Today: Chris Clayton is the new editor at Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, the Department of Natural Resources’ popular bimonthly magazine. Clayton is a former editor at MSP Communications and has been a contributing writer for Outside and other national publications.
I just finished Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi,” which for some reason I’d always ignored. I’m glad I finally tried it. It’s pretty weird — a fable-slash-survival yarn about a boy who’s trying to tame a tiger while adrift at sea. But these are weird times, and we could all probably benefit from the novel’s big heart and generous spiritual outlook. Speed round: For smart, funny sports coverage: “The Ringer” podcast. For deep, often brilliant reporting: Outside, Pacific Standard, the New Yorker and National Geographic. For inimitable takes on the natural world: anything by David Quammen.
I have a personal and professional interest in natural resource issues, including water conservation, and species and habitat restoration. Part of my job at the Volunteer is to deliver good news — like our recent story on the return of the peregrine falcon to the North Shore — while keeping an eye on hot-button topics that I won’t mention here because I feel like we’re having a good time. I’m also interested in cooking, eating and food culture, and Helen Rosner at the New Yorker is America’s foremost tour guide to these activities. She’s incredibly versatile. One week, she’ll write sharp, nuanced copy on the restaurant industry’s #MeToo moment and the next she’ll break the internet with a piece on how to crisp up roast chicken skin with a hair dryer (it sounds gross but it works).
I’m listening to “WTF,” a weekly interview podcast hosted by comedian Marc Maron, who’s talked to everyone from Obama to Paul McCartney. (It turns out comedians make great interviewers because they’re fearless.) With my kids, I’ve been listening to the science and tech [podcast] “Wow in the World.” In terms of music, I really love the noisy new album by the Duluth band Low. Lee Morgan’s trumpet has been in the mix as well, along with Prince’s falsetto and Guided by Voices’ ragged indie rock.
Planning a winter trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Helping coach fourth-grade girls volleyball even though I know nothing about the sport. Thinking about fall fishing. Going on runs when I can. Hoping the above answers are even halfway interesting.