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Best Longform of 2013
December 30, 2013 7:11 PM   Subscribe

2013 had a lot of great longform writing. Longreads and Longform lead the way with their best of lists. Lots of sites provided year end lists: The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Business Week Buzzfeed, The Daily Beast, Dazed Digital, Deadspin, Esquire UK, FlavorwireGawker, Inc., Impose Magazine, Indiewire, i09, Lifehacker, Maclean's, Mashable, Mother Jones, National Geographic, National Journal, The New Yorker, On Earth, Out, Pocket, ReadWrite, Slate, Spin, Sports on Earth, The Electric Typewriter, The Verge, The Voice Media Group, and The Washington Post.

The BBC has a PDF of 10 stories from their magazine.
And finally, there were these blog posts from Angry Summit, Marginalia, The Machine Starts, and Shanghaiist.
posted by reenum (37 comments total) 320 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome post, reenum. Related: the NYTimes review of their groundbreaking interactive editorial pieces in 2013.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 7:37 PM on December 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


Aeon and Matter didn't roll out with any best of lists. But they have come out with some pretty good long form--albeit mainly by being flush with capital and hiring top writers right out of the gate.
posted by Halogenhat at 7:41 PM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thank you and Happy New Year, reenum!
posted by islander at 7:47 PM on December 30, 2013


Please list these from worst to best, thanks!
posted by Corduroy at 8:06 PM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wish I could add all of these to Instapaper with one click. Then I'd be all set for my desert island trip.
posted by desjardins at 8:31 PM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


The listicle meets longform. The serpent eats its tail. The circle is complete.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:35 PM on December 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


A listicle of listicles.
posted by migurski at 9:00 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I didn't see top 10 lists on their sites, but the following consistently have great longform articles (many of which have been posted to mefi):

Outside Online
Grantland
LA Weekly
Texas Monthly
posted by desjardins at 9:07 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


The listicle meets longform

Whore-o-bore-us?

(Sorry, sorry...)
posted by Artw at 9:10 PM on December 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


I was expecting the Buzzfeed ones to involve extremely long animated GIFs
posted by crayz at 9:16 PM on December 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, this will keep me busy until next year. Pro-tip for Kindle users - use Tinderizer in Chrome to send this stuff to your device for offline reading.
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:26 PM on December 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Crofflr is also a great way to compile longforms into a magazine format and have them delivered to your Kindle. Pulls automatically from Pocket, Pinboard, Longreads, etc on a set interval. I've used it for about a year and can't get enough of it.
posted by rosary at 9:54 PM on December 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Thank you very much. I really enjoy having a longform article to read in pocket when I have a half hour break from work. The Verge had quite a few longforms this year with unbelievably good layouts. http://www.theverge.com/longform
posted by FiveNines at 9:56 PM on December 30, 2013


Awesome, thanks! I was thinking of doing an AskMe looking for people's suggestions for the best long-form articles online this year, because my husband and I like to read them out loud. This is perfect!
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:57 PM on December 30, 2013


Great riches here, thank you. I am glad for the wealth of reading although I despair that I can't actually encompass everything wonderful I find on MetaFilter! But for starters, the five-part Reuters investigative series, The Child Exchange on The New Yorker list is riveting.
posted by Anitanola at 11:12 PM on December 30, 2013


This is fantastic. I love longform - this will give me plenty to read. : )

(By the way, is there anything comparable that will send articles to a Nook?)
posted by SisterHavana at 11:18 PM on December 30, 2013


The Best Gawker Posts of 2013 is a surprisingly brilliant collection of essays which are insightful, moving, and cover everything from cultural analysis to race commentary to homages to old obscure rock videos. I went in expecting a bunch of mildly entertaining pieces, and left thinking I'd just read some of the best things I'd encountered all year.

