What Should I Read This Week? A Field Guide to Slate.

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June 27 2014 12:56 PM
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What Happened This Week?

Slate in five observations: The World Cup, SCOTUS, and Orange Is the New Black

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What we're talking about at Slate this week.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos courtesy Netflix, by Getty Images, Reuters.

Happy Friday, Slate Plus members!

It’s my turn this week. I’m Jeff, one of the hands on the Slate Plus wheel. Here’s the view from my desk on this week in Slate:

1. I like Dahlia Lithwick’s emails.

This story made Dahlia angry. So she wrote an early morning email to everyone at Slate to recommend it: “There’s NOTHING like reading Charlie Pierce when you are angry.”

I replied and asked Dahlia why she’s awake so early. She answered, “Court week, don’t sleep.”

I’m emailing with Dahlia because we’re planning a podcast extra for Slate Plus. A short conversation about the Supreme Court term, featuring Dahlia and two of her esteemed Breakfast Table correspondents, Walter Dellinger and Eric Posner. Look out for the podcast on Monday. You can even email me this weekend to pitch Dahlia and Co. a SCOTUS question.

2. I owe Willa Paskin a beer.

Willa is Slate’s TV critic. I’ve never met her IRL. I owe her a beer because so many of you signed up for Slate Plus to listen to our Game of Thrones podcast.

So, at the end of GoT Season 4, Jennifer and I were like: “Willa, can you please do something else with Slate Plus?”

That’s why we’re excited about this project. In Willa’s critical opinion, Orange Is the New Black is bomb. Willa’s lined up interviews with interesting people who share her regard for the show to talk through various OITNB issues. Last week, it was Planet Money’s Adam Davidson talking about the prison economics of OITNB. Don’t miss the second episode—trust me. Look for it next Wednesday, approximately.

Slate’s story of the week, according to Willa? Amanda Hess on Robin Thicke: “She traces a certain strain of creepy through pop music from the Beatles to Lady Gaga,” emails Willa. 

3. Jeremy Stahl has figured out work-life balance.

Jeremy is the steward of Slate’s World Cup coverage. From my desk, it looks like this involves Jeremy watching a lot of World Cup. I asked Jeremy how his life has changed in the last few weeks: “I'm eating a lot less healthy and sitting on the couch a lot more. Go sports!”

Slate’s singular World Cup story, according to Jeremy? Read this Josh Levin recap of how the U.S. advanced, he says. “Cristiano Ronaldo is named after Ronald Reagan. Today, he earned it.”

Don’t #SlatePitch the World Cup, btw. The Slate offices are on board with the excitement.

4. David Plotz is reading about money. 

While writing this note, I asked David, “What are you reading right now?”

“I’m reading the galleys of John Lanchester’s new book, How to Speak Money. He wrote one of my favorite novels of recent years, Capital, and in the process learned a ton about the finance industry. This book is like a Devil’s Dictionary of finance.” 

I used to be the Political Gabfest intern. People would ask how David, John, and Emily find time to read so widely. It’s a good question that I can’t answer. I share your awe.

5. Will Oremus is correct!

From: Will Oremus

To: Slate Office

Thanks for being a Slate Plus member. As usual, please tell Jennifer and me what to do. Use the comments area below.