Issue Nº 25: Designing a life, reading Harry Potter for the first time, and making cities for people

From Beatrice Alemagna's A LION IN PARIS

I love this time of year: being on the cusp of things. Like the calendar's New Year, September is for starting anew, beginning again. In that spirit, I recommend this interview with Debbie Millman: How to design a life. Skip ahead toward the end — the last 10 or 15 minutes for the exercise that could (or according to her, will) change the course of your destiny as you know it. Related: Your future should be bigger than your past. Here's how to do it.


For the Discerning & Literary Child

The Airport Book. We read this one in advance of our plane ride but I think the kids liked it so much more after the trip after having experienced the joys of taking one's shoes off at security. My son especially loved the sub-plot of the stuffed monkey packed away with the checked luggage.

Lots of middle grade chapter books, especially these from my childhood.

Bringing it back to Harry Potter. I think we tried this awhile ago despite it not being exactly age appropriate for a 6-year-old however it seems to be working out now. Sometimes I get so bored of reading the same picture book over and over and over... meanwhile this has been such a fun thing to look forward to in the evening and I’ll take it while it lasts. I was a grown-up on a technicality by the time "the kids" took to the streets in their adoration for Harry and Hermione. Which is to say this is the first time I am getting around to reading this book along with my daughter. We're both digging it.

The case for a better book design for teens (and their budgets).

"No piece of literature is the counterpart to Little Women.”


Asides, Ideas, Miscellany

One easy way that men can be better allies to women: “spend a lot of time reading books about women, written by women.

Walkable City by Jeff Speck is a primer on creating sustainable communities for the future. There are some really simple yet powerful ideas in here on creating places that center on health, wealth, and happiness. If you are a person who lives in a town with a downtown (or what was once a downtown), check this out.

I recently mentioned the dessert edition of Chef's Table here and I am back for seconds (ha ha) with the French edition. These are essentially living histories of artists at the top of their game. They're fascinating to watch and I love the intrigue that is whipped up (so to speak) around the smallest and most mundane of details, like, purchasing tea leaves. What is always fascinating to me is the childhood lives of these hard-working, visionary minds and how an underwhelming underperforming teen goes on to singlehandedly change gastronomy for an entire region, in France no less.

GLOW! I somehow missed this last year but caught up fast. Allison Brie, Marc Maron, pies of RAGE... all of it.

I may or may not have watched To All the Boys I've Loved Before... twice.  Not like you need any justification for rom-coms or romance novels, but just in case.

"A face is so you can make faces"
 - Maurice Sendak

Thoughts? Ideas? Recommendations? I love connecting with fellow readers, writers, parents, and humans. Please drop me a line!

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