Four newsletters worth reading

January 10, 2020 in Thoughts

It seems like everyone has a newsletter these days. Many ad agencies are hailing them as the best way to build and maintain an audience, and plenty of brands are willing to shell out the big bucks to start their own (or sponsor someone who has already found success).

The best newsletters are the ones who are written by people with a genuine love of sharing what they’ve found and a solid sense of humor. They have a dedication to the grind involved in putting out a newsletter regularly and a thoughtfulness that accounts for a range of topics, even the controversial ones.

Here’s a few that I always open as soon as they hit my inbox.

Five Things on Friday [weekly-ish]

I found James’ newsletter through a random Twitter thread he wrote on mental health and suicide, and I’m glad I did. As a digital strategist at a British agency and a parent, the topics he chooses tend to resonate with me.

Upside: James is likable and funny as hell, articles are often things I haven’t heard about from other sources.

Downside: Links sometimes don’t have a ton of context (gotta get that click!) and he took a 12 week break recently which was 🙁 but understandable (we all deserve time off).

Wine with Chas [weekly]

This is a newsletter that’s accessible to anyone – wine snob or total novice – and that’s what I love about it. It’s a great way to learn what’s up with the culture of wine, which is something that’s easy to miss if you’ve always got your nose in a glass.

Upside: Reviews affordable wines from places like Target, makes me feel smarter while wine tasting.

Downside: ???

Extra Credit [weekly]

Carrie Bauer is the author behind Slate’s Ask a Teacher column, and her newsletter is a thoughtful look at parenting, books, and teaching. Her piece “9 Silences, Ranked” was moving, particularly silence #9 (during which I have often wished to teleport myself to another planet):

The twelve-second respite between shutting the car door on the tantruming toddler whose carseat you just buckled and opening the driver’s side door and diving back into the fray.

Upside: Feels like having a conversation with a friend.

Downside: Can get a little long sometimes.

Eureka! [weekly-ish]

Speaking of my rant about newsletters only being used to sell stuff or make money from affiliate linking, Eureka! promises a return to the days of newsletters that were written by your friends for the pure fun of it. It’s always a solid mix of articles, old school online video games, and other random, weird, and funny things from around the internet.

Upside: Excellent use of GIFs, varied recommendations

Downside: Sometimes skips a couple of weeks (I miss u, Eureka!)

Honorable Mentions

Didn’t make the list, but still good: The New York Times Daily Briefing, The Longreads Top 5, The Evergrey.

What newsletters have you been reading lately?

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