Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
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- Mostly just little bits and pieces of art on the blog this week, as I’ve been working on a new talk (!) for Bond in San Francisco next month. (Tickets still available.) Favorite post: Obituaries for thieves.
- Official portraits of the Obamas. I saw an amazing show of Kehinde Wiley’s paintings in Fort Worth in 2015 and became an instant fan. (Here’s a PBS doc about him.) I haven’t seen Amy Sherald’s work in person, but I’m looking forward to it.
- In the past I’ve had issues with Cal Newport’s call to quit social media for career reasons, particularly because he comes from the world of academia in which there’s a built-in network and very specific parameters for success and advancement (as opposed to my strange profession, whatever it is), but I found his book, Deep Work, to be pretty helpful, especially the second half. (I also have issues with breaking work into “shallow” and “deep” categories, but the tips for reclaiming your focus and attention for work that matters were great.)
- When I was reading Deep Work, I was tickled by how many good books I’ve read showed up in the text: Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Sarah Bakewell’s How To Live, Matthew Crawford’s Shop Class as Soulcraft, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow, and Michael Pollan’s A Place Of My Own. (I need to get Frédérick Gros’s A Philosophy of Walking.)
- Oh, and while I’m at it, some of my favorite writers have new books out or coming out this week: Tim Kreider’s I Wrote This Book Because I Love You, Daniel Pink’s When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, and Marilynne Robinson’s What Are We Doing Here?
- Be a good net citizen: Do a 30-second fact check. (See also: Credit is always due.)
- Ear candy: I cannot wait to see Black Panther, so I’ve been bumping the Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack. (I absolutely loved Ryan Coogler’s last movie, Creed, a Rocky reboot which I thought was better than any Star Wars reboot.) Bonus ear candy because I can’t go a week without a Kraftwerk mention: the first 3 impossible-to-buy legally Kraftwerk albums are up on Soundcloud.
- To stream this weekend: Mozart in the Jungle is back with season four. (I really wish they would release a kid-friendly version of the performances I could watch with my boys.)
- There are some really cool things happening in Austin this week/end: Pop-Up Magazine is coming, Ellsworth Kelly’s building Austin opens at the Blanton (more photos here), and the Austin Public Library is having a free screening of Ex Libris, Frederick Wiseman’s documentary about the New York Public Library. (Last week we saw a free Bill Callahan show at the library! Unreal.)
- RIP Jóhann Jóhannsson. RIP Ruby’s BBQ.
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PS. Accidents will happen!