So every December I do a tech cleanse which basically means I take Instagram and Facebook off of my phone. Within a week I feel like I have so much more time to read (I love reading a big book in front of my children who vie for my attention while I smugly say I'm reading. This doesn't really work when I'm glued to my phone because honestly what am I really reading in there?). But it was feeling so good — so right — that I just kept on going through the New Year and then I listened to Cal Newport talk about digital minimalism [here he is writing about it] and I haven't since wanted to return. I feel this urgency right now, steeped in gratitude mostly, for where I am in life and all that I have and I would hate to think that I am using this one wild and precious life (RIP Mary) to scroll through my feed.
For the Discerning & Literary Child
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This slim title is a good conversation starter with a kindergartener or early grade school child on the life and importance of MLK.
Duck & Goose, Goose Needs a Hug. Sometimes it's really this simple.
The Baldwin Library is a digital gold mine of 130,000 kid-lit titles and magazines published in the United States and Great Britain from the mid-1600s to present day.
My friend Mackenzie Cadenhead has a new book out this week: Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Mighty Marvels! Both my reader and pre-reader adore this early chapter book series, especially the superhero Squirrel Girl.
Asides, Ideas, Miscellany
Really, the only research advice: Turn every page.
How a 13-yr-old girl smashed the gender divide in American high schools.
Black men and women who were overlooked by the Times. More of this, please.
How to write a really good artist bio, courtesy of Artsy. I love a well-written, concise, yet career-spanning treatment of a person. It reminds me of the documentary on the NYT obituary writers, Obit, which is one of the best films I have seen on the process of non-fiction writing and reporting.
Course-correcting 101 for major international art institutions. (Thank you, MoMA.)
John O'Donahue, the late poet, theologian, and philosopher on On Being: "There’s a reduction of identity to biography. And they’re not the same thing. I think biography unfolds identity and makes it visible and puts the mirror of it out there, but I think identity is a more complex thing." If you have a quiet hour, this whole episode is worth the listen.