Slate's 10 most popular stories from 2009.

The week's most intriguing stories.
Dec. 30 2009 1:17 PM

Slate'sMost Read Stories

The 10 most popular articles of 2009.

Whenever Slate chronicles its most-read stories of the year, the list is revealing. Some years, readers are interested in beer, babes, and puppy dogs. In 2008, they were hungry for news of the election and the economy. In 2009, readers wanted a bit of both. Stories about the Obamas—what Barack was reading, how the family moved into the White House, what the president's Secret Service agents look like—were very popular. And readers flocked to slide shows about the recession, including one on Detroit and one that gathered Slate readers' photos of the economic crisis. But more unorthodox stories also found traction. June Thomas' series on the crisis in American dentistry was widely read, as was a slide show on strange maps, our Mad Men TV Club and—our most-read story of the year—a taste test of chain coffee. Below, you'll find a list of the 10 articles and five slide shows that attracted the most readers this year.

10 Most Popular Articles

1. Coffee Talk
Which chain brews the best cup? Starbucks, McDonald's, or Dunkin'?
By Nathan Heller

2. Mad Men, Season 3
Slate's TV Club on the AMC show.
By Patrick Radden Keefe, John Swansburg and Julia Turner

3. What, Exactly, Are "Natural Causes"?
And can they really explain Brittany Murphy's death from cardiac arrest at the age of 32?
By Brian Palmer

4.  The American Way of Dentistry
A look at the coming crisis.
By June Thomas

5.  Fix Your Terrible Insecure Passwords in Five Minutes
A foolproof technique to secure your computer, e-mail, and bank account.
By Farhad Manjoo

6.  Masseuse Rubbed Me the Wrong Way
Prudie counsels a woman who ordered a rubdown but got a shakedown—and other advice seekers.

7.  Barack's Book Bag
What Obama's summer reading list says about him.
By John Dickerson

8. Reunited, and It Feels So Bad
My long-lost daughter is a terror, and I want nothing to do with her.

9.  First Movers
How exactly will Obama get all his stuff into the White House?
By Christopher Beam

10. Nice To Meet You, Please Don't Touch Me
Dear Prudence counsels a career woman whose religion forbids her from shaking hands with men—and other advice seekers.

Five Most Popular Slide Shows
1. A Brief History of the Bikini
How the tiny swimsuit conquered America.
By Julia Turner

2.  Guarding Obama
Photos of the president-elect's Secret Service detail.
By Scout Tufankjian

3. Strange Maps

California as an island, utopia in the shape of a skull, and other cartographic curiosities.

By Frank Jacobs

4. Incredible Hulks

Exploring Detroit's beautiful ruins.

By Witold Rybczynski

5. Great Shots of Tough Times

Slate
readers share their photographs of the economic crisis.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 21 2014 2:00 PM Colin Farrell Will Star in True Detective’s Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.