Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Monday 2 October 2023 Dublin: 11°C
# 7 deadly reads
Sitdown Sunday: The real life Succession
Settle back in a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads.

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. Real life Succession

A look at the power struggle involving the family that runs Canada’s biggest wireless provider.

(BBC, approx 7 mins reading time) 

Two separate groups of directors are now claiming to represent Rogers – exposing old family rivalries and unwanted turbulence ahead of a pending $26bn takeover of a rival telecoms firm. Already, shares of Rogers have slumped as the family drama plays out. The fallout could affect everything from professional sports to local politics.

2. Cars and protests

How vehicle rammings have become part of protests, with little accountability. 

(Boston Globe, approx 26 mins reading time)

The episode left Knight in a wheelchair and cost him his job. But to Oklahoma prosecutors, neither he nor the handful of others who were injured in the chaos are victims of a crime. That July, while Knight was still at a rehabilitation center in Colorado, the local district attorney announced no charges would be filed against the driver, whose identity was kept secret, saying that the man was scared for his family in the vehicle and acted in self-defense and that protesters had unnecessarily blocked the road.

3. Plane crash

Harriet Ware-Austin recounts how, as a child, she witnessed the plane crash that killed her sisters. 

(BBC, 11 mins reading time)

Harriet didn’t return to Ethiopia until 2009 – 37 years later – on a trip connected with her job as a human rights consultant. It was a powerful experience, “excruciatingly difficult and emotion-ridden”, though she had to hide it all and get on with her work. She remembers landing at Addis Ababa airport and gazing from the plane window down the gully where her sisters’ plane had burst into flames.

4. Bionic gloves

The world-renowned pianist João Carlos Martins found himself unable to play the piano – until an inventor introduced him to his bionic gloves.

(GQ, approx 20 mins reading time)

Martins kept going, though his skills as a pianist were diminished. He even embarked on a decades-long quest to record the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach. In 1995, at the age of 54, he traveled 6,000 miles from his then home in Brazil to tape in this one theater in Sofia, Bulgaria, with great acoustics. He was walking back to his hotel late at night when two muggers ambushed him with a metal pipe, and—thwack!—they took off with his passport and wallet and left him for dead. When Martins woke up in the hospital, he couldn’t feel the right side of his body.

5. The Rock

Tn interview with Dwayne Johnson about his life and career.

(Vanity Fair, approx 35 mins reading time)

His Black Canadian father, Rocky Johnson, was a successful wrestler, as was his Samoan maternal grandfather, Peter Maivia. This was wrestling before the large national audiences and big paydays. It wasn’t an easy life. Dwayne was born 49 years ago in Hayward, near San Francisco, but the family frequently moved wherever a sustained period of wrestling work could be found. There are two particular moments in Johnson’s life that he often refers to as low points from which he derives motivation. The second occurred much later, when—in the final indignity of his failed football career—he was cut from the Canadian Football League at the age of 22. As he was being driven back to live with his parents, he searched through his pockets to find all the money he had in the world: a five, a one, and some change. (Johnson would memorialize the moment in the name of his film company, Seven Bucks Productions.)

6. Livie

Lindsay and James Sulzer developed technologies to help people recover from disease or injury. Then their own daughter was injured in a freak accident, which changed their lives forever. 

(The Atlantic, approx 32 mins reading time)

Working in an engineering lab, one tends to fixate on the engineering challenge: building the device. Whom exactly the device is for and what sorts of injuries it can help address are secondary concerns. Now that logic had flipped around as James sat beside his daughter. He knew that Livie’s brain could still send signals to her muscles, even if those signals weren’t strong enough—or clear enough—to make her muscles work. So he came up with a way for Livie to exercise her neurons while her body remained still. With the help of a graduate student, he attached electrodes to her limbs and neck, to pick up even feeble spurts of muscle activation; then he linked them to a music playlist. Whenever Livie twitched her biceps or her triceps, even just a tiny bit, a favorite song, such as “Baby Shark,” would play a little louder.


When a man realises his new house is haunted, he opens it to the public.

(Truly Adventurous, approx 35 mins reading time)

In his second week there, he was jarred out of a dead sleep. Since moving in, there had been no shortage of things on his mind to keep him awake. The what-ifs of his relationship with his wife, his son facing life without a father, the lost earning potential and career. This time, though, it wasn’t his thoughts that woke him, but a sound: A crash that shook the three-story brick structure. Jumping to his feet and grabbing the bedside flashlight, he rushed from his room in the rear of the house to the main hall. Standing beside a staircase and wondering if the crash had come from upstairs, he stood in the dark, listening.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel