Slate’s best articles of October, ranked.

The Best Article That You Missed in October

The Best Article That You Missed in October

Slate Plus
Your all-access pass
Nov. 2 2015 2:45 PM

What You Should Read From October

We ranked the month’s most popular Slate articles. Then we asked our editors to recommend the best story you didn’t read.


Image by Slate. Illustrations by Natalie Matthews-Ramo.

We ranked the most popular articles published by Slate in October. Then we asked a few Slate editors to nominate the best stories you missed. Their answers are at the bottom.  —Slate Plus editors

The 20 Most Read Articles of October

8. Sure, This Star Is Weird. But Aliens?
By Phil Plait, Oct. 14

Notes: Stories published from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 that had the most unique visitor traffic. Omits Dear Prudence stories.

The 20 Articles You Spent the Longest Time Reading

9. Live-Blogging Benghazi
By Josh Voorhees, Oct. 22

Notes: Ranking omits Dear Prudence articles, news quiz, and videos. Time on page isn’t necessarily a measure of active reading time.

What You Missed

The best story we published in October that didn’t make any of these lists? Here’s what our editors said.

Deputy editor John Swansburg recommends Leon Neyfakh’s write-up of a provocative study that may upend the American understanding of criminal recidivism.

Culture editor Dan Kois wants you to explore the history of Japanese cinema by reading this reflective travelogue by movie critic Dana Stevens.

Ebola panic peaked in America a year ago—what were we thinking? Science and health editor Laura Helmuth offers this review of the predictions that were made and how they held up.

Laura also points out this fact check of recent remarks by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia about popular support for the death penalty.

And features editor Jessica Winter says,

I had a feeling this wonderful piece by Erin Ashenhurst wouldn’t get the audience it deserved when we published it—it’s so droll and subtle, so soft-spoken in its eloquence and deft observational wit, that you have to hold your ear closely to it, wait a moment to get on its wavelength. (For example, “For some, knowledge of textiles is handed down through generations” is the funniest topic sentence I’ve read in a while, but it took me a couple of beats to realize that.)
It also dawns on you slowly and subtly just how many things it’s about: parenting-based status anxiety, feminism’s generation gaps, the competence tiers of parenthood. And best of all, in lamenting the writer’s inability to create a beautiful and exquisitely crafted object, it becomes exactly that.