2018 Primetime Emmy
& James Beard Award Winner

Roads & Kingdoms’ Favorite Articles From Around the Web in 2018

The R&K staff list their top articles for the year.

To use a solar analogy, content on the Internet in 2018 was a giant ball of gas that was also on fire and threw off a thousand solar flares a minute that spewed radiation and then just disappeared entirely. And yet, in the midst of all that gaseousness, there was some insanely good reporting, commentary and longform writing. Here are our picks of articles from 2018 that made a lasting impression.

Read more of our 2018 selections here.


‘Silence Is Health’: How Totalitarianism Arrives by Uki Goñi (New York Review of Books)

Striking comparisons between what’s happening in the US and Argentina’s “Dirty War” by the U.S.-born Argentine writer Uki Goñi. I lived in Argentina in my early twenties and grew hearing family stories about my relatives’ exile from Argentina during the dictatorship, so I found this particularly resonant. – Danielle Renwick

How Goop’s Haters Made Gwenyth Paltrow’s Company Worth $250 Million by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (New York Times Magazine)

“She wore a white shirred-neck dress by Tibi that would be advertised in the Goop newsletter the next week as she stood in front of her stove, steaming clams and grilling bread in her devastating kitchen. She wore no apron and cooked the meal herself right in front of me. She wore no apron and cooked it herself right in front of me and drank a whiskey on the rocks.” Just going to leave this here. – Shivani Mehta

The Strange and Twisted Life of ‘Frankenstein’ by Jill Lepore (New Yorker)

I’m a huge literature nerd and fan of Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein novel, so it was fascinating to learn that the core of her message is best depicted through historical moments like the American abolitionist and early women’s rights movements, not the Hollywood horror movies. – Emily Marinoff

Post Malone is the perfect pop star for this American moment. That’s not a compliment by Jeff Weiss (Washington Post)

I have been waiting for someone to roast the exceedingly mediocre Post Malone since the first time I heard his music and this piece was just so funny. – Tyler Elmore

The Last Curious Man by Drew Magary (GQ)

Drew Magary’s ode to our former partner Anthony Bourdain taps into the collective memories of the man’s closest friends and colleagues to try to make sense of why this loss means so much to the world. It’s a tough read—especially when you come to R&K chieftain Nathan Thornburgh’s heart-wrenching kicker—but it captures all that made Tony such a remarkable human. – Matt Goulding

Kelly Slater’s Shock Wave by William Finnegan (New Yorker)

I would gladly read William Finnegan’s shopping list, and since it came out in 2015 I have re-read his Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life” maybe a dozen times. So, as a frustrated surfer who lives in a landlocked country, I loved his piece in the New Yorker on whether Kelly Slater’s artificial wave—conjured into existence on a lake near Fresno, CA—will “democratize surfing or despoil it.” – Alexa van Sickle

On Instagram, Seeing Between the (Gender) Lines by Jenna Wortham (New York Times Magazine)

I miss the Still Processing podcast, so it’s good to read Jenna Wortham’s reporting on what it means to be human and online in the present day. – Aleesa Mann

The Obsessive Search for the Tasmanian Tiger by Brooke Jarvis (New Yorker)

In a year when news and magazine coverage in the US turned ever more inward toward our own cultural unraveling, Brooke Jarvis’s story was a powerful reminder of what our most storied media institutions can do: Tell stories not because they’re important in themselves, but because they help us to see ourselves—and the world—more clearly. – Michael Snyder

The Great Chinese Art Heist by Alex W. Palmer (GQ)

An unbelievable story that follows a trail of art thefts around the world and explores why the Chinese government may be responsible. – Cengiz Yar

Quincy Jones Has a Story about That by Chris Heath (GQ)

The legendary music producer sat down with GQ and spilled all the tea he has collected throughout his extraordinary life, causing me to look at many Hollywood legends in a different light. – Tafi Mukunyadzi

How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions by Jeff Maysh (The Daily Beast)

Everything about this story of the greatest McHeist in history made me happy. The greed, the incompetence, the artery-stopping junk food and the briefcases filled with ill-gotten cash—this article is the most fun you can have while simultaneously realizing that long before Trump was president, our country was exactly the kind of place where a guy like Trump could become president. – Nathan Thornburgh

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