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Sitdown Sunday 7 deadly reads

The very best of the week’s writing from around the globe.

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair. We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour this Sunday.

1. Murder by text
David Kushner on the story of teenager Kim Proctor, and the digital trail that her friends – who were also her killers – left (Vanity Fair).

The taunts grew more aggressive and incessant, offline as well. Cam passed Kim at a bus stop and called her a bitch. He and Kruse kept teasing Kim, calling her a “rabbit killer”—words that drove her to tears when she confided about the harassment to her friends.

2. How my parents fell in love
Tod Kelly on the story his parents always told about their second date (The League of Ordinary Gentlemen)

He reached out of the car window, grabbed a side of the man’s walrus mustache in each hand and pulled as hard as he possibly could, pulling much of it right out of the follicles.

3. Inside Occupy Wall Street
Michael Greenberg goes to the protest that spawned a worldwide movement (New York Review of Books).

“Mic check!” one of the women cried, and with a unison roar the crowd repeated her words. This was “the people’s mic,” used in lieu of bullhorns, megaphones, or other amplification devices that were prohibited because the protesters had no permit.

4. I was abducted at birth
Robert Kolker on the story of 23-year-old Netty Nance, and how the woman she called Mum may have been nothing of the kind (New York Magazine).

The police believed the kidnapper must have been studying that pattern and had taken Carlina at just the right interval. They suspected a heavyset woman others had seen around the hospital for the last few months. She wasn’t a nurse, the hospital said, but had passed as one.

5. Who is defending us from bioterrorism?
Wil S Hylton tries to track down the person responsible for countering biological attacks – and comes to some disturbing conclusions (New York Times).

At this, Larsen reached into his briefcase and pulled out a small test tube. “Mr. Vice President,” he said, “it looks like this.” Inside the tube was a weaponized powder of Bacillus globigii, almost genetically identical to anthrax. “And by the way,” Larsen said, “I just smuggled this into your office.”

6. Super-sizing a city
David Devoss on the incredible growth of Shanghai, and its costs (Smithsonian)

“One of the first things I noticed was there was a man on a bicycle that came through my lane every night giving announcements: ‘Tonight the weather is cold! Please be careful,’” he says. “I had never seen anything like it! It made me feel that people were watching out for me.”


In December 2004, Julia Keller wrote about what happened when a tornado ploughed through a small town, for the Chicago Tribune.

All told, it took her less than a minute to cross Utica. Had she happened to lift her pale blue eyes to the rear view mirror as she left the city limits, she would have seen, poised there like a tableau in a snow globe just before it’s shaken up, her last intact view of the little town she loved.

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