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This week: 10 great books I read in the first half of this year...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
favorite books of 2018 so far

Hey y’all,

I usually waiting until the year is over to make a list of my favorite books, but it’s been a pretty good year so far, so I thought I’d share my 10 favorite books from the past six months of reading, in the order I read them: 

  1. A.R. Ammons, Tape For The Turn of the Year
    In 1963, Ammons got a roll of adding machine tape from the hardware store and decided to write poems on it every day until the tape was used up. I started the book on December 6 of last year, and followed along with each entry until January 10th.  
     
  2. Denis Johnson, Largesse of the Sea Maiden
    Beautiful stories. A perfect swan song. 
     
  3. Paul Elie, Reinventing Bach
    Takes a look at Bach’s work through the recordings of his works throughout the years. I especially liked reading about Glenn Gould and Pablo Casals. 
     
  4. Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses
    I originally thought my new book would have more about the senses in it, so I picked this up for research. Very dense, lush book.
     
  5. Duane Tudahl, Prince and The Purple Rain Sessions
    A day-by-day play-by-play of Prince in the recording studio at the height of his powers. I did a lot of skimming and skipping around, but really enjoyed it.  
     
  6. Eleanor Davis, You & A Bike & A Road
    A comic diary of Davis’s bike across the south. I love her work so much. This might end up my book of the year.
     
  7. Lizzie Goodman, Meet Me In The Bathroom
    An oral history of NYC music from 2001-2011. How much you enjoy it will probably depend on your familiarity with the music — I was eighteen and a freshman in college when I saw The Strokes in Newport, KY, in 2001, so it made me pretty danged nostalgic. 
     
  8. David Sedaris, Calypso
    I mean, what’s there to say? The dude makes me laugh out loud... and he keeps getting better and better.
     
  9. John Berger, Confabulations
    Considering how much Ways of Seeing influenced me, I’m ashamed I haven’t read more Berger. This was the last book he published before he died.
     
  10. Chris Ware, Monograph
    A gorgeous, gigantic tome dedicated to the work of one of our great Midwestern artists.
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xoxo, 

Austin

Austin Kleon is the author of Steal Like An Artist and other books.

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