The LGBTQ Romance Boom and the Next Big Addiction Treatment: The Week in Narrated Articles
This weekend, listen to a collection of narrated articles from around The New York Times, read aloud by the reporters who wrote them.
LGBTQ romance novels have been around for decades, but they have been a quiet presence, almost entirely self-published or put out by small niche presses, and often shelved separately from other romances in bookstores. Now, they are coming from the biggest publishers in the industry. They are prominently displayed at independent bookstores and on the shelves at Walmart, and advertised on New York City subway platforms.
In many ways, this echoes a broader cultural shift. Gay characters were once confined to niche markets, or to peripheral roles and tragic endings in the mainstream — a tendency that spawned the sardonic catchphrase “bury your gays.” No longer. An LGBTQ romance novel, in fact, promises two things: It will have LGBTQ characters at its center, and the main couple (or thruple) will have a happy ending.
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Written and narrated by Brendan Borrell
In recent years there has been a spate of research suggesting psychedelic drugs can help people manage mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, chronic pain or even eating disorders.
But a growing body of data points to one as the leading contender to treat the intractable disease of substance abuse. Psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, has shown promise in limited early studies, not only in alcohol and harder drugs, but also nicotine — all of which resist long-term treatment.
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Written and narrated by Sean Malin
In “Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood,” an animated comedy on Netflix set in the suburbs of 1960s Houston, a gaggle of preteens descending upon a Popsicle stood in a bid to ward off the Texas heat. One by one, they go for that first delightful lick, only to discover that their tongues instantly stick to the freezer-burned treats upon contact. Panic starts to spread, and the kids wriggle frantically, until one daring boy ends up with a bloody tongue.
That joke, with its blend of humor and horror, comes from the ripe memory of the film’s writer and director, Richard Linklater. But its golden timing is the work of Linklater’s longtime editor, Sandra Adair.
“Apollo 10½” is the 20th feature film that Adair, 69, has edited for Linklater, 61. Its release marks 30 years since the pair first began what is among the most enduring collaborations in American movie history, producing work that has received widespread critical praise and multiple Oscar nominations.
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Written and narrated by Adam Liptak
Supreme Court justices, like most people, like to appear to be consistent. No one wants to be thought to be a flip-flopper, an opportunist or a hypocrite.
That means justices try not to disavow earlier legal views, even ones that appeared in dissents, in opinions they wrote as appeals court judges, in academic work, at their confirmation hearings and elsewhere.
This impulse, which a provocative new article calls “personal precedent,” can be at odds with respect for precedent in the conventional sense.
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Written and narrated by Kashmir Hill
There is a growing cohort of amateur DNA detectives, their hobby born of widespread consumer genetic testing paired with an unquenchable desire for true crime content. Why just listen to a murder podcast when you can help the police comb through genealogical databases for the second cousins of suspected killers and their unidentified victims?
So far donors around the country have given at least a million dollars to the cause. They could usher in a world where few crimes go unsolved — but only if society is willing to accept, and fund, DNA dragnets.
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The Times’s narrated articles are made by Tally Abecassis, Parin Behrooz, Anna Diamond, Sarah Diamond, Jack D’Isidoro, Aaron Esposito, Dan Farrell, Elena Hecht, Adrienne Hurst, Elisheba Ittoop, Emma Kehlbeck, Marion Lozano, Tanya Pérez, Krish Seenivasan , Margaret H. Willison, Kate Winslett, John Woo and Tiana Young. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Ryan Wegner, Julia Simon and Desiree Ibekwe.