Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Haberdashery — My Favorite Online Series


There are many good books out there. You can't possibly read them all, can you? If you have that problem too, I recommend "Digested Reads" from the Guardian — probably the first online column I followed. John Crace condenses a book in the same style it is written. It's not so much a summary as it is a literary criticism. Creative, entertaining, funny — and usually taking a piss at literature. Love. It. Here are four to get you started: Nigella Bites, by Nigella Lawson, The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton, How to Read and Why by Harold Bloom and The Associate by John Grisham.

Slate.com had "Weeklong Electric Journals" which followed someone to his or her workplace everyday for five days (usually). A fun insight at someone else's profession. I have enjoyed many of the columns including those of Neil LaBute (writer-director), David Grinspoon (astrobiologist), Ed Levine (of seriouseats.com), Dahlia Lithwick (Supreme Court and legal correspondent) and Mark Furstenberg (baker and founder of the BreadLine).

If I could ask for any talent, it would be to draw in a way that could affect people. Just like Maira Kalman. I have her book The Principles of Uncertainty. Her Elements of Style Illustrated is on my Amazon wishlist. Now, my eyes get to feast on her Pursuit of Happiness blog in The New York Times. Her monthly post provokes and idealizes and inspires. My favorites so far — May It Please The Court, Times Wastes Too Fast and Can Do.

The Guardian, again. This time a series on Writers' Rooms. There is a picture of the room in which the writer gets his or her work done, with a short write-up on the room and the process. See the workplace of Charlotte Bronte, Heston Blumenthal and Martin Amis, to get inspired.


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