Sitdown Sunday 7 deadly reads

first_imgIT’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. 58 yearsJohn Leland introduces us to Kenneth Leedom and Peter Cott, a New York couple who have been together for 58 years and counting. Now in their late 80s, they live together in a senior building in Manhattan, both battling minor illnesses. But their love is not bruised – they say that they have never had a serious argument in all their time together. (New York Times) (Approx 12 minutes reading time – 2583 words)Together and separately, they have lived a broad swath of gay history: romantic encounters in the military during World War II; nights at the Stonewall Inn, birthplace of the gay rights movement; the anything-goes bathhouses of the 1970s; living in a town house in Chelsea as the neighborhood was becoming the center of gay New York.2. The suicide hotlineJosh Sanburn looks at how suicide hotlines are working to prevent people taking their own lives, at a time when the number of people who have died by suicide in the US has overtaken the number of deaths in car accidents. (Time) (Approx 22 minutes reading time – 4503 words)The problem for people like Draper is definitively determining whether suicide prevention efforts are working. The only way you ever know if you’re saving someone’s life is if they come out and say so, and that makes it difficult to truly gauge the effectiveness of the lifeline or any other prevention program or service. Indian people light candles for the victim of the Delhi gang rape. Pic: AP Photo/Anupam Nath5. Delhi gang rapeJason Burke journeys to Delhi to find out about the impact that the shocking gang rape on a bus in Delhi had on both the city and its inhabitants. The incident, says Burke – who gives us an insight into the lives of the perpetrators of the crime – highlighted how women are routinely abused there. (Guardian) (Approx 35 minutes reading time – 7098 words)If sympathy lay, naturally, with the 23-year-old physiotherapist who was the victim of the attack, fascination focused on her assailants. These were not serial sex criminals, psychopaths or brutalised men from the margins of society. Their backgrounds were, perhaps more worryingly, like those of tens of millions of Indian men. Nor was Ravi Das Colony “the underbelly” of the Indian capital, as one local newspaper described it.6. Into the WildJohn Krakauer wrote about the death of Christopher McCandless in the book Into the Wild, surmising that McCandless’s death in the wilderness near Denali National Park was due to the fact he inadvertently poisoned himself. But new evidence has emerged giving a fresh insight into his tragic death. (New Yorker) (Approx 13 minutes reading time – 2611 words)Twenty-one years ago this month, on September 6, 1992, the decomposed body of Christopher McCandless was discovered by moose hunters just outside the northern boundary of Denali National Park. He had died inside a rusting bus that served as a makeshift shelter for trappers, dog mushers, and other backcountry visitors. Taped to the door was a note scrawled on a page torn from a novel by Nikolai Gogol.…AND ONE FROM THE ARCHIVES…Pic: Yves Logghe/AP/Press Association ImagesIn 2000, Maureen Orth wrote about Russia’s ‘Dark Master’ – its new president, Vladimir Putin. She looked at his youthful athletic days and his journey through the political ranks, and how he did things as only Putin can, even back then.  (Vanity Fair) (Approx 49 minutes reading time – 9914 words)The quality the coach most remembers Putin for, however, was his loyalty. And loyalty is what has catapulted Vladimir Putin through the ranks, from an obscure, disillusioned K.G.B. lieutenant colonel home from Germany in 1990 to deputy mayor of St Petersburg, to a series of increasingly powerful posts in the corrupt Kremlin of Boris Yeltsin. (Think Robert Duvall as theconsigliere in The Godfather.)More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by > 4. Underneath the iceAndrew Curry writes about the race to find and save ancient artifacts that are emerging from under melting glaciers. It’s a sad testament to climate change, but is also an incredible way to uncover secrets about the world’s past. (Archaeology) (Approx 16 minutes reading time – 3329 words)One day, a woodworker and hobby archaeologist from the nearby town of Lom, in Oppland County, came across a well-preserved leather shoe while hiking near Lendbreen. He carried it back to town and turned it over to curators at the Norwegian Mountain Museum. When archaeologists examined it, they were stunned. It wasn’t a modern shoe, but one that was last worn in the Bronze Age, some 3,400 years ago.center_img Queen: John Deacon, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor. Pic: Topham Picturepoint/Press Association Images3. Killer QueenJon Wilde brings us the story of the legendary band Queen, in the week that the late lead singer Freddie Mercury would have turned 67. It’s a chance to look at how the band became “absurdly wealthy and immoderate” as well as hugely popular. Expect some classic rock star behaviour. (Uncut) (Approx 32 minutes reading time – 6464 words)Fortified by “lines of marching powder as long and as thick as your grandmother’s arm”, the guests are free to choose from a menu of exotic diversions. The hotel ballrooms, made up to resemble labyrinthine jungle swamps, are swarming with magicians, Zulu tribesmen, contortionists, fire-eaters, drag queens and transsexual strippers.last_img