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In this week’s newsletter: moon landing grumps, book recommendations, ear and eye candy, and more..

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
lbj on the moon

Hey y’all,

Ah, late July. I look forward to the avalanche of out-of-office replies! For those souls still at your desks, here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week: 

  1. As much as I enjoyed the 50th anniversary celebrations, I also enjoyed reading about people in 1969 who were less-than-enthusiastic about the moon landing.
     
  2. Michael DeForge’s bizarre comic book, Leaving Richard’s Valley, is archived and available to read on Instagram. (Here’s an NPR feature on his work.) I wish I had the pleasure of reading it as it was being posted daily — parts of it reminded me of one of my all-time favorite strips, Achewood.
     
  3. I’m in the middle of Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio (here’s an excerpt), recommended by Nick Cave in his wonderful newsletter, The Red Hand Files. (He wrote more about Pinocchio here.)
     
  4. The L.A. punk history Under The Big Black Sun is one of the rare books I’m listening to on audiobook, because it’s read by all the various contributors. (I’m not a huge fan of most of the bands, but I really love X and the Minutemen.) I’m also watching Penelope Spheeris’s documentary about the scene, The Decline of Western Civilization. (Several of her movies are available on the Criterion Channel.) Fun fact: Spheeris was 45 when she got the gig to direct Wayne’s World. (She has few good things to say about Hollywood.)
     
  5. Colson Whitehead’s advice to writers: “Stay at home and work. Don’t go out. It’s not very sexy advice.” (Check out his new novel, The Nickel Boys.)
     
  6. Cleveland! I’ll be speaking at the Cleveland Inkubator event downtown on Saturday. Hanif Abdurraqib is the keynote. Should be good. (Want me to speak at your event? Get in touch.)
     
  7. David Berman is alive and living in Chicago. I really like his new record, Purple Mountains. (“A setback can be a setup / for a comeback if you don’t let up!”)
     
  8. Ear candy: I found out a bunch of old episodes of Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour are archived online. (Dig episode #32, about the moon.) 
     
  9. Movies: We’ve been vegging out on the couch at night and watching old favorites, like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the Fast & Furious series.
     
  10. RIP actor Rutger Hauer. (Guess I’ll watch Blade Runner for the hundredth time.) RIP Tuca & Bertie. (For now.)
Thanks for reading. If you like this newsletter and want to support it, forward it to someone who’d like it or, even better, buy them a book!

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xoxo, 

Austin

PS. At the time of this writing, Steal Like An Artist is $5 on Amazon. And Keep Going is now available in Spanish!
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Austin Kleon

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

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