Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we have reports from Automobile Magazine, The New York Times and Architectural Digest.

The Death of Italian Coachbuilding – Automobile Magazine

Bertone is the latest Italian style house to be on critical life support, facing bankruptcy right now. It's tragic for sure, but commendable they've lasted this long considering how many of their counterparts are long gone. Robert Cumberford has a look back.

The sociological problems come from the fact that Italy is still organized around families, not corporate entities. Yes, Fiat is the biggest company in the country, but it is essentially the fiefdom of the founding Agnelli family, which has firm control over the holding company that pulls all the strings. And the design houses were dynastic family operations as well, all of them having followed the traditional pattern of such firms: the founder creates something promising, the second generation develops and expands the entity, and the third generation, never having had to struggle or build anything, dissipates the accrued fortunes.

The Case for Profanity in Print – The New York Times

I've been fucking saying this for years.

Our society's comfort level with offensive language and content has drastically shifted over the past few decades, but the stance of our news media has barely changed at all. Even when certain words are necessary to the understanding of a story, the media frequently resort to euphemisms or coy acrobatics that make stories read as if they were time capsules written decades ago, forcing us all into wink-wink-nudge-nudge territory. Even in this essay, I am unable to be clear about many of my examples.


How Houston Reinvented Itself As A Cultural Powerhouse – Architectural Digest

The only place I've been to in Texas is Austin, and I've been told repeatedly that doesn't count as having been to Texas. Houston is sounding nice now, so how long before that no longer counts as Texas?

When did Houston—long associated with oil, NASA, crippling humidity, isolating car culture, and McMansion sprawl—become one of the most exciting places in America? Over the past decade the Texas city has welcomed an influx of young professionals, people displaced by Katrina, immigrants, and other transplants enticed by the low cost of living and strong job prospects.


Photo: Getty Images