What Are You Reading (offline, that is)?

what are you reading

We love to hear what our friends are reading when they step away from the computer. Drop us a line and let us know what’s blowing your mind.Shayna Kulik, Pattern Pulp Outliers: the story of success by Malcom Gladwell I just finished Outliers---after putting it down last year. I really enjoyed the second half more than the first and, it coincidently was the perfect lay-up for Tokyo Vice, the book I'm reading now. It's fantastic, and offers a realistic window of Japanese culture through the eyes of an assimilated American journalist. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it's true. The storytelling is phenomenal and if you have even the mildest interest in Japan you'll find it entertaining and informative.

When I'm tight on time, I stick to magazines, for editorial and design inspiration. It's an ever-changing list, but off the top of my head . . . The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Dazed & Confused, Art Forum, Another Mag, 032, LOVE and The Economist.

Amy Connoly, Creative Soul Spectrum I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb I know I'm well over a decade behind here considering this book made it's debut in Oprah's Book Club in 1998, but the great thing about a good book is it's ability to be timeless. Between my job as a graphic designer and the time I spend working on my own blog and viewing other blogs, the majority of my day is spent in front of a computer. I love being able to come home to a book that I find as captivating as the things I see on my screen. Wally Lamb has certainly captured my attention with this novel about the life and struggles of a man whose identical twin suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

Miranda Ward, A Literal Girl Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work! by Douglas Coupland I've actually just finished this book, but I'm still thinking about it, so I don't think listing it is quite cheating. Coupland's short and unconventional biography of McLuhan, first published a few years ago, feels very timely. "You can't slow down, even once, ever, without becoming irrelevant", Coupland writes of contemporary life, capturing the strange sense of urgency that seems to characterize our era. And the book is peppered with seemingly prophetic quotes from McLuhan. "We look at the present through a rearview mirror. We march backwards into the future" is a favorite of mine.

Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You by Alice Munro I was initially resistant to this book. My mother gave it to me years ago, and said I should read it, that maybe everybody should read it. That kind of urgency about books is good but it always makes me reticent: what if I can't feel what you felt? And anyway I struggle with short stories. But it is good. It feels like a book that's okay to read at a slow pace.

Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer I've been re-reading this. It's ostensibly a book about not writing a book about D.H. Lawrence (whilst also being, of course, a book about D.H. Lawrence). Dyer is brilliant (and often laugh-out-loud funny) on subjects like indecision, procrastination, and depression, and this, in my view, is his finest work. I'm trying to learn or absorb something from it.

Flaubert in Egypt by Gustave Flaubert Letters and notes from Flaubert's 1849 visit to Egypt. I've been dipping in and out of this book for a long time now; you feel as if you're going on a journey every time you read a paragraph.

The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt A sprawling novel---maybe too big, in a way. But the completeness of the world that Byatt has created is extraordinary. One of those novels you eventually fall into and swim joyfully around in, though it took me awhile to commit to it.