Weekend Reading

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  • ‘Fuck You, 2016’
    A chorus of celebrities and people on the street echoed host John Oliver’s message for the end of the year: “Fuck you, 2016.”
    Wary we are skewed by the media we consume but… yeah I got nothing. Fuck you, 2016.
  • Have more famous people died in 2016?
    It’s been held up as a particularly gloomy year for celebrity deaths. But has the grim reaper really claimed the souls of more notable people than usual in 2016? David Bowie, Prince, Harper Lee, Alan Rickman, Nancy Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Sir George Martin, Victoria Wood, Leonard Cohen…
    Yes. Fuck you, 2016.
  • Literary Hub’s Best Books of 2016
    Sudden Death, Álvaro Enrigue, trans. Natasha Wimmer (Riverhead): The best way I can think to describe this novel is as a work of historical absurdism.
    Ahhh the end of the year approacheth!
  • The best books of 2016
    It’s just the beginning of December and the lists of the best books of the year are already starting to stack up like so many clichés about nightstand book piles. Here’s what book editors, voracious readers, and retailers have to say about the year’s top books.
    Best is such a subjective word. But I’ve read some of these and they are pretty damn good.
  • Best of 2016
    Our year-end collection includes guest story picks across twelve categories. We’ll be publishing our lists throughout the month of December.
    I’ve linked to a lot of these but as I can’t be bothered compiling my own version, this’ll have to do ya!
  • My Must-Have iOS Apps & Web Services, 2016 Edition
    2016 has been the year that I got used to iOS as my primary computing platform. After years of slowly transitioning from macOS, 2016 was all about optimizing my workflows and getting the most out of my iPhone and iPad.
    If you use any iOS device, check this out.
  • The 50 Best Podcasts of 2016
    Gone are the days of explaining what a podcast is: The arrival of money to the form and a continued increase in listeners has led to another banner year and the premiere of hundreds of shows to suit any listener’s audio preferences.
    I have no idea how anyone would find the time to listen to every episode of all of these, but as I’ve enjoyed a few of them, here are some more you might like.
  • Book Riot’s 2017 Read Harder Challenge
    Welcome to the third annual best reading challenge ever, the 2017 Read Harder Challenge. (I’ve been waiting all year to say those words!) Over the last two years, we’ve introduced the Read Harder Challenge to more and more of you, and 2017 promises to be the biggest year yet.
    Time to look forward, I like the thinking behind this, definitely going to give it a whirl.
  • This is what happens to the bodies of the women you know.
    On Monday, December 5 at 6:30 a.m., I was kneeling on the floor in front of my toilet, hand plunged into the nearly opaque dark red water, fishing for the warm clumps that had sunk to the bottom.
    CN: Miscarriage (and very graphic descriptions). A topic that doesn’t get talked about much but should.
  • Elie Wiesel’s Timely Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech on Human Rights and Our Shared Duty in Ending Injustice
    In 1986, at the age of fifty-eight, Romanian-born Jewish-American writer and political activist Elie Wiesel (September 30, 1928–July 2, 2016) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel committee called him a “messenger to mankind.”
    In our current times, these messages need to be amplified.
  • The happiest people in the world define what makes them that way
    When it comes to happiness, Danes know what they’re talking about.
    You say Danish, I say bacon. Danish. Bacon! Hey, bacon makes me happy!
  • The sinister logic behind ‘Nice Guy Syndrome’, psychologists explain
    Men who complain that they are unlucky in love despite their ‘nice guy’ persona may have a sinister agenda. The so-called ‘Nice Guy’, the often physically unattractive man who overcompensates with clingy and over-the-top behaviour to women, is relentlessly mocked online.
    Choice of language is importance, I tend think of myself as a nice guy because I’m polite, well mannered and considerate. I won’t be using those words again in a hurry though. Ugh. Men.
  • 15 Comments Polyamorous People Are Tired of Getting
    When people find out that I’m polyamorous and that I prefer to date multiple partners with everyone’s knowledge and consent, I get a variety of responses. Some express strong disapproval or even disgust.
    Yup. ALL OF THESE.
  • How to Be Polite
    Most people don’t notice I’m polite, which is sort of the point. I don’t look polite. I am big and droopy and need a haircut. No soul would associate me with watercress sandwiches.
    There is never a reason not to be polite. Thank you to my parents for teaching me that.
  • The gifts Bill Gates has given to Redditors as a secret Santa for the last four years
    How does it feel when the world’s richest man is your secret Santa? Since 2009, Reddit’s gift exchange has brought holiday cheer to strangers’ doorsteps.
    Awwww Bill. WHERE IS MY FERRARI!
