Every month at Echo, we collect and share a taste of the reading, writing, people, stories, tools and design that have intrigued and inspired us.
This past month, we’ve become smitten with …
…STEVEN PINKER’S SENSE OF STYLE.
Do kids today even care about good writing? Why should any of us care? Steven Pinker’s latest book, The Sense of Style, doesn’t moan over the decline of great prose. Instead, he uses science in funny, instructive and fascinating ways to describe how we can craft sentences than sing. A must-read for anyone who wants to be a better writer.
…THE HONESTY OF EDITORS.
Acknowledging your mistakes is painful. Acknowledging them publicly takes audacity to boot. These confessions by veteran editors introduce a litany of missed opportunities, character failings and straight-up disasters. They are also compulsively readable in their vulnerability. Mistakes happen to everyone – it’s how you deal with them that matters.
…THE INVENTIVE STORYTELLING OF CRAIN’S CHICAGO BUSINESS.
We’ve heard many companies tell stories of losing their way. Far fewer (if any) have done so through the medium of the comic book. Journalist John Pletz and a talented team of illustrators and artists at Crain’s Chicago Business take that plunge, chronicling and narrating the rise and fall of Motorola–a company commonly attributed with inventing the cell phone–in gorgeous, interactive comic-book format. Additional kudos to Crain’s on curating their readers’ emotional responses, which amplify this story’s power.
…READING “READ THIS THING.”
We discovered the Motorola story (above) via Read This Thing, a sharp and excellent newsletter offering a single standout story per day. The creators of Read This Thing observe that readers now have access to more journalism and stories than they can consume–and offer guidance by way of this carefully curated selection. It’s that rare thing: a newsletter that one looks forward to receiving.
Discussions have raged about the issue of sexual consent in the U.S. and Canada, while clarity on the concept–at least in the media–has often been fuzzy at best. It’s against this backdrop that artists like Alli Kirkham of Everyday Feminism are attempting to help communicate the simple logic behind the idea of consent.
…PAIN WITHOUT SELF-PITY.
In Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir, actor Alan Cumming frames his life story by recounting his appearance on the BBC television show Who Do You Think You Are?, a program asking celebrities to trace their family trees and explore the lives of their ancestors. As he investigates the unknown about his family–his grandfather, for example, died under mysterious circumstances–he is also forced to reckon with an unexpected confession, and memories that arise of an abusive father. The telling is suspenseful, warm and ultimately hopeful.
…COLOURING BOOK THERAPY.
In this insightful piece in the New Yorker, Adrienne Raphel looks at the rise of “recess activities” among adults, and at how creativity can quell anxiety, fear and stress within even the most ‘Type A’ of CEOs.