Katherine Sui Fun Cheung (Image: Smithsonian Institution), via Hannah Chan at the Federal Aviation Adminstration

What We’re Reading: Always take a peek at the comments

A selection of Medium stories you may have missed this week

Adrienne Gibbs
Published in
4 min readMay 26, 2023


I was perusing Medium this week for stories about Tina Turner, the iconic American rock and soul legend who recently passed away — age 83 — at her home in Switzerland. And I found a few, like this uplifting piece by William Spivey.

There were also several comments to Spivey’s piece that stayed with me. Military veteran David Weldy wrote that he once was a security officer at a Turner concert. His memory of the ’70s concert, in New Orleans, is a for-sure conversation starter. “I was a nobody and no one paid any attention to me…except Tina Turner. On her way to her limo, she stopped to say, ‘Thank you for your work today. I appreciate it’ and she patted me on the arm. It was maybe five seconds. But, I’ve never forgotten it.”

You gotta read the comments! There is gold there — and more good writing. After that, I went to David’s page to read about his military career.

I’d also like to point you to a new publication on Medium, run by health and science journalist Robert Roy Britt. He is looking for writers and submissions, so if you are a health expert (mental or physical), or if you like to read science-backed health writing, give Wise & Well a try. (Plus, if you have a favorite publication on Medium, reply to this email and let me know who, and why.)

Thanks for reading and thanks for writing.

Adrienne Gibbs — Director, Creator Growth @ Medium

Your Weekend Reads

Image provided by Jen Soonge.

What My Dad Carried to America” by Jen Soong, freelance essayist and author

A daughter takes inventory of her father’s luggage — unpacking what the objects he brought (in an aluminum suitcase made in Taiwan) say about the man he was at 25 and today

“Not All Bank Failures Are Created Equal,” by Marlon Weems, financial analyst and former Wall Street trader

Whether the FDIC’s approach to the recent bank failures constitutes a bailout or the most prudent approach to staunching a potential financial crisis is an item of fair debate. That said, the regulator’s current stance on bank failures bears little resemblance to how it handled the demise of a legendary Black-owned financial institution — a bank that happened to be one of my clients.

Original image by Jay Sillings

“Starting a New Hobby, (And how to demote your inner critic)” by Jay Sillings, woodworker

At the beginning of anything, we are, of course, beginners. And we will inevitably face outcomes that don’t match our expectations. But forgiving ourselves for not being experts, keeping our heads up and our minds open to learning from our mistakes allows us to continue on the path we’ve chosen. No doubt you will hear the voice of your inner critic trying to convince you that you’re not even qualified to be on the path in the first place. And that thinking is dead wrong.

To All the Asian Men I Never Loved — I’m Sorry,” May Pang, Connection and communication coach

A brutally honest look at my own biases towards my own race

A Very Gentle Introduction to Large Language Models Without the Hype,Mark Riedl, Professor at Georgia Tech and Associate Director @ The Machine Learning Center at Georgia Tech

This article is designed to give people with no computer science background some insight into how ChatGPT and similar AI systems work (GPT-3, GPT-4, Bing Chat, Bard, etc). ChatGPT is a chatbot — a type of conversational AI built — but on top of a Large Language Model

Katherine Sui Fun Cheung: The First Asian-American Woman Aviator, by Hannah Chan, Federal Aviation Administration

Overcoming ethnic and gender stereotypes, she made her name as one of America’s pioneer pilots

From Last Week’s Comments

Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother,” Wikimedia Commons

Maria Rattray recommended: How Great Photos Help You Sell Your Stories to Editors, by Janice Harayda

As publishing markets grow more competitive, every part of a story matters, especially what editors call “the art”: the photos, the illustrations, the graphics, or anything that adds visual interest to the text. Making the most of that reality can help you persuade editors to publish your story and people to read it when they do.

My Home Is On Fire, by Carol Thornton. Recommended by Nikki Tate

Alberta is on fire. As I write this, our province has declared a state of emergency. Homes have been evacuated, displacing tens of thousands of people in the northwest, an area homesteaded by my husband’s father, grandfather, and uncle.

What have you been reading this week? Drop a line in the responses.

Inspired to write? Get started.



Adrienne Gibbs

Director of Content @Medium. Award-winning journalist. Featured in a Beyoncé reel. Before now? EBONY, Netflix, Sun-Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe.