What I Read

27Aug10

The Atlantic Wire has done a cool feature where they get pundits and bloggers to talk about what they read on a daily basis, so I figured I’d talk a little about why I read.

Normally I don’t have much time in the morning (nor do many who start their job at 8 and like to sleep) so I don’t really get anything done before work. If I do have a few minutes, I check HuffPo and Facebook to make sure the world isn’t ending or my world isn’t ending. I wish I were kidding, but in a post 9/11 world (I hate saying that) I always sort of suspect some disaster.

If the world is as ok as it can be, I make my way to the bus with a book in hand. It’s been a lot of Murakami recently, which kicked off with the superb Kafka on the Shore. After that it was Underground, a collection of interviews with victims of the 1995 sarin gassing of the Tokyo subway committed by the cult Aum. I was impressed with how the book was edited; Murakami mostly lets the victims speak for themselves, but guides them in a way in which they seem to borrow his voice. Towards the end of the book, he interviews some wayward members of Aum and engages them a bit more harshly. Well worth reading to see how other countries react to terrorism, but also to just hear some remarkable displays of humanity. Following that, I breezed through After Dark and now I’m on to his memoir What I Talk about When I Talk about Running.

When I settle in, I don’t really have a set routine. I continually check HuffPo and Drudge. Drudge and the Corner are normally my go to right-wing sites. Chances are, if your reading this, you know how much time I spend at the Atlantic. I’ve been enjoying McArdle a lot more recently, as even though I disagree with her a lot, she’s determined not to use talking points which is a major plus. Also, I can say this here I guess, but how boring are Josh Green and Clive Crook, right? At least Jim Fallows is still holding it down for the straight white guys, heh.

Foreign Policy is where I go, for uh, foreign policy.

I’ll read Slate still, but reluctantly. The only people worth reading there are Weigel and Scocca, and Weigel has his poor moments too. Occasionally they’ll have a cultural piece worth reading.

Speaking of that—I’ll stop by the AV club every once in a while, but mostly for news. I find their episode recaps nearly unbearable, never really adding much in terms of insight into whatever show/movie. I find Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes much more useful; professionals are there for a reason, and it’s nice to know what a reviewers tendencies and tastes are.

The AV Club interviews are ok, but sometimes they are a little too aware they are a hip internet site.  The IMDB wire also helps in terms of entertainment news.

Sports–gotta hit ESPN daily for Soccernet–those guys are the best sports writers in the business right now not named Martin Samuel. James Walker does a great service to AFC North fans. I’ll hit Sky as well, and a number of Chelsea sites.

Random other sites–Cracked’s lists are great and I’ve been known to spend an hour clicking through them. Buzzfeed is my shit when it comes to internet aggregation. I still don’t do Twitter because, really, I don’t need it. I’ve tried using it for news in the past and it just doesn’t feel right…like a CNN.com you can’t control. Plus I don’t need any more childhood heroes ruined by it, right Mr. Corgan?

Oh yeah. I try to click through my blogroll as often as I can. Emily Hauser’s my most frequent stop as she updates the most, but also love when Kyl0Pod puts something down. He’s a really inventive thinker and he’d make a great next generation journalist.

Anyway, that’s more or less me. I have no routine as I hate them and believe it’s against the spirit of the internet to have one.

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One Response to “What I Read”

  1. Thank you — you are very kind!

    (And now I feel even worse about those recent couple of days when I couldn’t get it together to post…).


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