Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “out of print”

The Science of How Alive You Really Are: Alan Turing, Trees, and the Wonder of Life
The Science of How Alive You Really Are: Alan Turing, Trees, and the Wonder of Life

“The more a creature’s life is worth, the less of it is alive.”

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Ursa Major: Elizabeth Gilbert Reads a Poignant Forgotten Poem About the Big Dipper and Our Cosmic Humanity
Ursa Major: Elizabeth Gilbert Reads a Poignant Forgotten Poem About the Big Dipper and Our Cosmic Humanity

A two-verse love letter to the night sky fixture which “our eyes must lean out into time to catch, and die in seeing.”

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Conscience in Revolt: Sophie Scholl on Suffering, Strength, and the Deepest Wellspring of Courage
Conscience in Revolt: Sophie Scholl on Suffering, Strength, and the Deepest Wellspring of Courage

“Sympathy is often difficult and soon becomes hollow if one feels no pain oneself.”

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A Lifeline for the Hour of Despair: James Baldwin on 4AM, the Fulcrum of Love, and Life as a Moral Obligation to the Universe
A Lifeline for the Hour of Despair: James Baldwin on 4AM, the Fulcrum of Love, and Life as a Moral Obligation to the Universe

“I have always felt that a human being could only be saved by another human being. I am aware that we do not save each other very often. But I am also aware that we save each other some of the time.”

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The Poetics of Outer Toughness and Inner Tenderness: Gorgeous 19th-Century Engravings of Cacti
The Poetics of Outer Toughness and Inner Tenderness: Gorgeous 19th-Century Engravings of Cacti

A succulent serenade to the elegant geometry of spiny splendor.

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The Love of Truth and the Truth of Love: Bertrand Russell on the Two Pillars of Human Flourishing
The Love of Truth and the Truth of Love: Bertrand Russell on the Two Pillars of Human Flourishing

“Love is wise, hatred is foolish.”

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Wander: Natascha McElhone Reads Hermann Hesse’s 100-Year-Old Love Letter to Trees in a Virtual Mental Health Walk Through Kew Gardens
Wander: Natascha McElhone Reads Hermann Hesse’s 100-Year-Old Love Letter to Trees in a Virtual Mental Health Walk Through Kew Gardens

“In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws… to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree.”

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The Cosmic Miracle of Trees: Astronaut Leland Melvin Reads Pablo Neruda’s Love Letter to Earth’s Forests
The Cosmic Miracle of Trees: Astronaut Leland Melvin Reads Pablo Neruda’s Love Letter to Earth’s Forests

“Anyone who hasn’t been in the Chilean forest doesn’t know this planet. I have come out of that landscape, that mud, that silence, to roam, to go singing through the world.”

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The Psychology of Social Rule: Pioneering Sociologist Elsie Clews Parsons’s Prophetic Century-Old Study of Power, the Rise of Divisiveness, and Why We Classify Ourselves and Others
The Psychology of Social Rule: Pioneering Sociologist Elsie Clews Parsons’s Prophetic Century-Old Study of Power, the Rise of Divisiveness, and Why We Classify Ourselves and Others

“Classification is nine-tenths of subjection.”

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The Spirit of the Woods: Poet and Painter Rebecca Hey’s Gorgeous 19th-Century Illustrations for the World’s First Encyclopedia of Trees
The Spirit of the Woods: Poet and Painter Rebecca Hey’s Gorgeous 19th-Century Illustrations for the World’s First Encyclopedia of Trees

From the weeping willow to the oak, a watercolor serenade to the science and poetics of our ancient silent companions.

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