This time of year makes me want to make lists of bests. Best books I read. Best movies I saw. Best songs I sang in the shower. I suppose I could do worsts too, but that’s just not how I roll.
So here’s the first list of however many I feel like writing. They will be arbitrary in category, arbitrary in length, and arbitrary in order.
Best Things I Read on the Internet in 2011
- “Dear Sugar #44: How You Get Unstuck” – The Rumpus: “She had to grab like a drowning girl for every good thing that came her way and she had to swim like fuck away from every bad thing. She had to count the years and let them roll by, to grow up and then run as far as she could in the direction of her best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by her own desire to heal.”
- “The Shame of College Sports” – The Atlantic (Taylor Branch): This incredible, sprawling essay on the intersections of sport and education, class and race, economics and entertainment, managed to flip my views on the subject of paying college athletes 180 degrees.
- “My Summer at an Indian Call Center” – Mother Jones (Andrew Marantz): Chock full of fun facts, Marantz’ first person essay has all of the cultural curiosity that Outsourced lacked.
- “And That’s Why You Should Learn to Pick Your Battles” – The Bloggess: Jenny Lawson is pretty much the most popular blogger in the world (ask Obama!) and this is my favorite thing she’s ever done. I dare you not to pee your pants.
- “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?” – Mother Jones (Charlie LeDuff): This trippy journey through the remains of what feels like post-apocalyptic Detroit is enough to give credence to claim of one doctor, that bullets didn’t kill Aiyana Stanley-Jones, “the psychopathology of growing up in Detroit” did.
- “Here Be Monsters” – GQ (Michael Finkel): Three teenagers took off from the cost of an atoll called Tokelau in a tin boat with a few gallons of vodka and some coconuts. 51 days later, they were rescued.
- “Why Gay Marriage is Good for Straight America” – The Daily Beast (Andrew Sullivan): Besides the turn of phrase “soul-splintering panic,” which I can’t get out of my head, Andrew Sullivan’s take on growing up gay, emigrating to the United States, and all the hopes and dreams that that entails, is the best case I’ve read yet on why marriage is the name of the game.
Wow… this list is getting long. Let’s call this Part 1, and keep an eye out for Part 2 next week.
Got any good reads from 2011 you want to share?
Related Post: A list of all the reasons this article about millennial women quitting is stupid.
Related Post: My “5 Books” interview with Persephone Magazine.