Recent Reads from the New Yorker

Some highlights from the past couple months of the world’s greatest magazine.

Lipstick on a Pig: a 2008 Campaign Quiz is the latest in a series of questionnaires Paul Slansky has produced to highlight the absurdity of election quotes. Test how good you are at identifying how low candidates and spokespeople will go. A hint: the real answers are generally the most outrageous.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, by Jill Lepore, explores how the practice of voting has changed in America since its inception. Many things we take for granted, from government-produced ballots to the secrecy of the voting curtain, are actually relatively recent developments.

Right Again, by Adam Gopnik, profiles the almost-saintly foresight and advocacy of John Stuart Mill. A dedicated feminist and champion of human rights, Mill’s positions still sound radical, and persuasive, today.

Finally, Aleksandar Hemon produces another punchy, evocative short story with The Noble Truths of Suffering. This one will especially resonate for writers, as it explores the way experiences are absorbed and then pulverized before being reframed on the printed page. Humor anchors a seemingly tossed-off, but surprisingly moving, story.