Dublin: 14 °C Saturday 13 July, 2024
Claire L Evans via Flickr

Sitdown Sunday 7 deadly reads

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

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. The real genius of Steve Jobs
Malcolm Gladwell on why the Apple legend wasn’t an inventor – he was something more subtle (The New Yorker).

Jobs always found it difficult to furnish the places where he lived. His previous house had only a mattress, a table, and chairs. He needed things to be perfect, and it took time to figure out what perfect was. This time, he had a wife and family in tow, but it made little difference. “We spoke about furniture in theory for eight years,” [said] his wife, Laurene Powell

2. The mystery of the radioactive cargo
Andrew Curry on the shipping container that arrived in Genoa emitting radiation – and why nobody knew what it was (Wired).

As he stood in the morning sun listening to that sound, Montagna realized that one of the containers in front of him held a lethal secret. But was that secret merely a slow-motion radioactive industrial accident — or a bomb, one that could decimate the Italian city’s entire 15-mile waterfront?

3. My mother’s murder
Laurel Saville on the tragedy of her mother Anne, and how hippie happiness spiralled into something darker (LA Times).

When the picture was taken, my mother had been living on and off the streets for about six years. She had been drinking large quantities of cheap red wine and smoking packs of unfiltered cigarettes for more than 20 years. She hadn’t had regular meals, health care or showers for more than five.

4. Inside the mind of an octopus
Sy Montgomery on the bizarre world of the species also known as “devil fish” (Orion Magazine).

Athena’s melon-sized head bobbed to the surface. Her left eye (octopuses have one dominant eye like humans have a dominant hand) swivelled in its socket to meet mine. “She’s looking at you,” Dowd said.

5. The 5,000-year-old crime
Stephen S Hall on the struggle to solve a real cold case – the killing of a 5,000-year-old man locked in ice (National Geographic).

While Egarter Vigl poked and prodded the body with knowing, sometimes brusque familiarity, a handful of other scientists and doctors gathered around in the cramped space, preparing to do the unthinkable: defrost the Iceman.

6. Held in Gaddafi’s prison
Reporter Clare Morgana Gillison on being taken captive by Gaddafi loyalists in Libya (The Atlantic).

I saw Anton lying on the ground, his blood darkening the sand, as soldiers tied our hands and piled Jim, Manu, and me on the floor of one truck. The squad leader, sweat pouring off his face, sat on my legs. “You make patrol, you make patrol!” he shouted gleefully, slapping my ass again and again.


In March 2001, George Gurley wrote about the bizarre world of the ‘furries’ – a subculture obsessed with animal characters – for Vanity Fair.

For a while, he concedes, he was a “plushie,” which is the word for a person who has a strong—usually erotic—attachment to stuffed animals. He even wrote a plushie newsletter for a while, but gave it up. “It doesn’t really interest me now,” he says. “I just like to have the stuffed animals around.

The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by>