Each week, members of the WFPL news team spotlight interesting stories we’ve read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:
Phillip M. Bailey: This Bobby Jindal piece shows that the GOP soul searching is real. The losing party is always more interesting, because it is forced to reexamine its positions, consulting and ideology. Jindal is a pro-life conservative who is trying to have an honest conversation about contraceptives. Read The End of Birth Control Politics.
Gabe Bullard: Who knew a bat could be so contentious? ESPN Magazine has published a long excerpt of Kevin Guilfole’s book A Drive Into the Gap (one of my favorite books of 2012). It covers a little-known mystery surrounding Roberto Clemente’s 3,000 hit. What bat did he use? Was it a Louisville Slugger, which he was contractually-obligated to use? Was it another brand that he sometimes favored? The piece is about more than baseball. It’s also a story about alzheimer’s, youth and memory that both breaks and warms the heart. Read 3,000 Hits. Three Bats. One Enduring Mystery.
Devin Katayama: I hesitated reading what I read this week, which follows up on the book I recently completed: Zeitoun. The story recounts one family’s experience during Hurricane Katrina and Zeitoun’s (the main character’s last name used throughout the novel) profiled arrest and detainment during that time. I shared what I was reading with Gabe, our beloved content director, who then told me Zeitoun had been arrested for domestic abuse. So I waited patiently until this week—after I had finished the book—to research and confirm the second half of this man’s life as only the public would know him. The New York Times, on Aug. 9, reported the protagonist had been again arrested, this time for plotting to kill his wife, whom he showed deep affection and love for throughout the novel. I considered whether this changed the way I viewed the novel, and concluded it hasn’t. While author Dave Eggers has been questioned about Zeitoun’s arrest (I Googled around and found a few articles), the two stories should be kept separate. This may be a stretch (I wanted to find some way of working this in) but, to quote Jurassic Park, “Life finds a way.” People evolve and things change, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Make sense? If not, let me know. Read Katrina Hero Facing Charges in New Orleans.
Erin Keane: Before James Franco was a budding literary star, he was one of the painfully relatable characters in Paul Feig’s and Judd Apatow’s breakthrough 1999-2000 TV series “Freaks and Geeks.” The show only lasted one season, but I never missed an episode in those pre-DVR days, and I still mourn the amazing Norseman yearbook box set I lost in a move. The cast and crew gather to give Vanity Fair an oral history of the show. Read 2 Good 2 Be 4Gotten.
Joseph Lord: The New York Times delves into massive construction projects on college campuses, which are paid for largely by students already burdened by debt. Read Building a Showcase Campus, Using an I.O.U.
Also: This Buzzfeed piece needs little explanation this week. Read 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity.