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The Best of Brain Pickings 2017

The courage to be yourself, a Stoic’s antidote to anxiety, how friendship transforms us, in praise of solitude, and more.

We read for the same reasons we write — to think, to feel, to locate ourselves within ourselves and in relation to the world. Of the 258 pieces I wrote this year, these are the “best” — a hybrid measure of those which ignited the most ardent response in readers and those which I most cherished composing. Please (re)enjoy, and here is to a vitalizing new year.

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In Praise of the Telescopic Perspective: A Reflection on Living Through Turbulent Times

Read the article here.

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Rachel Carson’s Brave and Prescient 1953 Letter Against the Government’s Assault on Science and Nature

Read the article here.

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Big Wolf & Little Wolf: A Tender Tale of Loneliness, Belonging, and How Friendship Transforms Us

Read the article here.

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The Courage to Be Yourself: E.E. Cummings on Art, Life, and Being Unafraid to Feel

Read the article here.

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A Stoic’s Key to Peace of Mind: Seneca on the Antidote to Anxiety

Read the article here.

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Emily Dickinson’s Herbarium: A Forgotten Treasure at the Intersection of Science and Poetry

Read the article here.

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Love After Life: Nobel-Winning Physicist Richard Feynman’s Extraordinary Letter to His Departed Wife

Read the article here.

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The Wisdom of Trees: Walt Whitman on What Our Silent Friends Teach Us About Being Rather Than Seeming

Read the article here.

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The Doom and Glory of Knowing Who You Are: James Baldwin on the Empathic Rewards of Reading and What It Means to Be an Artist

Read the article here.

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Simone de Beauvoir on How Chance and Choice Converge to Make Us Who We Are

Read the article here.

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The Universe in Verse: Complete Show

Read the article here.

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The Trouble with “Finding Yourself”

Read the article here.

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This Is a Poem That Heals Fish

Read the article here.

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Polish Poet and Nobel Laureate Wisława Szymborska on How Our Certitudes Keep Us Small and the Generative Power of Not-Knowing

Read the article here.

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Atom, Archetype, and the Invention of Synchronicity: How Iconic Psychiatrist Carl Jung and Nobel-Winning Physicist Wolfgang Pauli Bridged Mind and Matter

Read the article here.

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Bruce Lee’s Never Before Revealed Letters to Himself About Authenticity, Personal Development, and the Measure of Success

Read the article here.

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The Binary Code of Body and Spirit: Computing Pioneer Alan Turing on Mortality

Read the article here.

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The Invention of Zero: How Ancient Mesopotamia Created the Mathematical Concept of Nought and Ancient India Gave It Symbolic Form

Read the article here.

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The Story Behind Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” and the Poet’s Own Stirring Reading of His Masterpiece

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A Partnership Larger Than Marriage: The Stunning Love Letters of Kahlil Gibran and Mary Haskell

Read the article here.

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Marcus Aurelius on How to Motivate Yourself to Get Out of Bed in the Morning and Go to Work

Read the article here.

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The Writing of “Silent Spring”: Rachel Carson and the Culture-Shifting Courage to Speak Inconvenient Truth to Power

Read the article here.

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Albert Camus on the Three Antidotes to the Absurdity of Life

Read the article here.

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The Art of Being Alone: May Sarton’s Stunning 1938 Ode to Solitude

Read the article here.


Published December 28, 2017

https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/12/28/best-of-brain-pickings-2017/

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