Recommended reading

4 comments on Recommended reading
1 minute

Saturday morning and time for another roundup of solid blog posts from this week.

Ann Althouse has blogged mostly links to political and legal articles for more than a decade. But one day this week she blogged about her love of fountain pens. I wrote with one as a teenager, but she sketches with hers. Read The return of the Pelikan

If you ask me, I’ll give you a whole symposium of lectures about why I dislike cookie-cutter vinyl-village-style houses. But Susie Trexler reminds us that at one time even the venerated American Foursquare was the trend, and they were built by the bazillions. Read When Houses Look Alike

I’ve never shared another camera review here — I’m in that game and want all the camera-review pageviews. But Josh Solomon, writing for Casual Photophile, wrote a great review of the Pentax SV, a manual 35mm SLR similar to my Pentax H3. Read Pentax SV – Camera Review

So what if your work (writing, art, whatever) never gets any attention? Nobody cares? Cameron Kline, writing fot the Film Shooters Collective, urges you to keep doing it anyway because if it truly matters to you, it’s part of your identity. Read You Are What You Love


4 responses to “Recommended reading”

  1. James Thorpe Avatar
    James Thorpe

    Hey Jim… thanks for these lists. Much appreciated.

  2. hmunro Avatar

    I loved Ann’s piece, Jim — because I can totally relate to her obsession with her Pelikan fountain pen. She put it into words way better than I could have, though. Susie’s post was also quite eerily apropos, because an ailing friend asked me to drive her to Jackson Meadow today — — and this idea of architectural uniformity haunted me the whole way home. And then Cameron’s piece! It sounds like a cliché to say, “do something you love for a living and you’ll never work a day in your life,” but it’s so true, isn’t it? Kudos to him for having the courage to say, “I am a photographer” and to just go do it. Thank you for all of these great reads.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      What happens in the neighborhoods where all the houses are alike is that eventually people start customizing them. Have you ever read about Levittown? It’s kind of the prototypical example of that. I lived my first nine years in a neighborhood that had three houses (one two bedroom and two different three bedrooms) cookie-cuttered all over. They were built in the early 50s; by the 70s most of them had some level of customization, and today they all share basic size and footprint but all look different. The house I lived in is 95% original on the exterior, though. Here’s a post from a few years ago with pics.

      1. hmunro Avatar

        How fun to (virtually) share in some of your memories from your youth, Jim! It’s true what Thomas Wolfe wrote, isn’t it: “You can’t go home again.” Even if it’s just an unkempt path or a new garage on our childhood home, things will always be different than we remember. Especially when homes get “customized” over the years, as you observed in your post on Rabbit Hill. I’m not sure that will happen at Jackson Meadow, though, because they have a strict charter to preserve the architectural and environmental integrity of the place — right down to the type of paint, and the color (white; only white). But wouldn’t it be cool if, in a few years, the community decided it was OK to switch to bright primary colors? Now *that* would be a striking sight!

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