Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
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- I flowcharted the rest of my life.
- My new favorite thing: Library Extension is a plug-in for the Chrome browser that shows if a book on Amazon or Goodreads is available at your library.
- I’ve been reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s translation of the Tao Te Ching over the past weeks — it seems like every poem is a sub-tweet of the president-elect. (Speaking of poetry: here’s a poet stumped by standardized test questions about her own poem.)
- I liked this 2009 interview with Bill Withers so much I typed out the bit about why he walked away from the music business. (Then I listened to Live At Carnegie Hall while I painted my living room.) More and more, I am heartened by stories of people finding small-scale, meaningful work in our grinding market-driven society, like this record store owner who doesn’t take credit cards and one of the last book binders in a public library.
- Cartoonist Tom Gauld on the life-changing magic of de-cluttering in a post-apocalyptic world. (I made this joke last year: I started the year reading Marie Kondo, ended the year hoarding peanut butter.) Tom is so good. I need to get Mooncop.
- I loved David Eagleman’s Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives. Actor Jeffrey Tambor reads a few of the stories in this Radiolab episode.
- Ear candy: I can’t get enough of Sonny and The Sunsets’ Antenna To The Afterworld. (Give “Dark Corners” and “Green Blood” a spin and you’ll know if you’ll like it.) I’m also giving White Denim’s Stiff another listen and digging their Spotify playlist of the record’s influences. (I wish all bands did this!)
- Eye candy: It’s certainly not for everyone, but my wife and I really liked The Lobster. (Here’s a great description of the movie.)
- RIP Ruth Sackner. I did not find out about her death until I opened a copy of Tom Phillip’s final edition of A Humument, which is dedicated to her. Ruth and her husband, Marvin, built one of the most amazing collections of visual poetry, all housed in their Miami penthouse apartment. (They also collaborated on this beautiful book of typewriter art.) I got to visit the collection in 2014 on book tour, and it was just the most wonderful experience. (Here’s a photo of my awe.) A bunch of the collection is now headed to The Perez Art Museum. If you’re interested, watch the documentary Concrete online and see inside the Sackner’s apartment. Such great people.
- Austin folks: I’m at Bookpeople Tuesday night talking to Manjula Martin about her new book, Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living. (I have a feeling we might just talk about how we’ll live without health insurance!) Details here.
PS. Here’s a photo of a dude in a Warhol wig reading The Steal Like An Artist Journal. Keep Austin Weird, indeed.