In this week’s newsletter: the magic of blind contour drawings, chalkboards, Charles Portis, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
blind contour line drawings

Hey y’all,

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

  1. My favorite thing lately has been warming up my diary with blind contour drawings.
  2. I’m savoring Olga Tokarczuk's novel, Drive Your Plow Over The Bones of the Dead, which gets its title from William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell. (Definitely picking up Flights next — loved this excerpt.)
  3. The magic of chalkboards.
  4. A list of museums and archives that have released high resolution images into the public domain.
  5. Paul Ford’s funny and helpful guide for people who’ve been asked to do media appearances. (I loved his first rule of media: “Nothing matters and nothing works.”)
  6. If the state of politics is wearing you out as much as it is wearing me out, here are some books that have helped me keep my head in the past few years (many of them come straight from the reading list in the back of Keep Going): Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves To Death (written 35 years ago, this seems to me to be an absolutely essential text for understanding how we got to this moment in our culture)Jenny Odell, How To Do Nothing; Lao Tzu, Tao Te ChingAlan Jacobs, How To ThinkUrsula Franklin, The Real World of Technology and Pacifism as a MapStefan Zweig, Montaigne; E.H. GombrichA Little History of the Worldand Henry David Thoreau’s journals 
  7. A history of the heart as a symbol of love. (I wrote more about the heart drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.)
  8. Podcast: I loved this conversation between Andre 3000 and Rick Rubin on Broken Record. (I also listened to the Bon Iver episode and that was pretty good, too.)
  9. RIP DJ and producer Andrew Weatherall. I need to make time to dive into the archives of his show, Music’s Not For Everyone.
  10. RIP Charles Portis, the only writer whose novels I’ve read twice. He was so, so good.
Thanks for reading. This newsletter is free, but not cheap — if you’d like to keep it going, forward it to someone who’d like it, buy a book or three, or hire me to speak at your event.

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PS. I signed another pile of books at Bookpeople. (They ship everywhere, and I can even personalize them if you’d like!)
Austin Kleon

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

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