What's in a Home? A Reading List

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 9.45.43 AM

Emily Perper is a word-writing human working at a small publishing company. She blogs about her favorite longreads at Diet Coker.

New York, London, Detroit, Indianapolis: What does it look like to make a home? To build a home? To live in an office building, with a Craiglist roommate, with your best friend, in a condemned house, without any electricity, in a bankrupt city, in one of most expensive cities in the world, with mice, with your dog, with your parents? Is home a place or a state of mind or a manifesto?

1. “Getting Uncomfortable With Being Uncomfortable.” (Chloe Caldwell, Thought Catalog, November 2013)

One of my favorite essays from Caldwell’s essay collection, Legs Get Led Astray, about what made the worst (and cheapest!) apartment in Brooklyn a home.

2. “In London, ‘Guardians’ Live in Empty Office Buildings.” (Art Patnaude, Wall Street Journal, January 2014)

To deter squatters, companies hire ‘guardians,’ from young professionals to 50somethings, to babysit buildings slated for construction or destruction. In the zany world of London real estate, the rent is a dream and the waiting list is 2,000 strong.

3. “Why I Bought A House In Detroit for $500.” (Drew Philip, Buzzfeed)

Part personal narrative, part history lesson and part something like hope-in-action, I learned more about Detroit reading this essay than any other: “We want things to flourish, but we want them to have roots.”

4. “Places I’ve Lived: Sleepwalking, Mice Herding, and Craigslist.” (Katherine Coplen, The Billfold, January 2014)

I’ve praised PIL before and The Billfold in general, and this installment is no exception. The writer sings Paul Simon in the shower. Who can resist?

***

Photo: Moyan Brenn

We need your help to get to 5,000 Longreads Members.

Join Longreads now and help us keep going.

Emily Perper writes, reads, and edits in the DC 'burbs. She devours longform journalism, particularly those pieces involving faith, feminism and queer things. She is the editor-at-large of The Annual, a bimonthly humor magazine, and she contributes weekly to Longreads. Ask her to write a thing for your publication, or edit something, or walk your dog.
Get the Longreads Weekly Email

Sign up to receive the Top 5 Longreads of the week, delivered every Friday.