Brain Pickings

Reads by Maria Popova

Humanity’s Most Successful Scientific Theory, Animated
Humanity’s Most Successful Scientific Theory, Animated

How the gaps in gravity contour the next frontiers in the quest to understand the fundaments of what we are.

read article

Rocky Mountain Flowers: The Daring Life and Art of Pioneering Plant Ecologist Edith Clements
Rocky Mountain Flowers: The Daring Life and Art of Pioneering Plant Ecologist Edith Clements

“There seems little doubt that the application of the principles of ecology to human affairs, whether personal, national or world-wide, would go far in solving the problems that beset us.”

read article

Can People Change? The Psychological Möbius Strip That Keeps Us from Ending Painful Relationships
Can People Change? The Psychological Möbius Strip That Keeps Us from Ending Painful Relationships

Facing the logical fallacies that fuel painful emotional patterns and what it takes to break them with dignity, mindfulness, and emotional maturity.

read article

Pleasure and Spaciousness: Poet Naomi Shihab Nye’s Advice on Writing, Discipline, and the Two Driving Forces of Creativity
Pleasure and Spaciousness: Poet Naomi Shihab Nye’s Advice on Writing, Discipline, and the Two Driving Forces of Creativity

“Don’t start with a big idea. Start with a phrase, a line, a quote. Questions are very helpful. Begin with a few you’re carrying right now.”

read article

The Handle on the Door to a New World: Poet Jane Hirshfield on the Magic and Power of Metaphor, Animated
The Handle on the Door to a New World: Poet Jane Hirshfield on the Magic and Power of Metaphor, Animated

“A metaphor is language that simultaneously creates and solves its own riddle; within that minute explosion of mind is both expansion and release… It is how the mind instructs itself in a more complex seeing.”

read article

Tree Islands and Networked Resilience: Biomimicry Pioneer Janine Benyus on the Power of Reciprocity in Nature and Our Human Future
Tree Islands and Networked Resilience: Biomimicry Pioneer Janine Benyus on the Power of Reciprocity in Nature and Our Human Future

“The more stressful the environment, the more likely you are to see plants working together to ensure mutual survival.”

read article

Art and Aliveness: Willa Cather on Attention and the Life of the Senses as the Key to Creativity
Art and Aliveness: Willa Cather on Attention and the Life of the Senses as the Key to Creativity

“Art is a matter of enjoyment through the five senses. Unless you can see the beauty all around you everywhere, and enjoy it, you can never comprehend art.”

read article

The Antidote to the Irreversibility of Life: Hannah Arendt on What Forgiveness Really Means
The Antidote to the Irreversibility of Life: Hannah Arendt on What Forgiveness Really Means

“Forgiving… is the only reaction which does not merely re-act but acts anew and unexpectedly, unconditioned by the act which provoked it and therefore freeing from its consequences both the one who forgives and the one who is forgiven.”

read article

From Cacao to Clitoria: Luscious 19th-Century French Botanical Illustrations of the Most Vibrant Flora of the Americas
From Cacao to Clitoria: Luscious 19th-Century French Botanical Illustrations of the Most Vibrant Flora of the Americas

How the world relished the world before Instagram.

read article

The Creative Urge: John Coltrane on Perseverance Against Rejection, the Innovator’s Mindset, and How Hardship Fuels Art
The Creative Urge: John Coltrane on Perseverance Against Rejection, the Innovator’s Mindset, and How Hardship Fuels Art

“Innovators always seek to revitalize, extend and reconstruct the status quo in their given fields… Quite often they are the rejects, outcasts, sub-citizens, etc. of the very societies to which they bring so much sustenance.”

read article

View Full Site

Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I receive a small percentage of its price, which goes straight back into my own colossal biblioexpenses. Privacy policy.