my pick

5 Video Gadgets for the iPhone Videographer

In addition to our daily internet finds, we actually had 4 full seasons of a weekly video show. In that process I did a great deal of work to find the things that would let me film on the go. While I had the distinct honor of working with the very talented Stephen McFadden, there were times when I needed to film myself in the snowy Manhattan evening, far away from Stephen's amazing camera.

So here are 5 video gadgets I discovered along the way.

Ideas, Art, Aesthetics - 5 Books I Love to Share

Sharing books you love with people you like/love/admire/appreciate is one of the most delicious things. You walk around with a shared interior room. You establish an invisible tribe of the heart and head. So, I like/love/admire/appreciate you. Here are the books about ideas, art, aesthetics I want to share with you.

If you want to share with me yours I would be so grateful.

Languages of Art 

by Nelson Goodman

I got this book referred to me by a professor of ancient Chinese calligraphy ( a bit about that experience). It is cerebral and lovely and trusts the reader immensely with discussions of the invisible, the dynamic, the hidden flows that make art move the way it does.

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Kant and the Platypus

by Umberto Eco

With a playful approach Eco gets me to a thoughtful reckoning of the heavy cognitive burden that language bears. 

I have actually bought copies of this book and sent them to friends because I wanted to talk with them about it.

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Twentieth Century Pleasures

by Robert Hass

With a wide range of subjects (from the image/thought of haiku, to contemplations of Tranströmer and Checkov) poet Robert Hass writes clearly and generously about the poetry he has found resources in.

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The Language Instinct

by Steven Pinker

Very much interested in the way we learn and develop language and the way that language overruns the rules we think define it, Pinker puts forth the notion that language isn't a cultural artefact, isn't an invention that set our societies off from their pre-linguistic past through its instrumentality, but instead that language is an inbuilt biological activity that has shaped our evolution as it evolved beside us.

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In Praise of Shadows

by  Junichiro Tanizaki

The way we approach beauty, the things we allow it to say about us, the way it contributes to the moment-to-moment experience of living, this is what Japanese novelist Tanizaki discusses in this brief little discussion on everything from tableware to architecture to space and light.

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My Pick - 5 Novels of Noteworthy Novelty

I have a short list of novels that I hold close to my heart, for their sheer imaginative bravery, for their expansive curiosity and confident communion with the reader. 

I would love to hear your list of novels you love. 

Sure it is a National Book Award winner, but Johnson's fierce, unrelenting imagination dashes any danger of it being broad or boring. 


Tree of Smoke
Tree of Smoke: A Novel
By Denis Johnson

Transporting the creator of the Atomic Bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer, inexplicably into our day, Millet begins a narrative, that like a rip tide, nearly invisible pulls you into deep water without your even being aware of it. 

Oh Pure and Radiant Heart

Taking a simple premise, that with instructions embedded in an alien communication, the Jesuit build and set out to meet them on their own planet. Sci-fi and fantasy with a tinge of high lit.

The Sparrow

The first of Mishima's final novel cycle (read about his ending here), it follows a pair of characters through generations as the symbolism of Buddhism becomes quite literal.


Spring Snow
Runaway Horses
The Temple of Dawn
The Decay of Angels


Ben Marcus' work is daringly conceptual that trust the intelligence of its reader with a type of storytelling unique amongst his peers.


Notable American Women