My favorite thing to do in the summer is to chill on the deck, at the beach, wherever and read. And, whew, I have done quite a bit of that this summer.
I don't get a lot of reading for pleasure done during the school year, outside of a book or two during winter and spring breaks. But during the summer, I try to kick it into overdrive. I'll read fiction, non-fiction and I am slowly making my way through every Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction since I was born. (Interestingly, there was not a winner the year I was born, 1974. I have read 16 of the 45, including the last seven. Some, I have tried and was not terribly fond of, so I won't read them all, but it's a fun thing.)
The books I have read this summer have been fantastic. From Zakiyah D. Harris' "The Other Black Girl" to Fredrik Backman's "Anxious People" -- and two Pulitzer winners! -- I recommend everything I've read this summer. You can see them all here.
I've also read some fantastic journalism.
The best has been this piece in the The Atlantic by the brilliant Wright Thompson on an overlooked part of the murder of Emmett Till tops the list. I am not a fan when journalists use first-person references in stories. It is typically distracting and needlessly self promoting, or directing needless attention to the author. But sometimes, when employed by the experts, it works. It does here and it is genius.
The lovely, talented, smart and frequent Quinnipiac University guest speaker Katie Barnes did such justice to Layshia Clarendon, the WNBA's first non-binary player, in this ESPN Cover Story. Clarendon and their story is unique, fierce and empowering. Barnes rose to the challenge.
Casey Gerald wrote this excellent profile of Leon Bridges for Texas Monthly. Again, I don't love the first person use -- and I don't think it's necessary in this piece. Still, this is a great profile despite the first person references.
Other great ones:
* This ESPN Cover Story on cancer survivor/Orioles all-star Trey Mancini by Kevin Van Valkenburg mixes triumph, vulnerability and the love of baseball for an emotional narrative.
* The Marshall Project churns out such important investigative journalism. It digs, uncovers and works. But, sometimes, it just brings us stories that would otherwise go untold. This is one of them, written by an incarcerated man named Demetrius Buckley for the ongoing series "Life Inside." If you can get through it with dry eyes, you're tougher than I.
* Ashley Luthern, who I taught in a class at Ohio University early in my doctoral program, did some outstanding watchdog reporting for this investigative piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which looks into 911 call, a delayed police response and the murder of a young mother and her two daughters... on the night of her toddler son's memorial service. (Yes, you have to pay to read this one. It's a $1. Just do it.)
* Last piece is a simple, effective column from Joe Posnanski, lifelong Cleveland baseball fan and purveyor of good thoughts and better words. (You have to pay for this one, too, but The Athletic should be required for sports fans.)
Enjoy the journalism.
This might be cheating a bit, but the best things I've read this week I may have read over the last few months, too.
But, I'm so proud of three of my senior students who wrote fantastic enterprise pieces for their Senior Capstone course.
Alphabetically, Emily DiSalvo, Garret Reich and Jessica Simms did a wonderful job on these and they are the best things I've read this week.
Emily wrote about how zoning has affected business, neighborhoods and even activism in the Hamden neighborhood of Spring Glen. Garret's piece dug into how the City of New Haven might look ahead to how climate change will impact low income communities. And Jessica, on whose project I actually advised, looked into the rise of anti-Semitism in the area.
I couldn't be more proud of all three of these young women. The coolest thing? There were other GREAT projects in this class, too. MiriYam Judd, Lo Yarnall, Anthony Nichols, Alyssa Naumann and Matthew Bruin all did work of the highest quality.
You can read all of them here at HQNN.org, the website for the senior capstone digital newsroom.
All of these students graduate this weekend. Cheers to each of them.
I actually read this last week (yesterday). And, it's almost a year old.
But, so what?
It is still great and jogged my mind to a time more than a decade ago when I was a full-time sports journalists and covered the Washington Huskies.
My main beat was covering the football team -- which was unquestionably the worst Pac-10 team over the years I covered it. (Now, that doesn't matter at all. What does? The amazing people I covered, telling their stories, the memories made on road trips.)
But, I remember this game. I never saw it. I remember being with a handful of former players, and texting, and saying, "Oh my God, is the game still going?" and checking in with other friends for updates. I remember thinking that Danielle's arm was going to fall off.
Reading this was a walk down a hallway with old photos hanging on the wall. And it was a blast.
I've rooted for Heather Tarr and the Huskies since leaving Seattle. She overcame early doubts and skepticism. She let go one of her friends. And she has proven to be a legendary softball coach who, by all accounts, had done it the right way. Without condescension, I'm incredibly proud of her.
There isn't much more fun than a well done oral history and Graham Hays hits this one over the park... and beyond Amanda Fleischman's glove. It's the best thing I read this week.
2019 FIFA Women's World Cup: Media, Fandom, and Soccer's Biggest Stage is available online and in hardback from Palgrave Macmillan.
Molly Yanity, Ph.D.