I love stumbling upon a new book. In fact, I like it so much, I'm usually in the middle of several at once (which is not a very efficient way to read!). To kick off the new week, here are a few things that I’ve been reading, listening to, or watching in case something is helpful to you as well. I've included things I’ve recently finished, plus a few things I’m still in the middle of but feel compelled to mention. All are recommended.
Books / Audiobooks:
The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee: I’m a mixture of left-brain logic and right-brain creativity and this book offers a great approach for tapping into visual and creative business planning techniques. I’m only halfway through and my business plan is still very much a work in progress, but I’m already getting so much out of the activities and suggestions.
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp: I’ve been listening to this audiobook during my drives across Minnesota over the past few weekends. I just finished listening to it and now want to buy the book because there were so many good recommendations that I want to incorporate into my own life. Twyla is a dancer and choreographer, but her insight and advice translate to any creative endeavor. My overly organizational brain particularly loved her explanation for how she researches and organizes information for new projects. She simply stores things in a box, but it is so much deeper and fascinating than it sounds, and I am now looking for empty boxes to fill (and new projects to start).
Art Inc. by Lisa Congdon: This one was just released on Tuesday so I’ve only read a few excerpts. But I can already tell that I will be referencing it often. I already had a situation come up this week that I needed some advice on so I flipped through the pages and found a very helpful overview on the topic.
Someone by Alice McDermott: I recently finished this novel, and if I was going to write a book, this is the kind of story I would want to write. It follows an "ordinary" woman’s life by jumping back and forth between different points in her childhood and adulthood. It’s not flashy. It’s not a riveting page-turner. But it pulled me in and proved that ordinary lives are just as complex and interesting as those considered to be extraordinary.
The This American Life podcast is always spectacular, but this episode regarding an abandoned house and the mystery surrounding its story was right up my alley, to say the least.
Abby Glassenberg's While She Naps podcast with guests Lilla Rogers and Lisa Congdon.
Clearly I’m a huge fan of Lisa and this was a great conversation. I really liked Lilla and Lisa’s advice to enjoy and embrace whatever phase of the journey that you’re in -- whether you’re right at the start or have already reached some/all of your goals. Sometimes I focus too much on the end result when I should just be enjoying where I’m at. They also discussed Lisa’s background as a self-taught artist. I am self-taught and I have wasted way to much time feeling ashamed about it. I’m finally realizing that it’s ok I didn’t go to art school, and my business degree and professional background are positives that will continue to serve me well. A great reminder to appreciate and embrace my own path a bit more.
The After the Jump podcast regarding jealousy. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this one before, but I feel compelled to list it again because last week I referred to the 5 steps discussed in the podcast when talking with a friend. I’m finding them to be completely transforming.
I literally smiled all the way through this fantastic profile of Maira Kallman. She is such a touchstone for illustration, narrative, color, humor, and life. I recently finished The Principles of Uncertainty and I’m in the middle of And the Pursuit of Happiness. Both are remarkable. She is remarkable. It makes me want to be better at capturing moments -- everyday moments-- with my paint brush.
Susan Orlean’s Creative Nonfiction: Write Truth with Style class on Skillshare. I’m only halfway through watching the videos, but there has been a ton of great content and advice. I love her approach to research and taking notes (that's my left-side, business brain talking again!), and I'm looking forward to learning more about her writing process.
....I could go on, but I'll stop there! Happy Monday.