What We’re Into: Recommendations from Influential Austinites

Each issue Citygram asks influential Austinites what they’re into. Read on to see picks from Georgia Pelligrini, Amy Simmons, Ross Ramsey, Cheyenne Weaver and Diana Griffin this month.


Laguiole Knives

I have a Laguiole knife that a friend of mine who I go hunting with in Arkansas bought in Europe and gave to me. It’s a knife that’s been made in France for over a hundred years. I like it because it’s versatile; it’s the kind of thing that you can fit in your pocket and doesn’t weigh you down, and it’s also strong and sharp. I used it to clean birds or field dress any animal, but I can also use it when I’m cooking.

Amy-Simmons-Citygram-Austin SIY-Book-Citygram-Austin

Search Inside Yourself

By Chade-Meng Tan

One of my new favorite books would have to be Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan. This author is an employee of Google and he is in a position where he teaches self-actualization. The book is a sort of how-to manual. One how-to, for example, focuses on communication and the informal practice of mindful conversation—the idea that listening is difficult but crucial.

Amy’s is a company that is always striving for self-actualization. While you can’t have it all, as long as you’re on the path of personal growth and moving forward, you’re doing well! As time goes on, work can really encompass you, and this book helps reinforce that you should always make sure you’re accomplishing something real and meaningful.

Ross-Ramsey-Citygram-Austin poking-dead-frog-book-Citygram-Austin

Poking a Dead Frog

By Mike Sacks

In the last weeks of the general election cycle, I read Mike Sacks’ book Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers. It’s funny and instructive and — this is important to someone looking to separate what I must read from what I’d like to read — has nothing to do with politics or Texas. It’s full of smart people who are passionate about their work talking about what they do and how, about working and deadlines and writing. And it’s a good pick-it-up-and-put-it-down book, which was perfect when pending elections forced me into a shorter-than-usual attention span. There is another behind it, also by Sacks: And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers and Their Craft. Good stuff.

We Are Girls from GENaustin on Vimeo.



GirlsGuild loves GENaustin, the Girls Empowerment Network. We’ve been to a couple of their We Are Girls conferences, and we’re always impressed with the range of workshops addressing issues that are so, so critical to being a teen or preteen girl: body image, nutrition, dealing with bullies, speaking up, etc. These are topics that our schools absolutely fail at addressing, and can make all the difference in how empowered our girls feel during the middle school and high school years.

Images: Languiole knife (courtesy of Languiole),
Search Inside Yourself (Harper One),
Poking a Dead Frog (Penguin)

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