Summary of “Anthony Bourdain: Helen Rosner reflects on his legacy in The Last Interview”

The following is the introduction to Anthony Bourdain: The Last Interview and Other Conversations, written by New Yorker writer Helen Rosner, which details her growing up admiring Anthony Bourdain and then getting to know him later in life.
Readers may have bought the book to get insight into a world ten feet from their dinner table, but it was Bourdain the man who kept us reading-the character on the page, the voice recounting the story.
Bourdain is best known, now, for his extraordinary television career, and he’s most often categorized as a cook, but to me he’s always a writer-he’s the author of some dozen books, and uncountable essays and blog posts and show notes-and Kitchen Confidential is the knuckle-crack of a fighter getting ready to wallop.
Despite my love affair with Kitchen Confidential, I didn’t read another Bourdain book until around 2014, after deciding that I probably ought to understand why this Bourdain guy was still such a big deal.
After two years with the Food Network, Bourdain launched a new show with the Travel Channel, No Reservations-a bigger, smarter, more idiosyncratic eating-around-the-world show.
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown was ostensibly a food show, but it’s more accurate to think of it as a brutally beautiful documentary series, or a ballistic missile of pure humanity, a meticulous and often radically compassionate exploration of not only what people eat around the world, but the deep and indelible why: the wars, the zoning laws, the climate disasters, the religious strife, the historical necessity.
Even after we became friends, I had a hard time calling Bourdain “Tony.” He would tease me about it, and speculate about which presumably deep Freudian well my resistance to his preferred name sprang from.
Maybe it’s because Bourdain spent more adult years as a civilian than a celebrity, but the man talking about his hustler’s work ethic in the Rain Taxi Review of Books in 2003 is the same person leaning back in his chair in 2018, chatting with Trevor Noah in front of the cameras of the Daily Show about his rage at the President of the United States referring to El Salvador, Haiti, and the entire continent of Africa as “Shithole countries.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Susan Sontag on Her Advice to Writers”

Susan Sontag spent a lifetime contemplating the role of writing in both the inner world of the writer and outer universe of readers, which we call culture – from her prolific essays and talks on the task of literature to her devastatingly beautiful letter to Borges to her decades of reflections on writing recorded in her diaries.
Every writer of fiction wants to tell many stories, but we know that we can’t tell all the stories – certainly not simultaneously.
We know we must pick one story, well, one central story; we have to be selective.
Writing nearly a decade before the golden age of ebooks and some years before the epidemic of crowdsourced-everything had infected nearly every corner of creative culture, Sontag once again reveals her extraordinary prescience about the intersection of technology, society, and the arts.
Returning to the writer’s crucial task of selecting what story to tell from among all the stories that could be told, Sontag points to literature’s essential allure – the comfort of appeasing our anxiety about life’s infinite possibility, about all the roads not taken and all the immensities not imagined that could have led to a better destination than our present one.
Writing in 2004, she saw television as the dominant form of the latter, but it’s striking to consider how true her observations hold today if we substitute “The internet” for every mention of “Television.” One can only wonder what Sontag would make of our newsfeed-fetishism and our compulsive tendency to mistake the latest and most urgent for the most important.
To tell a story is to say: this is the important story.
Complement it with Sontag on love, art, how polarities imprison us, why lists appeal to us, and the joy of rereading beloved books, then revisit this evolving archive of celebrated writers’ advice on writing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Adventure Town Bookstores Worth Traveling For”

Maybe you’re less nerdy than I am, but one of my abiding joys while traveling is finding the best bookstore in any given town.
Adventure towns, somewhat miraculously, are still home to some of the best independent bookstores in the country.
Back of BeyondMoab, Utah Tucked between T-shirt shops on Moab’s main drag, Back of Beyond, a legendary hub of backcountry literature, is jammed with new books and rare old titles about the Colorado Plateau, conveniently organized around dirtbag-friendly categories.
Environmental nonfiction features prominently and is next to the shelf full of river books, which is across from the adventure narratives.
What to Read? You’re in Edward Abbey territory, and Back of Beyond has a deep catalog of his books, along with other titles that tread the line of monkeywrenching, like Amy Irvine’s Trespass and David Gessner’s All the Wild That Remains.
Book NookBuena Vista, Colorado Get yourself to the Arkansas River Valley in October, when the Book Nook is celebrating its tenth birthday.
Homey Key West Island Books is a hub for the local writing and reading scene.
What to Read? Sparks loves a lot of local books, including Nick Pyenson’s Spying on Whales.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How personal letters built the possibility of a modern public”

The ‘print public sphere’ made its debut as a series of letters.
At the time, the reliance of the print public sphere on personal handwritten letters would not have seemed paradoxical.
Writers knew letters were part-public and part-private, and it shaped how they were written.
In short, at any stage in its composition, transmission and reception, a letter might travel beyond the bounds of the one-to-one relationship that moderns imagine when we read a letter beginning ‘Dear X’, and ending ‘Signed, Y’. The fact that writers knew letters were part-public and part-private shaped how they were written.
As the historian Lindsay O’Neill writes in The Opened Letter: ‘networking was often the purpose of a letter An examination of networks blurs the borders between the modern and the premodern worlds, between public and private spheres.
Newspapers’ reliance on readers’ understanding of how to read and write letters could help to deflect some of the accusations against print.
Letters enabled a new scale of public communication by suggesting that print rested upon a manuscript foundation.
Letters helped everyday readers understand how they could or should interact with print.

