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In this week’s newsletter: notes on self-help, a poetic memoir, the art of lying down, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
welcome the summer muse or plan your fall

Hey y’all,

Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week: 

  1. I wrote down some thoughts about self-help.
     
  2. I finished Patricia Lockwood’s memoir, Priestdaddy. Just a tad too long for me, but very good. (I love reading memoirs by poets because the sentences sparkle. See, for example, Mary Karr’s Lit.) Here’s a good 2014 profile of Lockwood before Priestdaddy came out, and her interview on the Longform podcast has some nuggets about her process.
     
  3. Reading Lockwood’s profile led me to this piece on great literary husbands, including Leonard Woolf, who gets the last story in my new book.
     
  4. Lockwood writes in bed, which got me thinking I need to read The Art of Lying Down. Here’s an amazing video of Marvin Gaye rehearsing “I Want You” while lying down on a couch. (Soul great Leon Ware’s recollection of recording the album is well worth a read.)
     
  5. Back to school season is here, so I wrote a little something about school and the seasons. (Whether you’re in school or not, you’re never too old for some school supplies!)
     
  6. As you probably know, I’ve written a lot about how and why I keep a diary — now my 5-year-old is keeping one!
     
  7. Ear candy: Annoyed by restaurant playlists, a master musician made his own. (Listen on Spotify.)
     
  8. If you’re unfortunate enough to be an Austin resident in the sweltering undead armpit month of August: the Ed Ruscha exhibit at the Ransom Center is quite good, and cartoonist Lucy Bellwood will be at Bookpeople this coming Monday.
     
  9. I got so hot and depressed last Monday, I knocked off to the Alamo Drafthouse to see the wild leftist comedy, Sorry To Bother You. Here’s how director Boots Riley infiltrated Hollywood. (I was unaware that McSweeney’s actually published the screenplay in 2014.) For a movie that’s such a sendup of capitalism, check out this sweet merch shop!
     
  10. RIP Aretha Franklin.
Thanks for reading. If you like this newsletter and want to support it, forward it to a friend, tweet me some love, or best of all, buy a book!

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xoxo, 

Austin

PS. This week I got the first pass of Keep Going, and I dare say it’s pretty danged good! 
Keep going

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

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