Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

Top Longform of 2011

Last week James asked me for my top 5 articles of last year (he posted his) and so I spent an hour or so going through as much as I could find from last year (Instapaper archive is helpful) to come up with my list (which includes a few extra that didn’t make the top 5 cut, but were great). Here it is (I’m not necessarily sure the order is right, but it’s close):

  1. A Murder Foretold (New Yorker) – Here’s what I wrote about this when I first read it: “Clocking in at just under 15,000 words, the New Yorker article on the murder of a Guatemalan named Rodrigo Rosenberg is long even by their standards. It’s so worth it though. I don’t even want to say anything about it so that you can go and enjoy it yourself. Let’s just say if I could get my hands on the movie rights I definitely would.”
  2. The Shame of College Sports (The Atlantic) – I’ve read a few things that said this is the best piece of sportswriting in history. I haven’t read enough to say whether I agree or not, but this epic look at the NCAA was amazing. To cover something we’re all so aware of, but know so little about was a brilliant move and added a ton of nuance to the conversation around whether college athletes should be paid.
  3. The Information (New Yorker) – A good way to judge writing (for me at least) is how much it sticks in my head. Adam Gopnik’s discussion around the current state of internet discourse was probably the idea I talked about most. His breakdown of never-betters, better-nevers and ever-wassers gave a framework for understanding how people view the web (and technology generally).
  4. When Irish Eyes are Crying (Vanity Fair) – I almost didn’t include this because I’m sure it’s on everyone’s list. Michael Lewis breaking down what went wrong in Ireland. You read it already.
  5. The Shot That Nearly Killed Me (Guardian) – I debated back-and-forth (with myself) about whether this should make the list or not. It’s not a classic piece of journalism in that it’s not written by a single person about a single topic. However, the idea of getting the best conflict photojournalists in the world and asking them to talk about the most dangerous shot they ever took was breathtaking.

Okay, so those are my five. The last two I’m not totally comfortable with, but a list is a list …

Here are a few others that could/should be on there:

  • Getting Bin Laden (New Yorker) – Somebody was going to get this story and it went to the New Yorker. There was some controversy around the amount of truth in it, but no matter what reading a blow-by-blow account of the capturing of the most wanted fugitive in the world is a pretty compelling read.
  • A Conspiracy of Hogs: The McRib as Arbitrage (The Awl) – This is the only non-mainstream publication on my list and I so wanted to put it in the top five. I’m not sure there was another article this year that I enjoyed reading more. This crazy look/theory about why McDonald’s runs the McRib promotion in the way it does was totally insane.
  • The Assassin in the Vineyard (Vanity Fair) – Again, part of how I judge what I read is how much I repeat it. I must have told a dozen people about this story this year. Some crazy dude holds a vineyard hostage and poisons some of the most expensive wine vines in the world. (I won’t give away the ending.)

Awesome, hope you enjoy.

January 4, 2012 // This post is about: ,

Comments

  • Brier’s best « Snarkmarket says:

    […] a really tremendously good list of long-form journalism from Noah Brier—his favorites of 2011. In particular, I was riveted by […]

  • My Daily Tweets 01.05.12 « memoirs on a rainy day says:

    […] @James_Gross‘s request, here are my top 5 #longform/#longreads of 2011: noahbrier.com/archives/2012/… 5 […]

  • Marc Snyder says:

    Great read. Thanks a lot.

  • Top Longform of 2012 | Noah Brier dot Com says:

    […] year I listed out my five favorite pieces of longform writing and it seemed to go over pretty well, so I figured I’d do the same again this year. It was […]

  • Immigration Solicitor Havering says:

    Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective.
    A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between usability and appearance. I must say you have done a great job with this. Also, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Safari. Exceptional Blog!

    my site: Immigration Solicitor Havering

  • Blythe says:

    Hey! Where did you download design of your website?
    It is pretty amazing ;)

  • Register A Domain says:

    Hey there would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different
    web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.
    Can you suggest a good web hosting provider at a reasonable price?
    Many thanks, I appreciate it!

  • Best Articles of 2016 | Noah Brier dot Com says:

    […] you haven’t read these before (2011, 2012, and 2015), the basic gist is it’s a list of my the stuff I read this year that I liked […]

  • Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Don't sweat it.