The orginal article.

Summary of “An Incredibly Clever Hack for People Who Want to Read More Books”

According to Charles Duhigg, who literally wrote the book on the subject, all habits work fundamentally the same way, whether they’re good or bad: You experience some cue or trigger that brings the habit to mind, you perform your usual routine, and then you receive a reward of some kind.
For this particular habit, there’s something that blocks you from enjoying books the way you read Facebook.
You need to give yourself permission to read tiny chunks of books.
Every time you feel your “Facebook Trigger,” instead of reaching for your mobile device, grab a book.
It’s best if it’s a physical book at first, because a mobile device is too tempting.
Now, read the book! To start, just pick a page in the book and start reading.
Daily Rituals is a good book to start with, because it has lots of small sections; or try Dangerous Liaisons if you prefer fiction.
In just a couple of weeks, you’ll find yourself not only reading more, Kadavy promises, but also starting to feel more invested in your identity as a reader, which should only reinforce your new good habit.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Year I Went Bald”

A mere year and a half elapsed between saying goodbye to my old hair and being quietly accepting of my new hair.
Between reading a book every day without effort and working profusely to maintain that pace.
On Sunday mornings, I asked myself, “What section of the book do I want to work on today?”.
There’s a photograph of me, at around five months old, staring at a ripped-off book cover with rapt concentration.
I’ve tried to slow myself down, but my natural reading speed remains a book a day.
Radiation forced me to set the book aside for a month.
Not long from now, I’ll start researching and writing the next book.
Future books hopefully won’t have cancer, and its treatment, directly embedded into the narrative spine.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This 3-Minute Habit Changed My Life”

Tracking my time has changed how I think about my time.
My time logs showed me that even in a full life there can still be space.
Knowing where the time goes allows you to redeploy time from the mundane to the meaningful, and from the forgettable to the memorable.
Everyone knows working moms don’t have time to read, right?
The result is that since I started tracking time, I have read War and Peace.
Since I mostly work out of a home office and don’t have a regular commute, I wasn’t building “Time in the car” into my mental model of life.
Time Tracking Helped Ease Working Parent Guilt I’d recommend time tracking to anyone prone to parental guilt.
With the time logs recording those sunsets, I simply cannot claim that I have no time.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Reading Lessons”

Then comes the twist: these are all metaphors for internal activities of the mind, and especially for the discipline of reading Scripture.
What Aldhelm noticed – and I suspect he would have thought of all reading this way, not just of the Bible – was that reading was a bundle of related abilities, each of which needed precise training.
We had been reading other Romantic poets in the course; next to Byron and Shelley and Keats, Wordsworth was dry as dust.
Kickstart your weekend reading by getting the week’s best Longreads delivered to your inbox every Friday afternoon.
My crash course in reading dramatic texts made me, ironically, a terrible student for an entire semester.
My reading lessons could be purely cognitive, curiously embodied, or startlingly emotional.
These were perhaps the most literal reading lessons I received in undergrad. When I took Toronto’s year-long course in Old English, I had not started a new language in any kind of serious way for over a decade.
Most of my reading lessons ended with my undergraduate education.

The orginal article.

Summary of “7 Tips for How to Read Faster”

If you want to read faster while maintaining reading comprehension, check out these seven tips.1.
If your goal is more limited in scope than the author’s, plan to only find and read the pertinent sections.
Vary your plan of attack based on the type of material you’re about to read. If you’re going to read a dense legal or scientific text, you should probably plan to read certain passages more slowly and carefully than you’d read a novel or magazine.
Many readers read a few sentences passively, without focus, then spend time going back and re-reading to make sure they understand them.
According to Dartmouth College’s Academic Skills Center, it’s an old-fashioned myth that students must read every section of a textbook or article.
Reading selectively will make it possible for you to digest the main points of many texts, rather than only having time to fully read a couple.
Your job shouldn’t end when you read the last word on the page.
If you want to improve your reading speed, use a timer to test how many words per minute you can read. As you’re able to read faster and faster, check in with yourself to make sure you’re happy with your level of comprehension.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Keep Fake News Out of Your Head”

Remember when the Internet was going to educate us and elevate our overall intelligence as a species? All that good stuff may happen, but at present, digital fake news is deceiving countless minds.
I disagree with calls for governments and corporations to clean up the mess that is online fake news.
If you encounter a lone report that describes the opening of a new habitat featuring a live Bigfoot specimen at the San Diego Zoo or the invasion of South Korea by North Korean killer robots, chances are good that it’s fake news.
Many fake news sites seek to fool people with a Web address that is similar to a legitimate news site.
Most troublesome is that some fake news is designed to look credible at first glance.
Part of the reason fake news has exploded on social media is that it is so easy for one to become fatigued or at least distracted and cognitively compromised by the never-ending avalanche of information.
An interesting study published in Nature Human Behaviour in 2017 suggests that people are more vulnerable to falling for fake stories when the flow of news becomes too great to pay close enough attention.
I find some reason for hope and optimism amid the current explosion of fake news we are experiencing.

The orginal article.