Happy Thursday, loyal readers! I wish you health, safety, and plenty of reading in these strange and scary times. This week’s quest for well-written articles (not relating to the pandemic) resulted in many hours of scouring 70-plus publications for hidden gems, and I have to say, I was pleased with
Happy Thursday, loyal readers! I wish you health, safety, and plenty of reading in these strange and scary times. This week’s quest for well-written articles (not relating to the pandemic) resulted in many hours of scouring 70-plus publications for hidden gems, and I have to say, I was pleased with my luck. This week’s lead article, “On Anger, Autism, and Blackness” explores the interaction between racism and developmental disorders that may broaden your thinking. The other pieces — focusing on homeownership, French bakeries, and hiking with your curmudgeonly big brother — are worth your time, too. But if you can manage to read just one article this week, my vote, by far, is for “Baking Bread in Lyon.” Enjoy!
+ Have you been meaning to tell me about that one article you read a couple weeks ago that you loved? What are you waiting for? There’s no need to delay. Hit reply and share your thoughts.
“I have dreams about my sister killing me,” Kat Lewis writes, “because my sister makes me fear for my own safety.” So begins this raw personal account about growing up with an autistic sibling who suffers from violent fits of rage. Her sister Remi’s mental illness is magnified by racist trolls on YouTube and Confederate flags along the highway. “She understands racism and sexism and how prejudice influences others’ perceptions of her,” Kat writes. “What she doesn’t understand is how to process and cope with her own Blackness.” Eventually, Remi’s pent-up anger erupts, causing Kat to question her relationship with her sister, pushing her to fight or flee, rather than to engage. (13 min)
In rapidly gentrifying Houston, Regina Daniels wanted to buy a house in a nice neighborhood without breaking the bank. She succeeded by partnering with the Houston Community Land Trust, purchasing a three-bedroom home for just $725 a month. The catch? Ms. Daniels doesn’t own the land. Serving as an alternative to traditional housing assistance programs, nonprofit community land trusts provide permanent housing solutions to lower-income first-time homebuyers. But does this model offer an equitable path to wealth? (20 min)
I have this joke that I’m going to quit my job to open up a scone store, but otherwise, I’m no baker, nor do I have dreams of moving to France to apprentice at a boulangerie. Good thing Bill Buford did, because in this beautiful story, we get to meet Bob the baker from Lyon, learn his secrets to making delicious baguettes (answer: the flour), and realize that the meaning of life may come down to food, family, le goût et les valeurs. (33 min)
+ These times are either making me sentimental, or this is one of my favorite articles so far this year.
Speaking of sentimentality, I’m a sucker for sappy stories involving big brothers and little brothers. This one, in which Steve Friedman invites his big brother Don to bond on a long hike in the Cascades, is funny, endearing, and reminds me of A Man Called Ove. Sure, Don might say curmudgeonly things like, “I just need to get used to the idea that I’m closer to death and the world is meaningless,” but stick with him a bit and you’ll see why Steve loves him so much. (15 min)
+ Want to read another outstanding brotherly story? Revisit “Lost in Summerland,” one of my favorites.
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