Last Night's Reading is one of my favorite tumblr/Instagrams. Kate Gavino goes to hundreds of author events around New York City and the next day she posts a sketch of the author along with some bit of wisdom they imparted during their reading. Her drawings are now available in a book, which I got last night when she spoke at Harvard Book Store! 🌻
  1. "The absolute safety of your soul will depend on whether you can find the courage or the community to bear witness to what has happened to you." Junot Díaz, 9/3/13
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    This is the first piece Kate Gavino made--she said this talk by Junot Díaz inspired her entire project in the first place!
  2. "We read books to rehearse for life." Lois Lowry, 10/19/14
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    I have found this to be very true, myself.
  3. "Our lives are framed by two darknesses we don't understand: the darkness before birth and the darkness after death." Alice McDermott, 10/9/14
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    How beautifully she words our uncertainty!
  4. "No nostalgia hurts as much as nostalgia for things that never existed." Rabih Alameddine, 1/7/15
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    I have also found this to be very (and somewhat sadly) true.
  5. "The white, critical gaze distorts your being, but if you write away from it or regardless of it, the world is yours." Toni Morrison, 12/10/14
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    This is something Toni Morrison has absolutely accomplished, I feel.
  6. "I wish more for resilience than happiness...not everyone is strong enough to go to a dark place and come back." Jennifer Weiner, 6/17/14
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    This resonates with me quite profoundly--it is hard to come out of a darkness and stay out of it.
  7. "I love being a part of the human race but I also like to stand apart and say 'By the way, you all are disgusting.'" Jamaica Kincaid, 4/3/14
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    Amen to that.
  8. "Luck is merely the temporary state of outrunning your impending disasters." Colson Whitehead, 3/11/15
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    I love this way of looking at things.
  9. "Sometimes you just have to commit yourself to absurdity." Zadie Smith, 9/21/14
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    And when you do, there is no limit to what you will surprise yourself with!
  10. "We need art and beauty because survival is insufficient." Emily St. John Mandel, 9/8/14
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    I loved how important the line "because survival is insufficient" is in Station Eleven. It's from a Star Trek episode, and I think it so perfectly and succinctly explains why we are always reaching for more to sate a hunger that comes not from our tummies but from our brains and our hearts.
  11. These are just a few of my favorites, but I encourage you to follow her blog and Instagram, and seek out a copy of this book. It is so beautiful. Since following Kate Gavino's drawings I have noticed a marked difference in the way I pay attention at author events. A change in thinking--a sure sign that art has succeeded!