10 things worth sharing: a tip for writer’s block, the best books I read this spring, ear and eye candy, and more...
I mean this sincerely: our comments section has become my favorite corner of the internet. Every week you give me a whole big batch of stuff to research. Love it.
Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
A solution to writer’s block: Transcribe yourself!
I’m usually too chicken to list all the books I read, including the ones I quit, but here goes: 26 books I picked up (and put down) this spring. If that’s too much for you, here are my 7 favorite reads out of the batch.
Many of you recommended Kyle Buchanan’s book, Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road. I’m loving it! It will probably go on the shelf with my other favorite film books, like Sidney Lumet’s Making Movies and Walter Murch’s In The Blink of an Eye.
Traveling this summer? Dan Pink has tips for getting the most out of it. These are also helpful tips for when you’re thinking about moving or even being a tourist in your own town, especially: read the local paper, ride public transit, and spend an hour in a grocery store. I might add: visit a local library!
A surprising development in our house: my 9-year-old and I have started playing chess. It’s been super fun — a way to spend time together, but also safely try to destroy each other! We play at least one or two games a day. I’ve ordered the classic, Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess, and also David Shenk’s The Immortal Game: A History of Chess, but let me know if there are other chess resources you recommend. (I’m guessing there’s a whole world of chess YouTube.)
Ear candy: I have had two songs on repeat all week: Judy Mowatt’s “The Gardener” and Big Thief’s “Time Escaping.” I am a latecomer to the music of Big Thief, but I’m slowly making my way backwards through their catalog. (One thing I like to do when I discover a new band is search and see if they’ve done a KEXP live-in-the-studio session.) I also dug through my hoarded stack of New Yorker magazines and read Amanda Petrusich’s profile of their leader and songwriter, Adrianne Lenker.
Writer Mary Gaitskill on the hidden life of stories: “Writing is a rational process of connected thoughts and ideas, but great writing comes from a stranger place….” (Don’t miss the recordings of her reading Nabokov and O’Connor.)
Susan Sontag: “The writer must be four people.”
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PS. I kind of love this photo of a grody copy of Show Your Work! It’s not often a book gets a patina. The book isn’t having, like, Kate Bush levels of resurgence, but much to my surprise and delight, it seems to be the book that’s helping people the most these days? (It actually outsold Steal Like an Artist last royalty season!)