What We’re Into: Recommendations from Influential Austinites

Each issue Citygram asks influential Austinites what they’re into. Read on to see picks from Paul Qui, Deana Saukum, Meredith Walker, Liz Elam and Keith Waldon this month.

Dreams and Shadows

C. Robert Cargill

When I want to take a break from food and restaurants, I often go to movies and books in the sci-fi or fantasy genre. A friend recommended this particular book to me and I found it interesting that not only is the author from Austin, but the book is based in Austin, as well.

It’s an easy and entertaining read that places fantasy elements – a wizard, a genie and fairies – here in modern day Austin and the Hill Country. I really got into it.

-Paul Qui

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The 50th Law

50 Cent and Robert Greene

I was looking for a new book to read for a long trip and picked this one out at a bookstore, since I thought it would be interesting (50 Cent and Robert Greene, why not?). One of my favorite passages from the book is, “Just imagine for a day that you do not know anything, that what you believe could be completely false. Let go of your preconceptions and even your most cherished beliefs. Experiment. Force yourself to hold the opposite opinion or see the world through your enemy’s eyes. Listen to the people around you with more attentiveness. See everything as a source for education—even the most banal encounters. Imagine that the world is still full of mystery.”

This resonated with me because I feel as though there is always
something to learn from every situation, and you have to allow
yourself to be aware and open to your surroundings to move forward.
The entire book is very intense, and I think it’d be motivational to
anyone who’s ever wanted to be fearless.

-Deana Saukum

The Expedition School

Austin is a city that celebrates the outdoors. The Expedition School is a unique and encouraging part of the fabric of outdoor Austin, making it a better and more compassionate place. My friend, Kimery Duda, who is the Founder and Executive Director of the school, has taken her love of and passion for the outdoors to make those experiences accessible to a wide range of people from all over Austin. Kids can get P.E. credits there! Meeting a need for young people to experience the outdoors is a wonderful thing. I am totally into going to the Expedition School because it makes my life and the lives of Austinites more fun.

-Meredith Walker


Unroll.me + Sanebox

When I’m not running Link Coworking, or working on Global Coworking conferences, I’m traveling. I’m digging anything that can save me some time! Unroll.me is an amazing way to manage all the email subscriptions that hit your mailbox. Sanebox is how I manage email flow and the inevitable spam. Save yourself some time so you can concentrate on doing what you love with the people that matter to you.

-Liz Elam

The Secret History

Donna Tartt

I’m revisiting The Secret History, the first novel by Donna Tartt, and this time having my 18 year-old daughter Lili read it too. I had the pleasure of spending some time with Donna many years ago after the book was published during a literary week I was putting together at La Samanna in St. Martin, and we hit it off. She really takes her time in the development of her books, and she writes everything by hand, which just amazes me.

-Keith Waldon


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