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Weekly Reading: The best longreads all in one place

Friday 25th November 2016

 Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet.


Donald Trump on the campaign trail.

Photo: AFP/Rhona Wise

Billy Bob Thornton on Bad Santa 2, Ungrateful Fans, and Why He Won't Direct Anymore - Taffy Brodesser-Akner, GQ

“Alabama in August, man. How humid is it? It's so humid that there's a heavy petrichor scent in the air—like it just rained, even though it hasn't—and the sidewalk concrete is dark is how humid it is. Everyone is miserable is how humid it is.

The only person not bothered by the heat is Billy Bob Thornton, who weighs less than the smallest box of the band's equipment, has a body-fat percentage of minus 42 and a BMI of 1, and who is shivering like a Chihuahua in his jeans.”


Eleanor Catton on the art of adapting - Finlay MacDonald, Noted

“Most of 2015 was a write-off. I became really depressed. I’ve never really suffered from anxiety before, but I still feel quite altered by what happened. I didn’t leave the house for a couple of months… It was pretty full on. There was one month when it seemed there was literally article after article, and it gets in your head. I had never received hate mail before, and I received a lot of hate mail.”


Donald Trump’s New York Times Interview: Full Transcript - The New York Times

“O.K. Well, I just appreciate the meeting and I have great respect for The New York Times. Tremendous respect. It’s very special. Always has been very special. I think I’ve been treated very rough. It’s well out there that I’ve been treated extremely unfairly in a sense, in a true sense. I wouldn’t only complain about The Times. I would say The Times was about the roughest of all. You could make the case The Washington Post was bad, but every once in a while I’d actually get a good article. Not often, Dean, but every once in awhile.

Look, I have great respect for The Times, and I’d like to turn it around. I think it would make the job I am doing much easier.”


‘Hello, my name is Ally’ – how children are being exploited by YouTube predators - David Farrier, The Spinoff

"The Ice Bucket Challenge and the 22 Push Up Challenge spread like wildfire. I took part in the former, and simply observed the latter, cynical by then about the entire endeavour. By the time the Mannequin Challenge rolled around, it wasn’t even attached to a cause – it was just something everyone did, just because. So when someone pointed me towards the Shrunken Ally & Maddie Challenge I thought, “Oh God, what now”.

What I got were pages and pages of YouTubers answering a series of questions, direct to camera.

“Should I ask the question, and you answer?” says a girl to her friend. They are in their room, posters adorning the walls. “Yeah, okay, you do the question” her friend replies.


Obama Reckons with a Trump Presidency - David Remnick, The New Yorker

“The morning after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Barack Obama summoned staff members to the Oval Office. Some were fairly junior and had never been in the room before. They were sombre, hollowed out, some fighting tears, humiliated by the defeat, fearful of autocracy’s moving vans pulling up to the door. Although Obama and his people admit that the election results caught them completely by surprise—“We had no plan for this,” one told me—the President sought to be reassuring.

“This is not the apocalypse,” Obama said.



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