1 | Julia Ioffe investigates the state of Putin's Russia for New Republic. Essential reading as the Winter Olympics take place in Sochi.
2 | Reddit is the website that calls itself the 'front page of the internet'. Actually, it's more like the index pages, where more mainstream sites go to look up what's funny every day. Here, for the Guardian, Tom Lamont tries to join in.
3 | Writing for The Telegraph, Dolly Alderton's piece on her love for the Radio 4 show Desert Island Discs is a touching tribute to the power of music (and full of great listening suggestions).
4 | Will Boast's memoir of his Father and how he died is a stunning meditationon the nature of pain, for VQR.
5 | Finally, for The Baffler, David Graeber raises some excellent points about human nature by asking: What’s the Point If We Can’t Have Fun?