Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “psychology”

How Reading Is Like Love: Italo Calvino on the Ecstasy of Surrendering to Other Dimensions of Experience
How Reading Is Like Love: Italo Calvino on the Ecstasy of Surrendering to Other Dimensions of Experience

“Lovers’ reading of each other’s bodies… differs from the reading of written pages in that it is not linear… What makes lovemaking and reading resemble each other most is that within both of them times and spaces open, different from measurable time and space.”

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Love, Loss, and the Banality of Survival: Charles Darwin, His Beloved Daughter, and How We Find Meaning in Mortality
Love, Loss, and the Banality of Survival: Charles Darwin, His Beloved Daughter, and How We Find Meaning in Mortality

A bittersweet signal from the discomposing territory between reason and hope.

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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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Child of Glass: A Soulful Italian Illustrated Meditation on How to Live with Our Human Fragility
Child of Glass: A Soulful Italian Illustrated Meditation on How to Live with Our Human Fragility

A subtle celebration of the terrifying tenderness that makes life barely survivable but also makes it worth living.

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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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Art and the Human Spirit: Olivia Laing on What the Lives of Great Artists Reveal About Vulnerability, Love, Loneliness, Resistance, and Our Search for Meaning
Art and the Human Spirit: Olivia Laing on What the Lives of Great Artists Reveal About Vulnerability, Love, Loneliness, Resistance, and Our Search for Meaning

“We’re so often told that art can’t really change anything. But… it shapes our ethical landscapes; it opens us to the interior lives of others. It is a training ground for possibility. It makes plain inequalities, and it offers other ways of living.”

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Mass, Energy, and How Literature Transforms the Dead Weight of Being: Jeanette Winterson on Why We Read
Mass, Energy, and How Literature Transforms the Dead Weight of Being: Jeanette Winterson on Why We Read

“Books read us back to ourselves… The escape into another story reminds us that we too are another story. Not caught, not confined, not predestined.”

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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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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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The Biggest Bluff: Control, Chance, and How the Psychology of Poker Illuminates the Art of Thriving Through Uncertainty
The Biggest Bluff: Control, Chance, and How the Psychology of Poker Illuminates the Art of Thriving Through Uncertainty

“That’s the thing about life: You can do what you do but in the end, some things remain stubbornly outside your control.”

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