  • Mark Zuckerberg made his own version of Amazon’s Alexa to power his home
    As Mark Zuckerberg rings in 2017, he can ask his personal assistant Jarvis to summon Auld Lang Syne through his living room speaker, or allow guests into his party, using facial recognition and a smart lock.
    Meh? Well Morgan Freeman provides the voice… I WANT ONE!
  • National Geographic’s issue on gender
    Bravo to National Geographic for putting a transgender girl on the cover of the magazine. Editor-in-chief Susan Goldberg explains why: Today that and other beliefs about gender are shifting rapidly and radically.
    Gender is not binary. That is all.
  • Meet the Mystery Man Who Rapped on Michael Jackson’s ‘Black or White’ He does not look like you think he does, but was he a trailblazer?
  • Michael Jackson
    On the night of November 14, 1991, 500 million people scattered across 27 nations simultaneously watched Michael Jackson grab his crotch 17 times.
    Pitchfork started doing ‘Sunday reviews’ – if you remember the FULL video for Black & White being shown for the first time, read this.
  • Richard Kelly on how the UK saved Donnie Darko
    Donnie Darko, that irresistible tale of teen depression and time travel from 2001, is back in UK cinemas to mark its 15th anniversary.
    Baader Meinhoff moment as this is playing at the Glasgow Film Theatre today and tomorrow.
  • The Great A.I. Awakening
    Late one Friday night in early November, Jun Rekimoto, a distinguished professor of human-computer interaction at the University of Tokyo, was online preparing for a lecture when he began to notice some peculiar posts rolling in on social media.
    Long, geeky post with some astonishing facts. A.I. is a lot closer than you think.
  • The Phenomenon of ‘Bud Sex’ Between Straight Rural Men
    A lot of men have sex with other men but don’t identify as gay or bisexual.
    BISEXUAL. Say it with me now. B I S E X U A L. It’s a bit like being an omnivore, I like meat, and I like vegetables. I’ll eat both but not at the exclusion of the other.
  • Fifa: the video game that changed football
    Jan Tian stood in nervous silence in the departure hall of Beijing Capital International Airport. Beside him, his sister held an envelope containing a thousand yuan, close to her entire year’s wages.
    I am one of the people who only buy this game every year (occasionally a couple of others but mostly FIFA). It’s impact is bigger than you think.
  • The movie that doesn’t exist and the Redditors who think it does
    Over the years, hundreds of people online have shared memories of a cheesy Nineties movie called “Shazaam”. There is no evidence that such a film was ever made. What does this tell us about the quirks of collective memory?
    I have strong memories of a movie from my childhood that doesn’t exist but that’s just me. This? This is hundreds of unconnected people. Wow.
  • Why Your Brain Hates Slowpokes
    Not long ago I diagnosed myself with the recently identified condition of sidewalk rage. It’s most pronounced when it comes to a certain friend who is a slow walker.
    Enjoy your last minute Christmas shopping!!
  • Girl with a one-track mind, on Twitter.
    Ten years ago today, I joined Twitter. When I signed up, on December 22nd 2006, my life was a roller coaster. It was just a few months after the Sunday Times outed me as the author of Girl with a One Track Mind, and it’s fair to say I was still traumatised.
    I joined Twitter 9 years, 9 months and 3 days ago, this absolutely nails my current thinking.
  • The case against sugar
    ‘Virtually zero.
    Nuff said.
  • Life goals = Score! Coping with Christmas
    Everywhere you look at the moment there are visions of model families with gorgeous food, presents and merriment counting down to the big day. The reality is that for a lot of people Christmas can be incredibly tough.
    This time of year isn’t always easy, please take care of you, reach out if you need to (I know that can be hard too)
  • Jake Roper from VSauce Proves the Devastating Effects of the HOME ALONE Booby Traps
    Over the last few years it seems the internet has turned a critical eye on one of the most beloved holiday films ever made and come away with one conclusion; Home Alone is actually Lil’ Die Hard.
    I feel a back to back movie watching about to happen!
  • Who invented wrapping paper?
    Stationery purveyors J.C. and Rollie Hall ran into a problem during the 1917 holiday season: Business had been too good at their Kansas City, Mo., shop, and they’d run out of the white, red, and green tissue papers that were the era’s standard gift dressing.
    No, YOU just realised they don’t have enough wrapping paper and were googling for ‘wrapping paper same day delivery’…
  • Phagomania: Edible Christmas Drinks
    Take those chestnuts off the open fire, and throw on a pan of deep-fried alcohol as we look at Amy Erickson’s edible alcoholic treats. Whenever December hits, all culinary thoughts move towards one thing… Christmas.
    If in doubt. Drink!!