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Reading List: 7 Captivating Reads This Week

By Kim Fortson

May 23, 2013

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Out in the Great Alone,” Grantland
Mirroring the format of the New York Times’ multimedia masterpiece “Snow Fall,” this epic narrative by Brian Phillips unravels the story of Alaska’s daunting Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race. Phillips, who says of himself, “I hate snow, do not play winter sports, keep the thermostat at 65 on a good day, and haven’t logged out of Spotify since 2011. I’m not even a dog person,” follows the near two-week long trek through the state’s most unforgiving terrain from a tiny airplane named “Nugget”—which he learned to fly in case something happened to his pilot. Mixing historical fact with personal experience, Phillips’s account makes for an exhilarating read. —Kim Fortson 

Lebanon,” David Lebovitz
Lebovitz’s narration of his trip to Lebanon had me ready to book. Perhaps it was his description of a restaurant called Chez Zakhia, where he described “picking out fresh fish from the bins by the door, then settling in for an afternoon of eating generous meze and salads, fried fish, washed down with good Lebanese rosé and arak (distilled anise liquor), finishing it up with strong coffee and perhaps a hookah or a cigar.” A land of honey, orange blossoms, pistachios, and little fried fish sounds like the perfect place for a holiday.Davina Baum

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Going, going, gone!” Condé Nast Traveller
I’m lusting after some of the vintage travel posters in this photo gallery. Capturing the spirit of globe-trotting’s golden age, the collection of 20th-century lithographs includes images of chic, beachside Monte Carlo and a beckoning Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy. All 10 will get auctioned Thursday at the famed Christie’s in London. My travel poster collection won’t be growing, though: They’re estimated to go for $900 to $18,000 apiece. —Lara Takenaga

Special Request
I’m a total magazine nerd and always on the lookout for interesting, new publications. The latest that caught my eye is a UK quarterly called Special Request. The inaugural issue  is all about food and features contributions from great writers like Geoff Dyer and a feature that reveals the favorite sandwiches of celebs such as Florence Welsh and actor John C. Reilly. Nowness gives a sneak peak of the story. —Jen Murphy

The Best Poutine in Montreal,” A Montrealer Abroad
I’m a sucker for a good food story. In this piece, Montreal local—and AFAR Ambassador— Marie-Eve Vallieres hunts for the tastiest iteration of the city’s iconic snack. —Kim Fortson

Machine for Life,” Pitchfork
Whether you’re a fan of Daft Punk or not, this story is for you. Writer Ryan Dombal takes you inside the psychology of the band’s most recent self-reinvention, and the presentation itself is further evidence that long-form journalism on the web is not dead—it’s simply evolving. —Bryan Kitch 

Gaza’s KFC Smuggler Service, Al Yamama, Delivers Fried Chicken From Egypt Through Tunnels,” Huffington Post
I have a new appreciation for Kentucky Fried Chicken after reading this article. In places like Gaza, people are smuggling it! —Ji Kim 

Photo by Matt Long/AFAR

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