10 Incredible Long-Reads That’ll Transport You to Another Time and Place

There’s nothing like getting lost in a fascinating story — and now is a better time than any to dive into another world. From the gripping account of a 64-year-old woman who swam from Florida to Cuba to the mysterious life of a hermit who lived in the woods undisturbed for 30 years — you won’t be able to put these articles down.

The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit

Michael Finkel • GQ

For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal.

How I Became A Minor Celebrity In China (After My Stolen Phone Ended Up There)

Matt Stopera • BuzzFeed

This really weird thing happened to me. Then it got even weirder. Then it turned insane. Do I have a story for you.

The Case of the Stolen Ruby Slippers

Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson • The Washington Post Magazine

How a big crime in a small town produced a whodunit as gripping and colorful as “The Wizard of Oz” itself.

Jerry and Marge Go Large

Jason Fagone • HuffPost

Gaming the lottery seemed as good a retirement plan as any.

The Man Who Walked Backwards

Ben Montgomery • Texas Monthly

When the Great Depression put Plennie Wingo’s Texas cafe out of business, he tried to find fame and fortune by embarking on an audacious trip around the world on foot. In reverse.

Breaking the Waves

Ariel Levy • The New Yorker

In her sixties, a swimmer revives an old dream: to swim from Florida to Cuba—111 miles—no matter how many curious sharks and stinging jellyfish get in her way.

In Search of the Heart of the Online Cat-Industrial Complex

Gideon Lewis-Kraus • Wired

If you want to know why the Internet chose cats, you must go to Japan.

We’re All In This Together

Caity Weaver • The New York Times Magazine

Tell your fellow Americans that you plan to cross the United States by train, and their reactions will range from amusement at your spellbinding eccentricity to naked horror.

Framed: A Mystery in Six Parts

Christopher Goffard • Los Angeles Times

She was the PTA mom everyone knew. Who would want to harm her?

Bellagio Bandit: How One Man Robbed Vegas’ Biggest Casino and Almost Got Away

Keith Romer • Rolling Stone

Tony Carleo stole $1 million in chips – then checked himself into the casino’s hotel to live like a king.