Rain this morning so cycling to church (and the cappuccino right after) results in an audible— car (blah), coffee, and the Wall Street Journal from the home office. Finished What We Talk About When We Talk About The Tube (The District Line) by John Lanechester this morning. This book in the series was the most Tube-centric (needed an excuse to type that). There were also gratuitous mentions of Richmond. The range of subject matter in this series is so diverse that it would be difficult to choose a favorite. Heads and Straights reminds me of a close friend (just like Friday Afternoons, Op. 7: Cuckoo!) and Richard Mabey is the kind of environmentalist / conservationist that could make converts (his tone is so utterly positive and reality-based and devoid of screeching and preaching). Excerpts from Earthbound should be re-printed in Wired and it very neatly complements Buttoned-Up and Heads and Straights.
From the ‘Son of a Florist’ files…
(1) The Secrets of Growing Dahlias: Potter-turned-gardener Frances Palmer shares her tips on raising one of nature’s least ignorable flowers—from the compact pompon dahlias to the gargantuan “dinner plate” varieties (WSJ)
(2) Pool Room at the Four Seasons Is a Designer’s Master Class: The New York restaurant demonstrates how to mix moxie and restraint, says architect Allan Greenberg (WSJ)
(3) Bound to Please: In the age of e-books and print-on-demand, literary publishing remains a personal and instinctive enterprise. (WSJ – Registration Required)
“‘Hothouse’ isn’t a management book; it’s a narrative of large personalities at play. Yet out of it comes a clear account of how to thrive in a tough commercial environment. Focus on your core business. Put your money and energy into content. Avoid outside entanglements: real estate, subsidiaries, foreign offices. Keep operating costs low. Hire and promote young people as you get older. Spend as little as possible on advertising; let big talkers and social networks spread the word. Show up at the office, stick around and watch your competitors pair off or drop out. All the while, keep in mind that yours is a chancy undertaking—that success, when it comes, will come in mysterious ways.”
(4) The Pixel Painter: A 97-Year-Old Man Who Draws Using Microsoft Paint from Windows 95
(5) See The Contest-Winning Cover For “Brave New World”: With his eerie dystopian vision, this year’s winner of a book illustration competition would do Aldous Huxley proud.