Something to read – August 2011


in Something to read

Something to read – more than news, different than fiction

Most of our fluency comes from what we read, so reading is the most important thing you can do to improve your English.

To get the greatest benefit from your reading, find articles and stories that are easy enough for you to enjoy without stopping to look at a dictionary. You may not know all the words, but that’s not important. Keep reading, and let your brain do what it does so well – acquire more English.

Something to read is a monthly collection of articles and essays for high intermediate and advanced readers. They are more than news, different than fiction – longer, in-depth articles and essays about fascinating people, events, and ideas.

Something to read during August 2011

Not So Fast (The New Yorker) – Scientific management started as a way to work. How did it become a way of life?

Don’t Panic About the Stock Market (Wall Street Journal) – Investors who resist the urge to get out during rough times like this will be glad they did.

Origins of the debt showdown (Washington Post) – A history of the debt ceiling vote.

The man who stole the Mona Lisa (Guardian)

A Holocaust survivor raised a fist to death (Los Angeles Times) – Leon Weinstein survived the Warwas Ghetto. But it is the story of the little girl he wants to tell.

Mastering the Art of American Eating (The Morning News)

Greece in panic as it faces change of Homeric proportions (Guardian) – How much can a country change?

The 30-foot Jump (Sports Illustrated) – Will this record ever be broken?

Two CIA Prisoners in China, 1952-73 (CIA) – The CIA’s declassified account of the two decades young officers spent as captives after being shot down over China during the Korean War.

Murdoch Hacked Us Too (New York Magazine) – News Corp. scandal already exposed just how thoroughly the company had corrupted Britain. Now it’s time to look on this side of the pond.

The Science and Magic of Beer (Guardian)

How to make a perfect lemon sorbet (Guardian)

Life on the Line (between El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico) (New York Times)

What Were They Thinking (The New York Review of Books) – Why did America’s leaders decide to do what they did when they raised the debt ceiling?

The Cuban Grapevine (More Intelligent Life) – James Scudamore, a regular visitor, goes back to see how Havana is changing….

Train to the Roof of the World (Wired) – China’s new 1,200-mile railway crosses some of the harshest terrain on the planet. Plug in your oxygen supply. All aboard the Tibet express.

How One Man Hacked His Way Into the Slot-Machine Industry (Wired) – Rodolfo Rodriguez Cabrera didn’t set out to mastermind a global counterfeiting ring. All he wanted was to earn a decent living doing what he loves most: playing with electronics.

Los 33: Chilean miners face up to a strange new world (Guardian) – The triumphant rescue of the Chilean miners was shared with the world. But the transition back to normal life is proving difficult.

The Woman Who Fell To Earth: A Love Story (Stanford Medicine Magazine) – When Deborah Shurson stepped out of the Cessna 206 in 1982, her parachute failed to open and her family watched in terror as she fell to the earth. This is the story of the miracles that followed.

My Father Is an African Immigrant and My Mother Is a White Girl from Kansas and I Am Not the President of the United States (The Stranger) – The writer speaks to his Nigerian father for the first – and last – time.

What does the final shuttle flight mean for space exploration? (Guardian) – Two veterans of the flights talk about the thrill of takeoff, the view from above, and the next step for mankind in space.

Meltdown (Foreign Policy) – For the first time, Boris Yeltsin’s right-hand man tells the inside story of the coup that killed glasnost – and changed the world.

When Country Was King (Los Angeles Times Magazine) – Before Nashville was Nashville – the home of country music – Southern California served as ground ero for good old honky-tonk.

These articles have been selected from articles listed in The Long Good Read,, Give Me Something to Read, and

Happy reading!

Warren Ediger

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