leisure 06.17.19

Book Land: Gathering

The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker is a fresh, thoughtful look at all kinds of circumstances in which people gather and offers suggestions on ways to make those events more meaningful.

Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam, from 2001, detailed the ways in which Americans had disconnected themselves from each other. Better Together by Robert D. Putnam and Lewis M. Feldstein (2009), charts ways in which communities have begun to address social isolation.

Kristin Schell came up with a different solution to social isolation: she put a picnic table (painted turquoise) in front of her house and invited neighbors to take a load off. The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard is her book detailing what happened next.

How To Do It by Elsa Maxwell is a blast from the past: the one-time high priestess of partying wrote a book about How She Did It, with indispensable recipes such as Andalusian Gazpacho à la Joan Fontaine.

We loved Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come by Jessica Pan. Fans of Quiet, Susan Cain's book from a few years back about the undersung advantages of being an introvert, will love Pan's book, too. In it, Pan challenges herself, a shy introvert, to do the communal things over the course of a year that would make any self-respecting introvert shudder: attend networking parties, have fun at an improv class, do a stand-up comedy routine, and throw a dinner party. Charming, funny, even inspiring.

The Art of Community by Charles H. Vogl lays out principles for creating communities.

Public spaces as glue: Eric Klinenberg's Palaces for the People makes a persuasive case.

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