Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
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- I had a beer with Amy Krouse Rosenthal at the Hotel San Jose here in Austin about half a decade ago, and last year she sent a huge package of her picture books to my boys. (They love Little Pea the best.) So I was really shocked to learn about her terminal illness from her heartbreaking piece, “You May Want To Marry My Husband.” If you don’t know her work, maybe start with her memoirs, Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. Here’s a recording she made of Kenneth Koch reading one of my favorite poems, “You Want A Social Life With Friends.” The quote above comes from something she tweeted once that stuck with me: “for anyone trying to discern what to do w/ their life: PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU PAY ATTENTION TO. that's pretty much all the info u need.” Sending her and her family all my good thoughts.
- George Saunders on what writers really do when they write. (Check out Lincoln In The Bardo if you haven’t already.)
- Inside Oliver Sacks’ notebooks and creative process. I really want to read the memoir by his partner, photographer Bill Hayes, Insomniac City.
- The usefulness of “useless” knowledge.
- An interview with David Letterman (the link is worth clicking just for the photo of his beard) and an interview with painter Kerry James Marshall, who says some really great stuff at the end about artistic freedom coming from financial freedom.
- Poem of the week: Michael Robbins’ “Walkman.” Check out his (weird!) poetry collections, Alien Vs. Predator and The Second Sex, and his forthcoming book on poetry and pop music, Equipment for Living.
- Metafilter discovered Cari Luna’s great series of interviews, Writer, with Kids. (I participated after my first son was born.)
- Ear candy: tornado sirens as ambient music and 25 songs that tell us where music is going.
- My favorite show on TV, The Americans, is back for its penultimate season.
- RIP Robert Osborne. The world would be a better place if we switched all airport and waiting room TVs from CNN to TCM.
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PS. Vacation ended yesterday, and I already miss California. (You can see a few photos from my trip on my Instagram page.)