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Some of these picks make it seem like we like each other. We do, most of the time. But we’re also intense critics. We get together in the woods in Georgia one weekend each year to tear one another apart. Physical combat is not rare. It’s in that spirit that you’ll find some cross pollination in the picks below. You’ll also see some good stuff that hasn’t shown up on the Top 5 lists so far. That’s on purpose. Hope you enjoy, and please know you’re welcome to come join us for last call over at gangrey.com. Drinks are on Wright.
Thompson is a senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine, and he lives in Oxford, Mississippi.
Heckert is a writer living in Atlanta.
“Could Conjoined Twins Share a Mind?” Susan Dominus, New York Times Magazine
“A Brevard Woman Disappeared, but Never Left Home”, by Michael Kruse, St. Petersburg Times
“Staying the Course”, Wright Thompson, ESPN
Lake is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated living in Atlanta.
Johnson is a 2010 Pulitzer winner who covers health and science for The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and once played guitar for a Rockford, Ill., grunge band called The Bloody Stumps.
“Watching the Murder of an Innocent Man,” Barry Bearak, New York Times Magazine
“Punched Out,” John Branch, New York Times
“The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist,” Rich Schapiro, Wired
“Imminent Danger,” Meg Kissinger, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Diving headlong into a sunny paradise,” Lane DeGregory, St. Petersburg Times
Kruse, a staff writer at the St. Petersburg Times and contributing writer to ESPN’s Grantland, won this year’s ASNE award for distinguished non-deadline writing.
The easiest-to-read hardest thing I read this year.
“The Lazarus File,” Matthew McGough, The Atlantic
Simple: suspense and surprise.
“You Blow My Mind. Hey, Mickey!” John Jeremiah Sullivan, The New York Times Magazine
My first reaction when I read this? Jealousy and awe. And when I read it a second time? And a third? Same.
“A man’s nightmare made real,” Chris Goffard, the Los Angeles Times
Riveting. The work of a master.
“God’s Away on Business,” Spencer Hall, Every Day Should Be Saturday
George Teague, college football and big thoughts.
Montgomery is an enterprise reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, and he lives in Tampa.
“If I Die Young,” Lane DeGregory, St. Petersburg Times
“The Guiltless Pleasure,” Rick Bragg, Gourmet
“A Lot To Lose,” Tony Rehagen, Indianapolis Monthly
“The Shepard’s Lamb,” Danielle Paquette, Indiana University Daily Student
“Voice of America,” by Coozledad, rurritable
Share your own Top 5 Longreads of 2011, all through December. Just tag it #longreads on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook.