In this week’s newsletter: a new talk, what I’m reading, going back to school, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
creative is not a noun

Hey y’all,

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

  1. I delivered a keynote called “Creative is not a Noun” during the Scratch Conference at the MIT Media Lab, and it was one of my favorite talks ever. Video here.
  2. Last Friday I stayed up all night reading Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. His novels are true page-turners for me — I like How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia best, followed by his latest, Exit West. (I haven’t read Moth Smoke or his essay collection yet.)
  3. I started Rachel Cusk’s Outline, the first in her trilogy, and I’m not completely sure what the book is up to, but the sentences are really good, so I’m gonna stick with it. I’m also reading Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland, which has excellent drawings by Joseph Remnant, and a new edition of a book which greatly influenced teenage me, Lies My Teacher Told Me.    
  4. Whether you’re headed back to school or not, get yourself some school supplies and school yourself. (Yo-Yo Ma: “It’s actually not painful to learn something, if you do it incrementally.”)
  5. Feeling a little depressed about the end of summer? So did Thoreau. (The bears are still fishing and stealing peaches.)
  6. Last week I wrote down some thoughts about self-help, and this week I wrote about self-help as an oxymoron.
  7. Eye candy for library lovers: a book of the world’s most beautiful libraries and Time’s World’s Greatest Places list, which includes Austin’s new central library. (Tip: check to see if your library card gets you access to the Kanopy video streaming service. We used it to watch Indiscreet this week and it worked without a hitch.) 
  8. Ear candy for punk rockers: Henry Rollins’ all-punk edition of his radio show
  9. Listening for silence with the headphones off. (If you like that piece, check out Damon Krukowski’s podcast, Ways of Hearing, and his book, The New Analog.) See also: Silence as a space for something new to happen.
  10. “You will see this story over and over again. People love it and it is not copyrighted. The story is ‘Man in Hole.’”
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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PS. If any of you live in Evanston or northern Chicago, my family’s taking a trip there over Labor Day weekend — would love to hear your favorite spots! 

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

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