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Directions: Really Good Advice for Getting from Here to There (Workman)
Directions is a book artist Hallie Bateman never intended to write. The story of how this quintessential title came to be begins one evening when she and her brother decided to cut construction paper and doodle notes on each page until there was no more paper left. While Hallie initially planned to send out the messages with packages she was mailing to customers, they ended up in an envelope in a drawer, collecting dust. A year later, Hallie rediscovered the treasure trove of bite-size truths. She shared them on Instagram, and the affirmations—smart, elegant, sweet, and at times humorous—became a viral sensation and her most celebrated piece of content on social media to date.
Spurred on by the support of her online community, she made more, and the beautifully crafted, sharply relatable, and inspirational collection that became of the exercise is Directions. Hand lettered on scraps of colorful paper, with Hallie’s line illustrations throughout, Directions offers a lively and uplifting collection of new and old insights, observations, aha moments, well-worded reminders, and epiphanies that readers can dip in and out of as they would a daily horoscope, fortune cookie, or Magic 8 Ball. Whether it is a reminder to “go to the bathroom as soon as you wonder if you have enough time to go,” a cue to “articulate what you love about the ones you love,” or a tip that “when embarking on an anxiety-induced spending spree, make sure you grab a few self-help books,” these simple truths give readers permission to lovingly accept themselves in all their imperfect glory.
As the colorful construction paper and messy handwriting convey, Hallie is an artist with a unique perspective expressed by putting ink to paper. She is a keen observer with a determination to pay close attention to the nuanced details in her life and the world around her. And these are her directions—her notes in their purest form, offering reminders of things readers may have forgotten along the way.
Sometimes we need a little direction in life, whether to see a problem from a new perspective or confirm a gut feeling. Or maybe we just need a little encouragement- an affirmation that will send us sailing into the day with confidence (Admit to yourself that your ass is exquisite). Filled with clarity, inspiration, and just the right dose of humor, Directions provides all that and more. And like, a Magic 8 Ball, it’s always ready for a consultation when you need it: What direction do I need today?
Hallie Bateman is an illustwriter based in Los Angeles. She is the author of Directions: Really Good Advice for Getting from Here to There and Brave New Work and co-author of What to Do When I’m Gone. Her work has been featured in national publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Buzzfeed and many others.
Jacqueline Suskin has composed over forty thousand poems with her ongoing improvisational writing project, Poem Store. She is the author of seven books, including Help in the Dark Season (Write Bloody, 2019) and Every Day is a Poem (Sounds True, 2020). Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, and Yes! magazine. She lives in Northern California. For more, see jacquelinesuskin.com