Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy!

The end of Babel: Languages are endlessly diverse, but their evolution is not random.

Prospect | 7 min (1,802 words)

The band xx plays music so quiet, it’s radical. Amos Barshad goes on the road with the group.

Grantland | 21 min (5,167 words)

Heart of Glass and the dogmatism of Werner Herzog’s obsessions.

Los Angeles Review of Books | 17 min (4,272 words)

What does the thriving business of selling positive book reviews to authors say about the future of publishing?

New York Times | 13 min (3,368 words)