Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 3 March, 2024
Tambako the Jaguar via Flickr

Sitdown Sunday 7 deadly reads

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

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.

1. A secret history of sexual abuse
Amos Kamil tells how the elite atmosphere of a school outside New York hid a dark secret for years (New York Times).

“It was the night of the eighth-grade dance,” he told me, “and instead of going to the gym, I went to meet him in his art studio on the fourth floor of Tillinghast. He locked the door and told me to undress.”

2.  Hunting rattlesnakes… without sight
Ryan Knighton, who is blind, describes his trip to the world’s biggest rattlesnake roundup (Vice).

Before I could even zero in on their rattles and separate them from the din of the stadium, hissing and spitting noises boomed from the PA, followed by the distinct sound of a snake strike. Then a terrible thud. Immediately I knew that the picture in my mind’s eye was correct. A critter somewhere had just eaten a microphone.

3. A graduation speech from Michael Lewis
The author tells Princeton students what lies before them – and why they shouldn’t eat the cookie (Princeton University).

Thirty years ago I sat where you sat. I must have listened to some older person share his life experience. But I don’t remember a word of it. I can’t even tell you who spoke. What I do remember, vividly, is graduation. I’m told you’re meant to be excited.

4. The transgender children
Jesse Green on what parents must do when their children want to change gender (New York magazine).

At 3, Mark asked to dress for Halloween as Dora the Explorer; his parents bargained him down to Darth Vader, which at least featured a cape. At 5, he insisted on trick-or-treating as Gabriella Montez, the High School Musical sweetheart. By then, his birthday parties were girl-only, with girl-only themes.

5. America’s last prisoner of war
Michael Hastings on what happened to the man who walked off a US Army base and into the hands of the Taliban (Rolling Stone).

On July 4th, the search effort got a break: Bowe was spotted in a village in Ghazni, about 15 miles across the mountains to the west. He was wearing khaki, with a bag covering his head, and he was being driven in a black Toyota Corolla, escorted by three to five motorcycles. But by the time troops arrived to investigate, it was too late.

6. An oral history of The Wire
Marc Spitz interviews the cast and creators of David Simon’s era-defining show, ten years after it first hit our screens (Maxim).

It was real to the point where crackheads would come up and try to cop. I had fake money, and they would come over, and an exchange would go down. I would think they were part of the crew, and I’d make the exchange. Then security would come around and be like, “No! No! No!” and break it up.


In March 2010, Kara Platoni wrote for Stanford Alumni about the pioneering scientist who asked Victorian women about sex – with surprising results.

Of the 45 women, 35 said they desired sex; 34 said they had experienced orgasms; 24 felt that pleasure for both sexes was a reason for intercourse; and about three-quarters of them engaged in it at least once a week.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

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