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What Writers and Editors Are Reading: May 2023

Sneak a peek inside your favorite writers’ Pockets to learn about their favorite recent reads—and why they’re obsessed.

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Read when you’ve got time to spare.

Every month at Pocket, we ask our favorite writers and editors to share their good taste and discerning reading habits. They tell us the best pieces—both new and old—they read last month, and we share them with you. It’s like being in a group chat with writers you love, swapping links to great pieces and notes on why they loved them.

Past editions have covered the feral hog invasion, myths about menopause, the trauma of crime-scene investigators at Sandy Hook, and more. In May’s edition, stories explore parenting in the age of diet culture, a mother’s love of poker, and rage rooms, among other topics.

Image by DBenitostock / Getty Images

Trying To Raise ‘Normal’ Eaters After A Lifetime Of Diet Culture

Virginia Sole-Smith

“This gets to the heart—so quickly and clearly—of our messed up relationships with our bodies, our misunderstanding of how what we eat affects those bodies. Spoiler: it really is NOT about calories out/calories in, or ‘eat less, exercise more’, or willpower, all of which has been disproved by the myriad studies she cites.” -Rebecca Seal

The Fugitive Princesses of Dubai

Heidi Blake
The New Yorker

Recommended by Gail Cornwall: “Rarely is what’s good for you also gripping. In a brave and impressive feat of longform journalism, Heidi Blake tackles daunting topics like basic human rights for women, the corrupting influence of money and power, and the limits of psychological resilience. Read it for the topic’s multitude of layers. Read it for the brilliant execution. Read it because if you just get started, you won’t be able to stop.”

Read “Stop Venting! It Doesn’t Work.” by Gail and Juli Fraga, featured in Pocket’s best great advice articles of 2022.

I Had No Idea I Was So Angry Until I Went to a Rage Room

Kristine Lloyd

Recommended by Jaime Stathis: “I didn’t know rage rooms were even a thing, so I learned something new, but the real reason I love this piece is because I can’t think of a single person (myself included!) who doesn’t have a bunch of rage we’ve stuffed deep down, and I know we can all benefit from letting it go.”

Read Jaime’s article “How to (Ethically) Get Rid of Your Unwanted Stuff,” featured in Pocket’s great advice collection last year.

How Some People Get Away With Doing Nothing at Work

Emily Stewart

Recommended by Allie Volpe: “Everyone has encountered that one person who doesn’t appear to do a single thing at work, despite being gainfully employed. (Maybe you are that person!) My colleague Emily Stewart talked to a few of those people—the ‘jobless employed’—to get a sense of what they do all day: naps! Hikes! Pretending they live in...Kentucky? The anecdotes are so rich and hilarious, the reporting sharp and insightful.”

Read Allie’s article “The Sleep Advice No One Tells You,” which was one of Pocket’s most read articles last year.

My Mother, the Poker Shark

Ian Frisch

Recommended by Andrew Zaleski: “Ian Frisch is one of the best writers out there, and this story—about a son’s love for his mom, and his mom’s love for the card game that made sure he had a roof over his head and food on his plate—is just lovely. Come for the mother-son trip to Las Vegas; stay for the poignant exploration of how the smallest, simplest things can connect us so much to the people we love. (I called my mom after reading it.)”

Read Andrew’s article “Why a Healthy Gut Is So Important For Overall Wellness,” which was one of Pocket’s top saved articles in May.

Your Most Ambivalent Relationships Are the Most Toxic

Adam Grant
The New York Times

Recommended by Dr. Andrea Wojnicki: “As I read this article, I felt my blood pressure elevating. It’s true: our ‘ambivalent relationships’ (those with whom we have contradictory or mixed feelings) may be the most toxic! Adam Grant deftly tells us why. We ‘put up a shield’ around our enemies. But not so our frenemies. That leaves us vulnerable. Ghosting the other person is rarely the ideal response. Grant encourages us to embrace the awkwardness. Be clear and caring with the other person. After all, ‘a relationship in which you can’t be candid isn’t a relationship at all; it’s a charade.’ The alternative? You could forward them this article and ask, ‘Is this us?’”

Read Andrea’s article “A Simple Way to Introduce Yourself,” featured in Pocket’s most read articles of 2022.