Brain Pickings Icon
Brain Pickings

Reads by Maria Popova

Thoreau on the Difference Between an Artisan, an Artist, and a Genius
Thoreau on the Difference Between an Artisan, an Artist, and a Genius

“The bird of paradise is obliged constantly to fly against the wind.”

read article

What Makes a Person: The Seven Layers of Identity in Literature and Life
What Makes a Person: The Seven Layers of Identity in Literature and Life

“It is the intentions, the capacities for choice rather than the total configuration of traits which defines the person.”

read article

Alan Turing’s Little-Known Contributions to Biology and His Mesmerizing Hand-Drawn Diagrams of Dappling Patterns
Alan Turing’s Little-Known Contributions to Biology and His Mesmerizing Hand-Drawn Diagrams of Dappling Patterns

What the Fibonacci fascinations of daisies have to do with Kandinsky and mid-century graphic design.

read article

The Pancake King: A Lovely Vintage Children’s Book About How Success and Prestige Can Hijack Our Sense of Purpose
The Pancake King: A Lovely Vintage Children’s Book About How Success and Prestige Can Hijack Our Sense of Purpose

A sweet, subversive parable about the tradeoffs between creativity and commerce and the treacherous way in which prestige can hijack our sense of purpose.

read article

Finding Winnie: The Improbable and Touching Real-Life Story of the Baby Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
Finding Winnie: The Improbable and Touching Real-Life Story of the Baby Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh

How a real-life act of kindness with a touch of serendipity sparked one of the most beloved children’s stories of all time.

read article

The Gutsy Girl: A Modern Manifesto for Bravery, Perseverance, and Breaking the Tyranny of Perfection
The Gutsy Girl: A Modern Manifesto for Bravery, Perseverance, and Breaking the Tyranny of Perfection

A former firefighter and lifelong adventurer’s clarion call for the joy of adventure in a culture obsessed with risk-averse achievement.

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 get a small percentage of its price. That helps support Brain Pickings by offsetting a fraction of what it takes to maintain the site, and is very much appreciated