1. Gored In the U.S.A. — BuzzReads
Two enterprising ex-lawyers are risking their livelihoods to reinvent a centuries-old Spanish tradition for thrill-seeking weekend warriors. But what are the long-term prospects for a venture that relies on its customers getting trampled by large, angry animals? Read it at BuzzReads.
2. Jay-Z Has the Room — Vanity Fair
As Lisa Robinson writes in this thorough profile: “Today, Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter, 43, is a son, brother, husband, father, entrepreneur, mogul, sports agent, rapper, performer, movie producer, author, nightclub owner, Broadway producer, festival organizer, watch designer, soundtrack and video-game executive producer, and art collector. […] His life was not always like this.” Read it at Vanity Fair.
3. My Year With Malala — The Sunday Times
Christina Lamb shadows Malala Yousafzai, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt and now advocates for girls’ rights worldwide. “She’s the most famous schoolgirl in the world,” Lamb writes, “She gets Skyped by the secretary-general of the United Nations, Angelina Jolie drops in for tea, and Madonna has dedicated a song to her.” Read it at The Sunday Times.
4. Nightmare in Maryville — The Kansas City Star
An upsetting and well-reported story about rape, privilege, and arson. Melinda Coleman wakes up to find her still-drunk 14-year-old daughter nearly frozen in her front yard, having been taken advantage of by a politically connected older teenager. Not only do they not receive justice, the Colemans lose their dignity and their home. Read it in The Kansas City Star.
5. Lance Armstrong: The Downfall of a Champion — The Wall Street Journal
An excerpt from the anticipated Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever, about the cyclist’s rise, and downfall. It includes a wild description of Armstrong and team going to extreme lengths to cheat, including receiving covert blood transfusions midway through the 2004 Tour de France — while riding on a bus as the bus driver pretended to have engine troubles. Read it at The Wall Street Journal.
6. My Life With the Thrill Clit Cult — Gawker
A long piece that’s at once hard to read and hard to stop reading. Nitasha Tiku attends a San Francisco conference held by OneTaste, a company devoted to “orgasmic meditation,” and, as her skepticism melts away at the cultish feel of it all, joins in. Read it at Gawker.
7. Michael Fassbender — GQ
A thrilling profile of the Hollywood it man by Zach Baron in which the two drive 100mph in a Mustang, drink beers, and … ride go-karts. It involves the realization that in order to play some seriously dark characters, you need to keep it kind of light. Read it at GQ.
8. I Got Hired at a Bangladesh Sweatshop. Meet My 9-Year-Old Boss. — Toronto Star
Reporter Raveena Aulakh poses as a newcomer to working-class Dhaka. A heartbreaking look at the real face of cheap fashion’s impact on the women — and girls — of Bangladesh. Read it at the Toronto Star.
9. The End of Illth — Harper’s
A smart essay by Erik Reece about the Upper Big Branch coal mining disaster of 2010. It opens into a wider contemplation of what it will take to switch to an economy that does not court such disasters. Read it at Harper’s.