Some things I’ve read recently that were good.
Regrettable. The troubling things I learned when I re-reported Bob Woodward’s book on John Belushi / Slate
Wired is an anomaly in the Woodward catalog, the only book he’s ever written about a subject other than Washington. As such, it’s rarely cited by his critics. But Wired’s outlier status is the very thing that makes it such a fascinating piece of Woodwardology. Because he was forced to work outside of his comfort zone, his strengths and his weaknesses can be seen in sharper relief. In Hollywood, his sources weren’t top secret and confidential. They were some of the most famous people in America. The methodology behind the book is right out there in the open, waiting for someone to do exactly what I did: take it apart and see how Woodward does what he does.
But Bender knew somebody who knew the actor Harvey Keitel, and that changed everything. Keitel meets me in a New York diner expressly because, he says, “I want your readers to know there’s great talent out there, and they should be seen and heard. We don’t have to keep repeating the same movies and sequels, ad infinitum. An example like Quentin should be a call to arms. Of course, people say, ‘Oh, so-and-so would have made it anyway.’ That’s almost like saying the world is fair, and the cream will rise to the top. That’s bullshit.”
Are You Really Obsessed? Like, Literally? / GQ
But here’s the thing: This rampant overuse has robbed the word of its true power. And we need words to have power, especially deep, evocative ones
Memo to The New York Times: What Actually Happens During “36 Hours in…” a Foreign Country / Vanity Fair
Eat dinner at totally fine nearby restaurant recommended by the concierge. This meal will be mentioned whenever anyone asks you how your trip was. “Oh my God,” you will say. “It was amazing. We ate at the most incredible local fish place. Seriously the best fish I’ve ever had in my life. Taipei was so fun.”