sunday reads

Your Sunday Long Reads: The History of The Wire, Jonathan Lethem on the Talking Heads, and The New Yorker on Sci-Fi

Still miss you.

It’s Sunday afternoon, or: your last chance to read all that stuff you meant to read last week before Monday brings a new deluge of things you will want to read. Below, some of our recommendations:

Maxim Interrogates the Makers and Stars of The Wire,” by Marc Spitz (Maxim): An oral history of the show, as told by creator David Simon, co-executive producer and writer Ed Burns, Method Man, former HBO chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht, Idris Elba, Dominic West, Sonja Sohn, and pretty much everyone else who made it happen.

Fear of Music,” by Jayson Greene (Pitchfork): A conversation with author Jonathan Lethem on his new book for the 33 1/2 series, which devotes each volume to a single album. As the title suggests, Letham chose the Talking Heads’$2 1979 release, which “swept over the 15-year-old like a UFO passing over a cornfield.”

The Science Fiction Issue (The New Yorker): The magazine’s first-ever science fiction compendium comes packed with a Junot Díaz short story about futuristic plague-infested Haiti, Jennifer Egan’s tweeted fiction, Emily Nussbaum on Abed’s sci-fi brain in Community, not to mention Anthony Burgess’s look back on A Clockwork Orange.

The Beach Boys’ Crazy Summer,” by Andrew Romano (Newsweek): The iconic band’s 50th anniversary reunion tour just kicked off, but the fit may still not be quite right: “They are tense enough when they’re together, and inconsistent enough when they play, that it always feels as if they’re about to fall short.”

Are Literary Classics Obsolete?” by Laura Miller (Salon): A recent Dartmouth University study found that authors are much more influenced by their contemporaries than by the Masters, but as the author points out, Dickens fanboy John Irving doesn’t exactly read like Macbeth.

The Secret Life of Transgender Rocker Tom Gabel,” by Josh Eells (Rolling Stone): Against Me! front man Tommy Gabel (soon-to-be-front woman Laura Jane) talks to Rolling Stone about living with gender dysphoria and having the same lingerie collection as his wife.

America’s Newest Sweetheart,” by Andrew Palmer (Paris Review Daily): A meditation on what we can learn from the earnestness and loneliness of The Bachelor and its endless spinoffs. 

The Complications of Appreciating Rap Beef,” by Dave Bry (The Awl): A former Vibe staffer on how “music born from personal anger can be so excellent,” but not when it gets people killed.

Sunday Reads: Talking Heads, Wire, and Sci-Fi