• "Made in the Shade"
    A package on Southern writers: profiles, interviews and an 11-state directory of writers you may never have heard of but are worth your time. Appeared in Creative Loafing chain.
  • "Mass Appeal"
    A day-in-the-life profile of a telegenic parish priest in Miami. Published in Catholic Digest, reprinted in the St. Petersburg Times
  • "The Liberation of Tam Minh Pham"
    How the first West Point graduate from South Vietnam disappears after the fall of Saigon, only to be rescued by his classmates two decades later. A cover story in The Washington Post Magazine


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Ken Fuson

Chip, I think the writer is on to something. What we need is a Web page called something like "Great Reads." Not necessarily six-part series, but just a place where somebody can find the great newspaper stories -- short and small -- as easily as we can find the latest gossip on Romenesko.
Anybody know of such a Web site? Here's a vaccuum for some techno-savvy newspaper lover to fill.

David Harris-Gershon

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Icess Fernandez

Might I make a suggestion. Cristina Garcia's "Dreaming in Cuban." I've been talking about that book alot lately only because it reminds me of chocolate cake - rich and feeds the writers soul. It's lyrical but straight to the point. I'm completely in love with it. Try that one...
by the way Garcia was a reporter for Time magazine.

cathy grossman

Read plays! Every few years I re-read "Oedipus Rex." It cures me of blaming tight space for my own failings. For fun, I hold dear the Brian Hooker translation of "Cyrano de Bergerac" -- all sweepy/weepy and poetic.


Best idea: proceed directly to the Classics. Nothing gave me a better creative wind-up than recently reading the 800-page David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Now on to Dostoevsky's The Idiot.

At work, in journalism, I skip accross many stones. Most of us do. But with these books, I plunge into deep waters, and am greatly stirred.

Other recent favorites: Portrait of a Lady by Henry James and Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser. Classics, all, but so point on in revealing the human condition. So little that's new that can measure to these.


Just had a similar conversation with some writers on Several people posted their must have book lists for journalists. Thought everyone might be interested in reading the posts.

Brave Men. Somebody Told Me. New New Journalism. The Last American Man. The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup. What A Time It Was. The Electric Kool-Aide Acid Test.

Fame and Obscurity. The Art of Fact. The Orchid Thief. In Cold Blood. No Country for Old Men. Off Ramp: Adventures and Heartache in the American Elsewhere. Playing for Keeps. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. The Best American Sports Writing 1995. Joe Gould's Secret.

Dispatches. Piecework. Work and Other Sins. On Writing Well.

Sports Illustrated - Fifty Years of Great Writing. City Room. A Moveable Feast. Friday Night Lights.

On newspapers: News Is A Verb


Couldn't add to this list if I wanted to but I do want to thank you Chip, (and your readers) for the great suggestions. I knew from the very first post it would be inspirational.


I love the idea of a web site devoted to great newspaper journalism. Could I compile the section on JR Moehringer and Lisa Pollak? (And Tom Haines, if you include a section on travel writers?) When I taught writing and journalism, I used to tell students to read Penelope Fitzgerald (esp. The Blue Flower), Alice Munro, Annie Proulx (love her use of verbs!) and Norman MacLean's "A River Runs Through It." I'm a Greek girl with no idea about fly fishing, but "River" has a closing passage that always moves me to tears.

Harris Salat

Read Barry Lopez: "About This Life," "Crossing Open Ground," "Vintage Lopez," "Arctic Dreams." I read and reread and reread Lopez. Also, find his essay "My Horse."


I read the New Yorker every week and try to keep up with Harpers, the Atlantic and Entertainment Weekly, which has some great writers.
Since I write about crime and court I like reading crime novels -- you can learn a lot about good dialogue from writers like Patricia Cornwell and Elmore Leonard.
And I re-read my favorite books, especially Catch-22, my all-time favorite.

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