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Introducing: A New Weekly List of Recommended Longform Journalism from Tablet

From amorous and murderous dentists to cantankerous and furious Jews, we’ve got the intelligent anti-dote to binge-watching TV

Sophie Aroesty
July 17, 2017

You’ve binged your way through the newest season of Orange Is the New Black. You gobbled down all of House of Cards. You even devoured the entirety of Glow in one day. (I know I’m not the only one.) Your eyes burn, your mouth is dry, and your brain has turned to mush. The prognosis? Too much TV! Don’t worry, we have a remedy that’s just what the doctor ordered: intellectual stimuli. And it’s in serial form, so it’ll be great replacement therapy for your Netflix addiction. Every week, Tablet’s staff will share with you their suggestions for some of the best long-form journalism pieces to read right now. Take at least one daily, by eyes, and your brain will be good as new.

From senior editor Matthew Fishbane, we have “What Goes Up” by Jack Hitt. It’s a story about helicopter pilot Jerry Foster who was a pivotal figure in shaping modern journalism. There’s action, there’s adventure, and there’s apparently even alchemy: “Anything Jack Hitt touches turns to gold,” says Fishbane.

From staff writer Armin Rosen, check out James Lasdon’s “My Dentist’s Murder Trial.” “The story about his dentist’s murder trial in the July 3rd issue of The New Yorker is so astonishing, and so dense with gob-smacking, knife-twisting plot-points that I hesitate to divulge even a single concrete detail about it. One should, however, resist the inevitable mental comparison to a Coen Brothers movie: This stuff all happened in real life, and the actions and obsessions of the principal players often seem uncannily familiar. Read the whole thing.”

Gabriela Geselowitz, editor of Tablet sister-site, recommends “Why New York Subway Lines Are Missing Countdown Clocks” by James Somers. Next time you’re stuck waiting on a platform you can find out where your tax dollars are going.

Liel Leibovitz, senior writer, is a big fan of “Thinking About Suspending Support for Israel Over the Western Wall and Conversion Disputes? Think Again” by Elliott Abrams, which he praises as “a meticulously argued, beautifully written, level-headed advising those furious with the Israeli government’s decisions to curb their outrage.”

And me? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: David Sedaris is a genius. Read “The SantaLand Diaries,” an expose of Macy’s annual holiday attraction by an undercover, cynical elf. It shot Sedaris to stardom when he read it on a 1992 episode of “Morning Edition.” Yeah, you could listen to it, but in the spirit of reading here’s the transcript.

Happy long reading, and check back next Monday for your prescription refill.

Sophie Aroesty is an editorial intern at Tablet.