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  • Kateri Kramer


It’s been a while, I know. Months ago I started compiling a list of a few things I loved or learned from in the week before. Since it’s been so long this Friday Front Runners is going to include a bit more than a week's worth of goodies. Shall we get started?

1. I’ve never been a journaler. Even as a kid I wasn’t much into keeping a diary. I think this is half because it takes me a REALLY long time to process things, and half because I think that every-time I sit in front of a pen and paper I have to be writing something “publishable.” I’ve been trying to get beyond that and have really embraced this whole journaling thing in the last 3 weeks. I started with Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages, from The Artist’s Way. I’d heard enough people I admire talk about it that I figured it was finally time. I’m showing up most mornings to do my pages, but I’m still not totally sure how writing about why I’m tired and didn’t want to get up and dreading work is going to make me a better artist. A friend told me to just blindly buy in and trust the process, so that’s precisely what I’m doing. I’ve also started using Amber Rae’s Wonder Journal, and I LOVE it. It’s really the perfect journal for people who are resistant to the idea of journaling. And, Amber Rae’s amazing illustration and branding makes it that much more enjoyable.

2. I’ve been reading a lot (or reading some and listening to lots of audio books. Here’s what’s been on my nightstand:

  1. Beloved, Toni Morrison - A favorite that I had to go back to after listening to the Knox Robinson/Rich Roll Podcast

  2. My Sister the Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite - Holy shit this book is good

  3. The American Marriage, Tayari Jones - Potentially unpopular opinion, but didn’t love this one.

  4. Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward - OMG this book is beautiful. My galley copy has been on my shelf for years and I’m so glad I finally read it. Ward was clearly influenced by Toni Morrison because her prose just sings.

  5. Finding Beauty in a Broken World, Terry Tempest Williams - I pulled this book out when the Pandemic started to get really bad in April. Although I’m still working my way through it, it’s a nice thing to have by my side when I need to remember that despite the current state of affairs, there still is beauty to be had.

  6. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah - This was a book club book along with The American Marriage. It was entertaining enough, but probably not something I’d recommend if someone was looking for suggestions. Made me want to go to Alaska for sure though.

  7. City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert- I’d heard such good things about this book, and it ended up being okay. Again, entertaining enough, but maybe not as nuanced and dynamic as it’s potential.

3. I’ve been listening to a lot of great podcasts, but by far, my favorite was the one listed above- Knox Robinson on the Rich Roll Podcast. Robinson’s conversation with Rich Roll was one of the most clarifying conversations I’ve listened to about Race and the current climate since the protests began months ago. He has some incredibly astute insights on the current bestseller list:

4. Normal People. Normal People. Normal People. I feel like, despite finishing this series several weeks ago, I’m still reeling from the emotions it evoked and thinking about the scenes in it. Sally Rooney is incredible, the cinematography is amazing, and the Irish scenes are also amazing. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for?

5. Also, High Fidelity is amazing. I’ve always somewhat neglected learning more about music, pushing myself outside of what I’m comfortable listening to. Anthony has set up some really amazing music lessons for me that’s introducing me to lots of people/bands I should know about but didn’t. High Fidelity fit right in with that and the spotify playlist that accompanies the show is great.

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