It's easy to miss the gems of Gawker due to the incredible amounts of disposable content, but the gems apparently fucking glisten. Hopefully you, like me, will be pleasantly taken aback.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:23 AM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


like desjardins mentioned, Grantland has been a reliable source of excellent, excellent writing on the web. When I first heard about it, I assumed it would be a monumental Bill Simmons ego-trip that would die in flames. Instead, he seems to have consciously sought out people that he knows are better writers, better analysts than he is, and given them pretty much free reign. It's amazing how much I read the sight, and how little of what I read there is by Simmons (not that he's the worst thing in the world, but the schtick gets old).
posted by Ghidorah at 1:18 AM on December 31, 2013


Crap, I WAS going to get some work done today.
posted by radicalawyer at 5:10 AM on December 31, 2013


Ok, I know where my freetime reading for the next months is going to be coming from...
posted by Dip Flash at 5:29 AM on December 31, 2013


I forgot these:

Instapaper Daily: Shows the most popular story saved on Instapaper on each day of the year.

The most popular stories from Quartz in 2013.

The best tech stories of the year from Forbes.
posted by reenum at 5:30 AM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, that Sandy Hook article. God, I can't imagine.
posted by thelonius at 5:56 AM on December 31, 2013


I was supposed to work a half day today, buuuut.....
posted by nosila at 6:08 AM on December 31, 2013


Ghidorah: When I first heard about it, I assumed it would be a monumental Bill Simmons ego-trip that would die in flames. Instead, he seems to have consciously sought out people that he knows are better writers, better analysts than he is, and given them pretty much free reign.

That was almost literally his manifesto when starting out: Hire the best writers possible and let them write.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:47 AM on December 31, 2013


This is awesome. Thanks for putting it together.
posted by Phreesh at 7:31 AM on December 31, 2013


Oh man, and I had just gotten my Instapaper backlog down to a reasonable size!
posted by immlass at 7:57 AM on December 31, 2013


One more: The year's top #CityReads from Atlantic Cities.
posted by reenum at 7:58 AM on December 31, 2013


SB Nation chimes in with their best of 2013.
posted by reenum at 8:08 AM on December 31, 2013


This is a great post. There is more good stuff in this recent MeTa.
posted by slmorri at 8:22 AM on December 31, 2013


So. Many. Tabs. All the tabs. Thank you kindly! Very timely, too, as I recently took up using Readability for saving things (a la Instapaper), and it's about to start groaning.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:39 AM on December 31, 2013


FastCoDesign with the best design essays of the year.
posted by reenum at 11:10 AM on December 31, 2013


From the SBnation list, and previously on the blue, 20 Minutes at Rucker Park is one of the best, and ultimately saddest things I've read all year.

It reminded me of an episode of, I believe, This American Life where they interviewed the kid who had never really been allowed to play at the courts near his house, so he'd just practiced dribbling, then tried out for the Nike Freestyle commercial, and wowed them so much he ended up in his own commercial. At one point, the guy challenges the interviewer to try to get the ball from him. The interviewer mentions his inner thought process as, having played some competitive basketball, wondering what would happen if he succeeded? If he did swipe the ball away, what would it do to this kid, and the minor level of fame he'd built up? He quickly realizes how ridiculous those thoughts had been, and is utterly unable to even come near the ball.

The kid in 20 Minutes at Rucker? It's almost the exact opposite. It might have done him some good had someone shown him how unrealistic he was being. It's a great story, but a little uncomfortable in that "he has no idea" kind of way.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:48 AM on January 1


The SB Nation story about Montaous Walton (on the Blue here), made me similarly uncomfortable. He wanted to be a baseball player, so he decided to spend hours upon hours creating this fake persona who was an in demand minor league free agent. It boggles the mind as to how these folks live with such grand delusions.
posted by reenum at 7:54 AM on January 1


I spent most of my New Year's Day reading some of the linked pieces. I can't stop thinking about the Ghost Rapes of Bolivia piece. My hands were shaking as I read it because I was filled with such rage.
posted by Aquifer at 8:34 PM on January 1


Laurie Penny from the New Statesman selects her favourite online writing from the last 12 months.
posted by adamvasco at 7:57 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Some late lists: Gizmodo, Jalopnik and Outside.
posted by reenum at 8:27 AM on January 4


The 24 Pieces That Should Be Required Reading For Women From 2013
posted by triggerfinger at 8:02 PM on January 4


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