‘Reading’ the Dutch Masters at The Met

A version of this post appeared on The New York Society Library website. What seems like a lifetime ago, before our pandemic world erupted, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at The Met to rave reviews. Peter Schjeldahl wrote in The New Yorker, “This installation rings the lower level […]

Luck is Always on This Side of Greatness

Some years ago, a former Princeton student recently discharged from military service was working his first job in New York City as an advertising copywriter for the Barron Collier Agency.  He found the city exciting — ‘the land of ambition and success’ as he wrote to his girlfriend.  Like many 20-somethings, he had big dreams.  […]

What Are You Thinking?

STOP.   What are you thinking right at this moment? What’s flitting through your mind or crashing into your brain this second? — Did you just remember something for your to-do list? — Did you just hear a noise? — Did you just enjoy, for a millisecond, the coffee that touched your lips? — Did […]

How to Manage Plagues + Politics

I often write about finding your passionate purpose and doing the deep work necessary to bring it to fruition. Sometimes, a passionate purpose and deep work are still not enough.  
 There is a long list of books that almost didn’t get made.
 — Harry Potter, Gone with the Wind, and Stephen King’s Carrie were […]

A Book Made Us Run

I don’t think any of you would disagree or believe it very profound if I say our world changed in 2020 — how we live, work and see ourselves. How it’s going to shake out in the coming months is yet to be determined; I’m guessing we’re still in the messy middle. As we all […]

Tips for Sourcing Books

We’re spending more time at home so it’s a good time to pick up extra reading. Here’s how to choose.