What I'm reading

Best journalism of 2014

Another year, another round-up of things I read online that I found amusing, though-provoking, challenging to my world view or simply validating of my smug sense of being right about everything. As with last year’s list, a piece will make the cut if I’m still thinking about it the next day (even if I’m thinking about it angrily). Some pieces are included simply because I enjoyed the writing style. The stand out publications for 2014 are The Appendix and Aeon.

This year I’ve introduced categories to make it easier for readers to ignore what they know is unlikely to interest them. The categories are fairly arbitrary but they have the advantage of showing up my biases. (Who would have thought I was such a cynic to have a whole category dedicated to the best writing on ‘nerd hubris’, and another for ‘activist hubris’? Alert: I do not think believe activism or nerdery is inherently hubristic.)

And if you only read two things from this list, make them:

  •  Andrew O’Hagan’s Ghosting: Julian Assange (London Review of Books, 6 March 2014). This is a superb piece of work from a brilliant writer who was commissioned to produce a biography of a narcissist and failed. The story of the failure becomes an eloquent biography in its own right.
  • Gene Weingarten’s The Peekaboo Paradox (The Washington Post, 22 January 2006). Technically not published in 2014, but this is when I read it. I enjoyed this piece because it reads like a fine piece of fiction.

Best writing on journalism and publishing for 2014

Best writing by or about writers and writing

Best writing on politics

Best writing on wealth inequality

Best historical writing

Best ethnographic and travel writing

Best writing on ethics and the examined life

Best writing on nerd hubris

Best writing on activist hubris

Best writing on children and parents

Best writing on sex

Most amusing writing (and photographs)

Best writing on feminism

Best writing on education and academia

Best writing on science

Best writing on language

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One thought on “Best journalism of 2014

  1. Pingback: The research academic as entrepeneur | Brave new words

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