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Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

The very best of the week’s writing from around the web.

Michael Freeman

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair. We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.

1. The day our town nearly drowned
Josh Dean on what happened to Prattsville, New York, when the rains of Hurricane Irene hit (NYMag).

For the first time in the fifteen years she had lived in her house, Pam watched as a red-brown flow came up the back steps and into the house. That’s when she knew it was too late. She was trapped.

2. I tried extreme meditation. Here’s what happened
Michael Finkel on his experience at a silent meditation centre in western India (Men’s Journal).

I have – we all have – signed a pledge to observe what’s called “noble silence.” This means no speaking, no gestures, no eye contact. “You must live here,” we’re told, “as if you’re completely alone.” There is also no exercise permitted, except walking. No cellphones. No computers. No radios. No pens or paper.

3. Venus and Serena against the world
John Jeremiah Sullivan on the most powerful sisters in tennis (New York Times).

When we returned to her apartment, she asked, “Do you want a drink drink?” She had just flown in, and there was nothing in the place but Jack Daniels, which she poured for me on the rocks, showing a nonshowy graciousness I didn’t expect. “That oughta get you going,” she said with a laugh.

4. Fighting the underage sex trade online
Geraldine Sealey on the advertisements for underage girls online, and the people who look at them (Marie Claire).

“For ages, I ate the same exact McDonald’s value meal because that was the only thing my pimp at the time would let me eat,” she says. “I’d think, I am not worth $5. That’s about the price of condoms. I didn’t think I was worth a pack of Magnums.”

5. How young Western men are lured into jihad
Özlem Gezer on the people recruited by radical Islamists, and the techniques at work (Spiegel).

“Why don’t you come and sit with us, brother?” one of the new ones asked. He was part of a group of five men between 18 and 30. For Bora, it seemed perfectly normal to be meeting these men, but for the others it was a well-practiced procedure.

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6. Life in a gun shop
Jeanne Maris Laskas went to work at an Arizona gun store, to see how people shop for their weapons (GQ).

“But they’re assault rifles,” I noted. I knew that much from TV. ”Assault is one of the worst things the media has ever done to us,” he said. “Have any of these rifles ever assaulted anyone?”

… AND A CLASSIC READ FROM THE ARCHIVES…

In 2010, Simon Braund wrote for Empire magazine about the tragic, twisted tale of comedy legends The Three Stooges.

The beating was so savage, in fact, that the following day Healy fell into a coma and died. There was little or no serious investigation into Healy’s death, and a farcical autopsy, performed after his body had been embalmed, concluded that he had died of acute alcoholism, noting that his organs were soaked in alcohol — as of course they would have been, having just been embalmed.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by TheScore.ie >

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Michael Freeman

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