Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “books”

The Boy Whose Head Was Filled with Stars: The Inspiring Illustrated Story of How Edwin Hubble Revolutionized Our Understanding of the Universe
The Boy Whose Head Was Filled with Stars: The Inspiring Illustrated Story of How Edwin Hubble Revolutionized Our Understanding of the Universe

“We do not know why we are born into the world, but we can try to find out what sort of world it is.”

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The Blue Hour: A Stunning Illustrated Celebration of Nature’s Rarest Color
The Blue Hour: A Stunning Illustrated Celebration of Nature’s Rarest Color

“The day ends. The night falls. And in between… there is the blue hour.”

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Toni Morrison on the Body as an Instrument of Joy, Sanity, and Self-Love
Toni Morrison on the Body as an Instrument of Joy, Sanity, and Self-Love

“Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them… Love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up… Love your heart. For this is the prize.”

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New Year’s Eve: Astronomer and Poet Rebecca Elson’s Spare, Stunning Meditation on the Mystery of Being
New Year’s Eve: Astronomer and Poet Rebecca Elson’s Spare, Stunning Meditation on the Mystery of Being

The wonder of wading into the black lake boiling with light.

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Favorite Books of 2020
Favorite Books of 2020

Audre Lorde, Keith Haring, Bruce Lee, chance, love, black holes, constraint as a catalyst of creativity, and a whisper of Whitman.

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Loops, the Limits of Language, the Paradoxical Loneliness of “I Love You,” and What Keeps Love Alive
Loops, the Limits of Language, the Paradoxical Loneliness of “I Love You,” and What Keeps Love Alive

“The very task of love and of language is to give to one and the same phrase inflections which will be forever new.”

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Why We Like What We Like: Poet and Philosopher George Santayana on the Formation and Confirmation of Our Standards and Sensibilities
Why We Like What We Like: Poet and Philosopher George Santayana on the Formation and Confirmation of Our Standards and Sensibilities

“Half our standards come from our first masters, and the other half from our first loves.”

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The Snail with the Right Heart: A True Story
The Snail with the Right Heart: A True Story

A love story, a time story, an invitation not to mistake difference for defect and to welcome, across the accordion scales of time and space, diversity as nature’s wellspring of resilience and beauty.

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To Be an Earth Ecstatic: Poet Diane Ackerman on the Spirituality of Wonder Without Religion
To Be an Earth Ecstatic: Poet Diane Ackerman on the Spirituality of Wonder Without Religion

Branchings of belief from the lovely common root of “holy” and “whole” in the interleaving of all things.

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The Radical Act of Letting Things Hurt: How (Not) to Help a Friend in Sorrow
The Radical Act of Letting Things Hurt: How (Not) to Help a Friend in Sorrow

Why our instinctive efforts to salve another’s sadness tend to only deepen their helpless anguish and broaden the abyss between us and them — and what to do instead.

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