What a great spring for reading!
(Which is a nice way of saying “What horrible rainy weather we’ve been having!”)
by James Baldwin
This is my first James Baldwin selection, which surprised me based on his popularity and breadth, including film. This selection made unimaginable circumstances relatable, through careful character development and dialogue, and Baldwin is something of a master in his ability to capture human psyche and the interactions between us. I will say that I didn’t “live inside this story” the way I have with recent selections, especially Delia Owens’s “Where the Crawdads Sing,” but I found it striking and worthwhile.
Every Tool’s A Hammer:
Life Is What You Make It
by Adam Savage
A self-described “maker,” Adam Savage describes his journey from high school to scene designer and prop-maker to television co-host. But more important to me was the growth trajectory through fledgling designer and builder to seasoned craftsman. He walks the reader through his series of mistakes and failures, giving permission in his own way for the world to celebrate mistakes and fall forward to success. Chapters are dedicated to tools, shop design, and habits built over a lifetime. This doesn’t make my favorites list, but was really enjoyable and relatable, especially for a designer, craftsperson or manager of creatives. I definitely took nuggets from this.
by Jeremy Cowart
When you read a story about a well-known photographer that considers his start a single portrait in a stairwell with Sting, you find yourself in a story filled with serendipity and adventure. The premise, turning impossible into “I’m Possible” is one simultaneously of self-help style reflection and business journey. I found it interesting to learn of the Help-Portrait, the Purpose Hotel and other creative projects, though I found myself wishing Cowart had chosen one of these projects to go really deep on in his writing rather than thread them all together into a single narrative. Enjoyable and easy reading, descriptive of Cowart’s faith and purpose.
I Ain’t Sorry For Nothin’ I Done:
August Wilson’s Process Of Playwriting
by Joan Herrington
Fascinatingly academic and directive, I Ain’t Sorry examines August Wilson’s collage-style process, influences and methodology, including rapid-fire editing and last-minute changes in a conference/workshop style environment. Knowing the author personally, I found that it was her voice set to the words in my head. This is the first of its kind that I’ve read: a long-time theatre enthusiast, I haven’t spent time with the act of playwriting or play structure to the degree this selection does, so it introduced me to new manner of thinking.
What’s On Order, On the Nightstand or Next in the Lineup
The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture, Scott Belsky
The Missing Of Clairedelune, Book Two, Chirstelle Dabos
The Complete Claudine, Colette
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman
Thinking with Type, 2nd Revised and Expanded Edition, Ellen Lupton
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