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#NPRreads: Gotta Catch These Reads This Weekend

A man tries to catch a Pokémon while playing Nintendo's Pokémon Go augmented-reality game in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Wednesday.
Edward Berthelot
Getty Images
A man tries to catch a Pokémon while playing Nintendo's Pokémon Go augmented-reality game in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Wednesday.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and in The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

From executive producer for editorial franchises Tracy Wahl

I used to drive by Occoquan, a little town just off I-95 south of Washington. I'd think vaguely about stopping. I suspect a lot of others had the same idea, thinking about making a quick escape from the car fumes and blacktop.

I never had stopped.

So when I saw the story about Occoquan in The Washington Post, I was interested.

We have heard a lot about the Pokémon Go phenomenon — restaurants and others taking advantage of the crowds of people searching for the digital creatures — while homes, churches, parks and museums found the game players unwelcome guests.

But this piece showed how the game can impact a whole community overnight.

This was a local story that does what the best local stories do: illuminate a broader trend by going deep, painting a portraits in shades and shadows, rather than just a sketch.

The article points out that the town normally "employs just one policeman." And with the Pokémon craze, they have had to pay for more security. What the town has to deal with now is nothing short of a daily concert — trash, noise, people, parking. Imagine if your town suddenly became the place for a baseball game, every night, all night.

From Washington Desk production assistant Jonquilyn Hill

There's currently a lot of material out there if you're a true-crime junkie. The first season of Serial kept people glued to their phones and other listening devices; Making a Murderer was binge-watched throughout last year's holiday season; and simply perusing the "crime" tag on Longreads will give you story after story after story.

With such a saturated market, you'd think it'd be difficult to find an article that can still shock, but Michelle Dean is able to do just that with this twisted story from BuzzFeed about a complicated relationship between a mother and daughter that led to lies and murder in the Missouri Ozarks. A quote from the Springfield, Mo., sheriff who worked the case sums it up best: "Things are not always as they appear."

From digital editor Joe Ruiz

I'm not certain the average reader of NPR on our digital platforms is as into Madden NFL Football as others, but this isn't a story about football. In fact, Chris Plante of The Verge avoids nearly any discussion of the sport in his story about how the generation-long franchise sells itself when updates to a game that doesn't change much aren't enough to keep gamers coming back.

This story is about the marketing of Madden and its progressive absurdity the past few seasons. At the very least, you should be half entertained, and half puzzled over Madden's ads. I mean, it's not every day you get to see the Super Bowl MVP dance to a Justin Bieber-like remake.

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Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.
Joe Ruiz
Jonquilyn Hill
In her nearly 20 years at NPR, Tracy Wahl has established herself as a champion for innovation in the newsroom. She was among the first at NPR to embrace social media as a way to engage audiences and deepen our journalism through crowd-sourced reporting. She launched Morning Edition's first Twitter account, and led the program's early ventures into multi-platform storytelling.