What I'm Reading | February 2015

A few days before the Academy Awards, Andrew and I did what we always do and attended the animation symposium at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences in Beverly Hills. Several events take place throughout the week featuring categories like costume design and foreign films, and are a chance to dive deeper into the stories behind the films with the directors, writers, and producers. Essentially, it's a creative well of inspiration. 

This year, one comment in particular stood out. Actually, directors from two different films mentioned loving both the importance of, and the absolute necessity of loving the story. In this way, a feature-length animated film is no different than a book, a video game, or even a blog. Each endeavor is a long-term investment body, mind, and spirit, and because of that the projects by their very nature become deeply personal.

Dean DeBlois, director and writer for How to Train Your Dragon 2, lost his father at 19, a similar age as the film's young protagonist, Hiccup. DeBlois wrote the film's funeral scene to capture what he wished he had the clarity to say all those years ago but didn't. It made me tear up. The work we do is personal. It means something to us, and I think we all operate with the great hope that one day our story will expand to resonate with others. That's when our work becomes transformative, living with the wings we hope to give it when we're deep in the trenches.

So keep going. Keep creating. Keep doing what matters. That was the message.

Harper Lee's new novel will be published this summer. 

Portraits of books.

The salad I'm craving now. This one, too. 

Bringing a daughter back from the brink with poems.

How to toast a cheerio.

A measured approach to cooking.

Zadie Smith doesn't want a record of her days.

A story about so much more than gluten free pizza dough.

Thoughts about reading on the go.

A conversation with Mary Oliver.

Chipotle's Cultivating Thought project is taking on new authors

How to throw an Alice in Wonderland tea party.

A case for publishing alternatives.

The secret life of passwords. 

I'm 100% confident that Laura's new cookbook will be stunning.

Chef stories in the New Yorker.

ownton Abbey, fish mousse, and soufflés.