This week: the best thing ever written about “work-life balance,” remixing comics, and more...

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A newsletter from Austin Kleon
Robot for Owen from the Restoration Hardware catalog
Hey y’all,

Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week: 
  1. James Joyce wrote, “I am quite content to go down to posterity as a scissors and paste man.” I’ve written before about collage as a restorative practice. Lately, for fun, I’ve been chopping up the pages from my son’s daily Peanuts calendar and turning them into new comics. (Related: creator Alex Norris is letting you make your own Oh No comics.)
  2. The best thing ever written about “work-life balance.”
  3. I finished Denis Johnson’s The Largesse of the Sea MaidenA terrific swan song. (I took my time and read one story a night.)
  4. Newsletter recommendation: has long been one of my favorite blogs, and now there’s a weekly roundup called Noticing.
  5. Some recent podcast appearances: I was on The Learning Leader Show, Jocelyn Glei’s Hurry Slowly, and Chase Jarvis reposted our epic chat.
  6. Streaming on Netflix: I’m catching up with Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, which isn’t even so much a food show as it is a travel show that gets surprisingly deep into the cultural issues and politics of each place Bourdain visits. (I highly recommend the Houston episode [S8:E5], which is a celebration of American immigrants and an underrated, terrifically diverse city.)
  7. Ear candy: the Emerson Quartet playing the only string quartets of Debussy and Ravel. Debussy wrote his at 31 in 1893. Ravel wrote his ten years later at the age of 27. It’s fun to listen to them back to back to hear the influence. (Film buffs might recognize the 2nd movements: Ravel’s is featured in the credits of The Royal Tenenbaums, and, if I’m not mistaken, PTA used Debussy’s in Phantom Thread.) 
  8. Extra ear candy: the 50th anniversary remix of Sgt. Pepper’s really does sound great. Flipping through the CD booklet, I fell in love with this photo of Paul McCartney moving a microphone.
  9. More from my daily blog: Thoreau on how every thought is a nest egg, how I think we act like we all want to be bored to death, how I feel about putting work in the world, and how 90% of your work is crap, but it’s better than nothing. (Here’s a post about how I got into daily blogging again.) 
  10. RIP Mark E. Smith and Ursula K. Le Guin. One of my favorite books I read last year was her great translation of the Tao Te Ching. She also kept a sweet old-school blog, although many posts have been taken down and collected in No Time To Spare.
Thanks for reading! If you like this newsletter, forward it to a friend, buy a book, a calendar, or tweet me some love

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PS. Next time you hear from me it’ll be February. How the heck did that happen? Good news is: the new calendar is cheap now!
Austin Kleon is the author of Steal Like An Artist and other books.

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