In this week’s newsletter: why boredom can be good, quarantine book clubs, creative inspiration, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
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Hey y’all,

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

  1. Boredom is a pit stop.
  2. I’ve had a rough time focusing on any particular book, but I’m enjoying Eleanor Coppola’s Notes on a Life at the kitchen table during meals. I have a few more diaries queued up in my stack, including May Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude and Anne Truitt’s Daybook. (I loved this piece by Alan Jacobs on why he’s reading ghost stories.)   
  3. Speaking of books, we had a blast in Quarantine Book Club! Hope to do it again. Also: I can’t believe Keep Going came out a year ago. Thank you to everyone who’s helped the book find its way into the right hands. (Sorry it remains so relevant.) 
  4. Sheila Heti writes about Tove Jansson, creator of my beloved Moomins, marking the release of Letters from Tove. (I still need to read her biography.) I like Heti’s profiles. I remember one time thinking, “I would read a 10,000-word profile of Raffi” and — voila! — turns out Heti had written one!
  5. If you’re in search of inspiration and/or guidance, the great Keri Smith has returned to online life with a project of daily creative assignments called Exploration of the Day and Jessica Abel is offering her book Growing Gills for free, along with a book club. (See also: books to read when bored and the top 5 art books to read while self-isolating.)
  6. My friend Jez Burrows started a newsletter, and the first issue contains a lovely recording of a piano in a cafe. Very soothing quarantine listen. (More ear candy: Fluxblog’s 1994 survey mix. Pure nostalgia for this old millennial.)
  7. A few fragments of my grief. (Luckily, I think I’m moving into the “acceptance” stage. Making zines is still helping. Here’s a recent one: “Ode to HEB.”)
  8. Hulu is now streaming the best movie I’ve seen all year: Portrait of a Lady on Fire. (They’re also streaming the Aretha Franklin documentary Amazing Grace, which is so, so good.) If comedy is more your comfort food, What About Bob? turns out to be an excellent quarantine movie. (And you can never go wrong with Moonstruck... haven’t tried it in black and white yet!)
  9. One of my favorite poems: “Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale.”
  10. “Do remember they can’t cancel the spring.”
Thanks for reading. This newsletter is free, but not cheap. If you want to support it, forward it to someone you think would like it, or buy some of my books from Bookshop or your local indie bookstore.

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Hang in there.


Keep Going!
Austin Kleon

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

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