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.
[+] 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.
[+] My overdue library books this month have me thinking: whose urban crisis is it, exactly?
[+] 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.
“New York has always had a deep-seated preoccupation with departure, with the end of things. In London, people are forever returning. I was stunned when, after almost a decade away that city, I went out to a dinner or a party and was greeted as if I'd never been away. This is not true here. In New York, someone is always about to leave, the experience of imminent departure is felt acutely among the city's thousands…"
~Inigo Thomas from Leaving New York