearly not all of them are made equally. I’m a dedicated reader of exactly three:

WIRED MAGAZINE

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Why should I read this? As a citizen of the 21st century, we all should make an effort to understand what is happening in the tech world. Not, to say, that Wired is all about technology. They do editorials and global affairs, but many of them are through a tech lense. The reporting is smart and thorough, and their twitter feed is updated frequently so you won’t miss anything if you don’t go to their homepage. There might be a paywall, but I have honestly never encountered this, though some of their subscription ads imply that there is one.

Where to start: This Silk Road story is two parts and long, but it’s one hell of a piece of reporting. The illustrations are superb and the writing style is extremely compelling and reminiscent of Capote’s In Cold Blood in terms of narrative structure. Not to mention that Silk Road and the deep web is fascinating. A great read for the bus or train. Nick Bilton, who helped write the story, is turning the case into a book set to come out next year (infuriatingly I couldn’t find anything else on it).

VICE

 

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Why should I read this? Vice is probably the craziest place on the internet. They do real news, of course, but the strength of the mag are editorials from people who have been places. Everything from gay hookups in Qatar, to illegal abortions in Argentina, to an analysis on if Donald Trump is a fascist. There is no fear. On Vice you can find stories that will be nowhere else. Right now the site’s top banner is an article on what it’s like to drop LSD in a high-security prison. How’s that for intrigue?

Where to start? I recommend just going to the homepage and seeing what interests you but the article that comes to mind is How I Figured out the Rules of my Three-Way Relationship , which is, you guessed it, an editorial about a man who is in a relationship with two people. Together. All the time. It may be just me, but stories like this aren’t told, and I’m so happy Vice is around so they can be.

BOSTON GLOBE

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Ok, to be fair, you’re probably not going to read the Boston Globe unless you’re from New England. It’s the only genuine news site that I visit with any frequency, however. It also has a paywall, five per month? week? Five per something, I know that. It’s most famous for its reporting on the molestation of Catholic priests, which brings the Globe back into the news again because of the movie that’s coming out soon (Spotlight). If you’re interested in learning the backstory behind the case, the Globe has put together a little guide on the story and movie that you can read here