All tagged Austin Kleon

Gift Guide: 7 Books to Give This Year

A couple years ago, I created a series of gift guides that are still pretty popular--check them out here. I thought it would be fun to add to those guides with at least one new list for this holiday season. (I will try to do another one that I have sketched out--stay tuned!)

Buying books for other people can be a bit of a challenge. I always want to be sensitive to not imposing my taste and preferences on other people--just because I like something, doesn't mean that they'll love it too. But at the same time, I love putting good books in people's hands, so I strive for recommendations that will appeal to a broader audience. 


Recommendation Roundup: Dec. 2013 & Jan. 2014

I combined December and January's recommendation posts due to our year-end List of Awesome compilation. We have a ton of very mixed books to recommend this time--I think the only one we all read was Jennifer Lynn Barnes' super-fun thriller The Naturals, which our book club read in January. 

I had a particularly good run of books over the last couple months, including that I got to read a super-early copy of Lisa Schroeder's lovely new novel, The Bridge from Me to You, which was special to me for a number of reasons (disclosure: including this), but particularly because it reminded me so much of growing up in small town Oregon. 

I was also excited to discover Maureen McGowan's action-packed post-apocalyptic thriller series (Deviants and Compliance), which is a whole lot of fun--especially on audio. And, if you're looking for a charming adult novel about the suckitude of adulting, I have to point you to You Had Me at Hello--it was a bestseller in the U.K. for a reason, let me tell you. 

AND! One one final note, I was thrilled to read another super-early copy of a much-anticipated book, Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, which I adored. If you like Zevin's novels, you'll love this one, trust me.

Obviously, Sandra discovered the awesomeness of Sarah Addison Allen this month--hooray for another convert! And I peer-pressured Laura into reading more Liza Palmer, as one does...

Onward to the recommendations!

Gift Guide: Books + Things for Creative Folks

I teach at an art college and am around creative folks all the time—and I tell you, not only do they drive me kind of crazy, they are some of the hardest people to shop for. Here are some ideas for those particular peeps on your list. 

Like our previous list with gift ideas for sports fans, these are all items we own or have gifted, so they’re quality picks. 


Steal Like an Artist

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

I mentioned this in my first-half favorites posts, but I’ve recommended Austin Kleon’s inventive and accessible book to many of my students and clients who are creative folks. I think a lot of people (including myself) see creativity as a magical thing requiring a decoder ring found only in a secret box of cereal only special people are allowed to buy—Kleon debunks that perception and presents the keys to being more creative in a way that will resonate with most everyone. 

Amazon / Goodreads

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing

Elmore Leonard’s short book about writing is one of my favorites—it’s very… succinct. Even though I don’t do creative writing (most of my professional writing has been articles/features/profiles/columns), many of his reminders have served me well (my favorite being to avoid the word “suddenly,” which used to be a big problem for me). Like I said, this is short, but the illustrations really make the book and it’s one many people will appreciate.

Amazon / Goodreads

How has half a year gone by already? Seriously, 2012… slow down!

I thought I’d use this Sunday’s List-O-Rama to round up some of my most memorable reads thus far in 2012—and I am going to bug Laura, Renegade and Sandra to do the same. (We’ll see if they cooperate, the CEFS contributors are not known for their blind acquiescence.)

Published in 2012

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

YA Novels

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler - This is definitely my favorite Sarah Ockler; I definitely connected with dynamics of growing up in a small down. {Review | Amazon | Goodreads}

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - This book has been rather divisive, but I loved it—and I really affected by the TFiOS tour stop I attended.  {Review | Amazon | Goodreads}

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller - SLN is a book I’ve been recommending left and right to people—especially those who are afraid of reading YA. It strikes a perfect note of authenticity. {Review | Amazon | Goodreads}