weekend links: Ta-Nehisi Coates, imaginary instruments, adult coloring books

cat piano
cat piano

The "cat piano." Image courtesy of The Public Domain Review.

Surprise, surprise: Cornel West doesn’t like Ta-Nehisi Coates. He especially does not like Toni Morrison’s assertion that Coates is the intellectual heir to James Baldwin. Say what you will about the man (crotchety old has-been? real-talking genius?), his critiques are worth paying attention to. [Observer]

David Brooks also did not like Coates’s new book, Between the World and Me, probably because he is old and white. But did you know that Brooks also does not like Thai food? His complaint is kind of hard to understand—it’s like he’s deliberately trying to be misunderstood—but I think it has to do with maybe how it’s not spicy enough, and also that he’s old and white. [Avidly]

About 100 artists have contributed to Duwamish Revealed, an exhibition at Seattle’s notoriously polluted Duwamish River. I love the idea of Robb Kunz and Joshua Kohl’s sound installation, but I also think that if I heard it uninformed, I’d be convinced that I was doomed to hear the Hum for the rest of my life. [The Stranger]

The Smithsonian’s website has 178 illustrated letters—some of which are also collected in Lisa Kerwin’s book More Than Words—from American artists. In related news, I’m suddenly very embarrassed of my recent adult coloring book purchase. [Open Culture]

You need know only two words about this essay on imaginary musical instruments: cat piano. [The Public Domain Review]

Sneak peek alert! Margaret Atwood and Chuck Palahniuk top this list of authors who will be featured at October’s 20th annual Texas Book Festival. [Texas Book Festival]

And finally, one last round of applause for two of Austin’s finest set designers, Ia Ensterä and Jason Amato. Ensterä and Amato are leaving the city this summer. Our loss. [Austin Chronicle]

—Alyssa G. Ramirez and Sean Redmond