Long Reads Of The Week - 31 August

5 great reads you may have missed from around the web

1 | The New Yorker's profile of Cambridge classicist Mary Beard, by Rebecca Mead, is the highlight of its latest issue. In it the academic emerges as both an icon of modern feminism and a surprising pioneer in dealing with the internet trolls.

2 | Texas Monthly’s Daniel Vaughn, America’s first full-time barbecue editor, details his lifelong obsession with smoked ribs, beef brisket and grilled sausages. The highlight? His tips for surviving a BBQ tour of the U.S with cholesterol levels intact: “Eating too much at the first place is the most common mistake, one that’s hard to recover from. By the final stop, I’m usually eating alone.”

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3 | [Spoiler alert] Did Tony Soprano really die at the end of the greatest television show of all time? Martha P. Nochimson has been on a quest to find out the truth for Vox.com, analysing the genius and obsessions of the show's creator, David Chase. "Chase wasn't just playing with our heads when he designed the conclusion of The Sopranos; he was part of the ongoing evolution of the American imagination."

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4 | Everyone knows that the one rule of commuting is never speak to your fellow tube passengers. New York Magazine's Melissa Dahl flung this rule aside in the name of journalism and documented her experiences over the course of a working week. Read it here and give it a go on your way home tonight. 

5 | In the midst of the current dialogue on male suicide, US Esquire’s Stephen Marche explores the correlation between losing friends and men taking their own life, arguing that in our quest for masculinity and maturity, we move further away from those who care, thus becoming more vulnerable to depression and mental health issues.