Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
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- Drawing is part of a cure.
- RIP writer Denis Johnson. I’ve only read two of his books—Jesus’ Son and Train Dreams—but they were both superb. For a great introduction to his work, I might recommend Tobias Wolff reading his classic short story, “Emergency.” Near and dear to my heart is this essay Johnson wrote about homeschooling his kids, which expresses so much of how I’m feeling these days. (“I tried to raise my own kids to be ignorant savages, but they rebelled and got college degrees.”) Johnson had great influences — he said he considered this part of Walt Whitman’s preface to Leaves of Grass to be “a sort of personal manifesto.” (Influenced heavily by Emerson’s “The Poet.”)
- 101 books about where and how we live.
- Last week I mentioned I was trying to learn more about classical music, and y’all sent me a TON of stuff, too much to even check out in a week, but I wanted to share it all here: BBC’s Soul Music, Classical Classroom, Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin, Keeping Score, TED talks by Benjamin Zander and Michael Tilson Thomas, and this epic series of Leonard Bernstein lectures. (Listening to his Children’s Classics CD with my kids is what set me off on this quest in the first place.)
- Flipbooks help prisoners stay connected to their loved ones.
- Before the president became president, I said it seemed he had discovered the exact recipe for remaining a horrible person forever. Here’s Rebecca Solnit, author of Hope In The Dark, saying it much better than I ever could.
- A video of Danny Gregory, author of Art Before Breakfast, going through his collection of old diaries.
- Ear candy: I was very skeptical about the new remix of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but it sounds awesome. Tomorrow PBS is airing a documentary about the making of the album — here's a clip about how McCartney crafted “Penny Lane.” For more reading, I’d highly recommend recording engineer Geoff Emerick’s memoir, Here, There, and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles. (Here’s Emerick on how Paul got that amazing bass sound.)
- Eye candy: Best Picture winner Moonlight is now streaming.
- A heartwarming item to end on: cartoonist Jeff Keane drew cartoonist Lynda Barry into her favorite childhood strip, Family Circus.
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PS. Signed a ton of books at Bookpeople here in Austin, Texas this week. They ship everywhere!