In this week’s newsletter: beginning a new notebook, books on teaching, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon

Hey y’all,

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

  1. How I start a notebook.
  2. I read two books about teaching this week, both of which had the shared theme of creating excitement and honoring the role of pleasure in the classroom: Kenneth Koch’s Wishes, Lies, and Dreams: Teaching Children to Write Poetry and bell hook’s Teaching To Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom.
  3. Tricia Lockwood on going insane after getting coronavirus. (Her memoir, Priestdaddy, was on my best of 2018 list.)
  4. It’s been 40 years since the Sony Walkman was released. (50 years before that was the car radio.)
  5. Last week I sang in praise of pencil extenders, and this week I sing in praise of my new pencil sharpener named Carl.
  6. Parents: we love these Usborne “See Inside” books and Usborne books in general, although, they can be a little hard to find in the U.S. (Thanks to @gray’s newsletter for the reminder.) 
  7. Eye candy: The radical quilting of Rosie Lee Tompkins. (Take a virtual walkthrough of her retrospective.)
  8. Ear candy: I have a lot of writing ahead of me, so I’ll soon be making my way through Pitchfork’s 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time. An album missing from that list is Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Music for Nine Post Cards, which my friend Jez just wrote about. Another composer on that list I’m really into right now is Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never, who did the soundtrack for the recent Safdie Brothers film, Uncut Gems.
  9. RIP to the legendary composer Ennio Morricone. Years ago, when I was living in Cambridge, England, I got so depressed that I would watch the final shootout of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly just to rouse myself out of bed. (Heck, the way things are going, I might have to start doing it again.)
  10. Brave wild failure is applauded.
Thanks for reading. This newsletter is free, but not cheap. To show your support, forward it to someone who’d like it or buy some of my books.

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Austin Kleon

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

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