Instant Connections: On the Nook

Today was the first day that I actually saw my book Instant Connections on a Nook. I knew it was available on it, but I had never seen it with my own two eyes. Thanks Barnes & Noble for not yelling at me for taking a picture of it in your store. (Yes, they actually chastised me in front of my 9-year old niece for trying to take a picture in their store last month…….we won’t get into that here.  I’m all about happy thoughts.) P.S…….supposedly it’s a rule that you are not allowed to take photographs in their stores.

instant connections, jason landry, book, author, writer, nook

REMOTE and REWORK

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I picked up the book REMOTE: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson after reading their first book REWORK.

The title of this book describes exactly what the book is about: working remotely. Now, I’ve worked from corporate offices and remotely from home in my past life. For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to do so, there is ups and downs to it.

This book talks about the positives and the negatives and how to keep your employees working on all cylinders while also giving them the freedom to work autonomously and not as structured and monitored as if they were sitting in an office 9-5pm.

As a gallery owner, I have learned that if you can control your business and transactions pertaining to your business from practically anywhere, your business has a better chance of succeeding and growing. I work just as hard sitting on my couch at home, from a hotel room in Paris, France, or from a friends home in Tampa, Florida as I do sitting in my gallery.

Many galleries in the last 10 years have closed their brick and mortar locations and opted to just do art fairs. This is as mobile as you can get, and many are profiting from it. Dealers pop up at a different art fairs around the globe, set up a booth filled with work of artists that they represent, then after the event is over, pack it up until the next big event. This is a savvy business model for some, but not all. I do think there is something to be said about having a permanent location, but that doesn’t mean I always will.

REWORK on the other hand, was a much better read. There were a lot of motivating quotes that I pulled out of it that made sense, not just for business-minded individuals. Here’s a few good ones:

“Workaholics aren’t heroes. The real hero is home already because she figured out a faster way to get things done.”

“Be a curator.  Stick with what’s truly essential.”

“The real world isn’t a place, it’s an excuse. It’s a justification or not trying. It has nothing to do with you.”

“Standing for something isn’t just about writing it down.  It’s about believing it and living it.”

Both of these books are easy reads. Start with REWORK, then decide if REMOTE is needed.

Instant Connections: The Photos

I love it when people send me photographs that they took with my book Instant Connections. I am very honored that you are reading it, and in one case, destroying it. Take a picture with the book this summer and send it to me. I’m sure you can find me via email or any of the number of social media sites I’m on.

instant connections, jason landry, author, writer, book, photography

Summer Reading List

tim horvath, understories, book, author, writerWell, summer is right around the corner for us New Englanders. The warmer weather gets us outdoors into the parks, onto our brownstone stoops, and to the beaches. Hopefully, if you’re like me, you’ll be bringing a book with you.

Two years ago when I was knee-deep in writing Instant Connections, I was reading a lot of non-fiction books: Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, Tina Fey’s Bossypants, Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, just to name a few.

This year, as I just started a new challenge––writing a historical fiction book, I’ve been reading and re-reading books in that genre to learn more about how authors tackle plot lines and building interesting and dynamic characters.

So, yeah, I’ve tackled all of Dan Brown’s books. They are easy to read and he tells a good story. William Martin is another favorite of mine. In the last year I have read his books Back Bay, The Lincoln Letter, and most recently Harvard Yard. His approach to writing gets you reading in the present day, in one chapter, and then in the next, you are reading about something that happened back in time.  The story volleys back and forth like this throughout the book.

As for me, I have finished some of the research for my new book and have about 10% of the writing started. For a historical fiction book, most average between 90-120,000 words, so I’ve got a ways to go.

In between my writing this summer, I have added these six books to my Summer Reading List:

The Ocean at The End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.
Tinkers by Paul Harding
Understories by Tim Horvath
Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
REMOTE by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
My Life in Heavy Metal by Steve Almond

The first two I’ve had on my shelf for a while, the third book is by a colleague of mine, the forth book I’ve started but need to pick back up, the fifth book I bought and will read because I liked their first book REWORK, and the last book I have also started but need to finish.

What are you reading?

A Game of Baseball

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Red Sox montage by Stephen Sheffield

It’s a full count––three balls, two strikes. You try to remember everything your father told you: “Keep your eyes on the ball. Check your stance. Set your feet. Bend your knees. Get the bat off of your shoulder.” This stuff wasn’t too hard to remember since my dad regularly umpired my Little League games.

The bat was now cocked and ready to connect. It’s a fastball. You swing with all your might. At the crack of the bat, a deep fly ball goes to left field and over the fence. Home run!

That’s how it always happened in my dreams anyway. I never got to hit a home run in real life. If life were like a game of baseball, you would hope for a home run scenario every time. But in reality, there are some curveballs, knuckleballs, change-ups and quite possibly some spitballs thrown into the mix to make things more challenging. But challenges are part of the game, regardless of whether you’re playing t-ball, Little League, or the Majors. Challenges can also take you off-course, but don’t let them. They’re usually building blocks for something greater––something too fast to see when they’re coming at you at ninety miles an hour.

A Game of Baseball, from the book,
Instant Connections: Essays and Interviews on Photography by Jason Landry.

From the Interview with Vik Muniz

“The great challenge is how to make smart, intelligent art that can speak to everybody.” ~Vik Muniz

This quotes comes from the interview that I did with Vik Muniz when he visited Boston a few years back.  It appears in my book Instant Connections. He is one of my favorite contemporary artists. The image below is an original Polaroid 20×24 of Freud’s profile in Ham by Vik Muniz. It is in our personal collection.

vik muniz, artist, photographer, freud

The Boston Globe and Instant Connections

“Jason Landry…an irreverent and irrepressible presence.”

I’m grateful to Jan Gardner and The Boston Globe for featuring my book Instant Connections in their Sunday edition. Someone told me that they almost never review books that are ‘indie’ or ‘self-published’.  Well, for those authors out there that were worried about that……..things are looking up!

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30 Days After Your First Book Gets Published: A Reflection

It’s been a little more than a month since my book Instant Connections: Essays and Interviews on Photography was released. I have been pleasantly surprised by the comments that I have received––both emails from people that I know, and some that I do not know at all. When I read things like, “the things that you talk about in your book I am experiencing right now in my own life”––these words strengthen my belief that I was meant to write this book.

Although I would like the book to be for everyone, I know that it won’t be. I’ve heard that some people like the interviews better than the essays, while others said they didn’t care about my personal stories, and at least one person was bothered by my potty mouth. I didn’t think using the F-word 34 times in a book with 85,000 words was a big deal. I do hope however, that those who have read the book (cover to cover) found the importance of the word “connections”. The other thing that I hope you took away was that I tried to make the reading effortless and down to earth, as if we were having a conversation in a bar or in a coffee shop. Although I am a collector, gallery owner, writer/author and educator, I tried to speak to you from the same level––never above you.

Instant Connections may not have landed on the New York Times Bestseller List nor the Wall Street Journal List, but for a brief period it was #2 on Amazon’s list for Critical Theory > Photography books––I’ll take that, even through it IS NOT critical theory.

Usually books are cataloged in book stores under a certain type like non-fiction, or fiction, or essays, or interviews. These “types” are usually printed on the back cover of the book. One person suggested the other day that it should have been categorized under “cool shit”. I’ll take that as a compliment.

If you haven’t picked it up yet, I hope that you do.

Happy Holidays, from Me to You.

instant connections, jason landry, book, essays, interviews, writer, writing, author, photography