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In this week’s newsletter: my favorite gear, learning in and in spite of school, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon

Hey y’all,

It’s my least favorite season in what’s shaping up to be one of my least favorite years. I’m not doing much, frankly, but here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:

  1. It feels like every time I show my work, people ask me what brands of pens and notebooks I use, so I finally made a storefront of all my favorite gear (and books).
     
  2. I’m reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea, the first in The Earthsea Cycle. (I really want to see the documentary about her.)
     
  3. Cartoonist Ivan Brunetti’s three books for kids are really great: Comics: Easy as ABC, Wordplay, and 3x4. He also wrote one of the best textbooks about making comics: Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice.
     
  4. A conversation about learning in and in spite of school. (One thing to clear up: the piece says “Kleon has strong opinions about what he expects from formal schooling.” Actually, what I have is strong opinions about learning and low expectations of formal schooling. I like this note on the subject from the Kratt Brothers: “What if you let your kids get bored? What if you let kids teach you, rather than the other way around?”)
     
  5. A website that teaches you about synthesizers.
     
  6. On (not) climbing the mountain. (Watching Free Solo on a plane only further confirmed my feelings on the subject.)
     
  7. Eye candy: I don’t really care about Spider-Man or comic book movies, so I was surprised how much I liked Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. (Now streaming on Netflix. Made a great double feature with Free Solo on the plane, come to think of it... lots of scrambling up walls.)
     
  8. Ear candy: More than anything, Martin Scorsese’s newest Bob Dylan movie, Rolling Thunder Review, made me want to blast the Bootleg Series CD of the shows that came out in 2002. (I haven’t picked up the new box set.) The best part of the whole movie is Joni Mitchell’s sublime performance of “Coyote,” which, as of the time of this writing, is up on YouTube. For some context of what else was going on in music at the time, here’s a cool piece on the bicentennial summer of 1976.
     
  9. Poem of the week: Faith Shearin’s “Scurvy.” (More poetry: The last poems of James Tate. Can’t wait to read The Government Lake.)
     
  10. Lately I keep hearing Maurice Sendak saying, “Live your life, live your life, live your life.”
Thanks for reading. If you like this newsletter and want to support it, forward it to someone who’d like it or, even better, buy them a book!

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xoxo,

Austin

PS. Look what I spotted when shopping at Whole Foods!
keep going at Whole Foods
Austin Kleon

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

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