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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020

Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

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

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. Anatomy of a car crash

shutterstock_157038359 Source: Shutterstock/Gabriele Maltinti

On 1 January this year, two men lost their lives on a stretch of road in Co Mayo. This series tells the story of what happened.

(Irish Times, 23 mins reading time, 4695 words)

Scully’s girlfriend, Lorraine Devlin – she called him Skull; he called her Lo Lo – had been getting worried as midnight approached, fretting that he wouldn’t take time to pause from the hectic round of ferrying people here and there. She wanted them to be together as 2013 grew into 2014.

2. Inside Isis

Turkey Islamic State Istanbul Source: Emrah Gurel

An interview with one of Islamic State’s senior commanders gives an insight into how the terrorists work.

(The Guardian, approx 29 mins reading time, 5991 words)

As Isis has rampaged through the region, it has been led by men who spent time in US detention centres during the American occupation of Iraq – in addition to Bucca, the US also ran Camp Cropper, near Baghdad airport, and, for an ill-fated 18 months early in the war, Abu Ghraib prison on the capital’s western outskirts.

3. A history of Reddit


Wanted to find out how the ‘internet’s front page’ began? Here you go.

(Mashable, approx 44 mins reading time, 8895 words)

This is the story of how a bootstrapped startup with a funny name and no initial ties to the tech scene outlasted better-funded competitors, survived founder drama, endured tensions with its parent company and later navigated life as a standalone business — all in order to build the front page of the Internet. Traffic doubled year after year, even in the worst of times, with the site now reaching 175 million users per month.

4. The ultimate storyteller

6237927380_a13e306b32_z Source: Leyram Odacrem/Flickr

James Patterson is a hugely successful author… well, he’s actually the planet’s best-selling author since 2001. Here’s how he does it.

(Vanity Fair, approx 21 mins reading time, 4387 words)

Of all the hardcover fiction sold in the U.S. in 2013, books by Patterson accounted for one out of every 26. Altogether, he has produced more than 130 separate works—the “books by” page in his latest novels actually takes up three full pages. Forbes estimates his income for the year ending last June at $90 million. When I had a chance to ask Patterson about that figure, he at first said, “I don’t know,” and then followed up with “Yeah, probably.”

5. Why foodbanks?

Food bank report Source: Andrew Matthews

Foodbanks are on the rise in Britain – so what does their popularity tell us about the state of the nation there?

(New Statesman, approx 41 mins reading time, 8350 words)

Normally I eat porridge in the morning to fill myself up and then often I don’t eat at all myself in the evenings. But today is the start of the kids’ holidays and so they don’t get the school meals, they have to eat all their food at home and I just can’t manage, and so the foodbank is a lifeline.

6. Kiribati in danger

UN General Assembly Kiribati Anote Tong, president of Kiribati Source: AP/Press Association Images

The president of Kiribati fears that his country is in danger from climate change, due to rising sea levels. So he went to the Arctic to find out more.

(The Monthly, approx 26 mins reading time, 5338 words)

After all, Kiribati was very much on the receiving end of what Barack Obama, addressing the New York summit a few days later, would call the “issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other” – more dramatically, Obama specified, than terrorism.


Elizabeth Strout Elizabeth Strout Source: Vondrouš Roman

Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge, wrote about her English penpal, Philip, for the Washington Post in 2009. What started as an innocent friendship turned into something much darker.

(Washington Post, approximately 18 mins reading time, 3618 words)

The manager of the inn was cautiously nice to me, politely indicating that I wasn’t to interfere with Peter’s evenings, which meant I was not to sit by the piano or in any way discourage customers who might be laughing with Peter, paying for drinks and having a good time. I was grateful to the manager for letting me visit at all. I was not a person who wanted to do anything wrong, and visiting my boyfriend was, on some level, in my young mind “wrong.”

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by

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