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#277: Unraveling The Stitches

The Highlighter
Hi loyal readers! Already this January, we’ve had an insurrection, an impeachment, and an inauguration. But in addition to all of that historic news, something entirely different has captured the attention of our esteemed reading community: bucatini. After enjoying this week’s offerings — a poignant lead article on immigration, a well-written essay on Black veganism, and two podcast episodes on self-deprecating humor and anti-elitism — head on down to “Reader Annotations,” where you’ll find yourself immersed in a vibrant debate among fellow readers. There’s no reason there can’t be a Round 2, so hit reply if you want to continue the conversation.
+ Two of my favorite things about Article Club are that I get to discuss great articles with thoughtful people (yes, you) and that the authors always join in on the fun. This month, Jiayang Fan shared her thoughts on “Motherland,” which we’re discussing this Sunday. If you like to read and hang out with great people, plus hobnob with fancy writers, let me know, and I’ll make sure you’re in next month.

Unraveling The Stitches
How I Found Empowerment In The History Of Black Veganism
Yes, we’ve already watched Amanda Gorman recite her stunning poem, “The Hill We Climb.” But let’s watch her again.
Yes, we’ve already watched Amanda Gorman recite her stunning poem, “The Hill We Climb.” But let’s watch her again.
How To Love Yourself
My Year In Mensa
+ Reader Annotations: Last week’s article about bucatini prompted so many replies and exclamation points, my email nearly broke. VIP Jamie wrote, “Bucatini is the best long pasta hands down!” Loyal reader Matt wrote, “The bucatini piece made me want bucatini!” VIP Phoebe was even more effusive in her praise: “I MUST USE ALL CAPS TO DECLARE THAT I LOVED THE BUCATINI ARTICLE!” (She included four exclamation points, but The Highlighter’s style guide allows for only one per sentence.) Undeterred, Phoebe added:
I had a smile on my face throughout the entire article. The smile is still on my face. And I must also confirm that there was no De Cecco bucatini on the shelf when I went grocery shopping today. I noticed the glaring hole on the shelf, with the sad little sign for bucatini turned upside down to indicate that it was out of stock. I bought two boxes of fusilli.
Despite Phoebe’s enthusiasm, not everyone shared her view on bucatini. Loyal reader Monica, “a rebel at heart,” stated bluntly, “I am not a fan of bucatini.” She lamented that her partner bought “several boxes at Grocery Outlet one time,” which led her to confirm her love of fettuccine.
Then there’s loyal reader Lisa, whose refused to take sides in the debate and instead shared this nuanced contribution:
Pasta comes in so many varieties that saying one is the best is like saying eggplants far exceed lettuce and yet how can one compare the two? If I am making a salad, of course some red little gems or arugula would do the trick. If I want a side to go with my meatballs, with leftovers for the morning, I would opt for roasted eggplant wedges. Roasted lettuce would be, well, awkward to say the least. And so it is for pasta. Bucatini may well be the best pasta on earth if your sauce is a meaty ragu; however, homemade buckwheat linguine are sublime with a radicchio and pancetta topping, and for carbonara, nothing will do like a thin spaghetti. So the question is flawed.
Thank you very much for all these spirited opinions. Now I know what drives our reading community. Next week, I’ll be sure to feature an article about whether pesto can be made with walnuts rather than pine nuts. (My 98.8 percent Italian score says no way.)
Unfortunately, what is good must come to an end. Thank you for reading this week’s issue of The Highlighter. I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you thought by hitting reply or by clicking on the thumbs below.
Also, let’s welcome our reading community’s six new subscribers, including Amy and Sai. I hope you find the newsletter a solid addition to your email inbox.
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Mark Isero
Mark Isero @iserotope

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