books

Gravity, Grace, and What Binds Us: Poet Jane Hirshfield’s Timeless Hymn to Love and the Proud Scars of the Heart

“…and when two people have loved each other see how it is like a scar between their bodies, stronger, darker, and proud…” …

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The Geometry of Grief: Mathematician Michael Frame on How Fractals Help Fathom and Move Through Loss

“The distance between here and there is the answer to the wrong question.” …

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Drawing a Tree: Uncommon Vintage Italian Meditation on the Existential Poetics of Diversity and Resilience Through the Art and Science of Trees

A subtle sylvan celebration of how our hurts and our healings shape the singular beauty of our character. …

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What Makes You You Makes the Universe: Nobel Laureate Erwin Schrödinger on Quantum Physics, Vedanta, and the Ongoing Mystery of Consciousness

“This life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of the entire existence, but is in a certain sense the whole.” …

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Make Meatballs Sing: A Loving Illustrated Celebration of the Radical Nun, Artist, Teacher, and Activist Corita Kent

“Doing and making are acts of hope, and as that hope grows we stop feeling overwhelmed by the troubles of the world. We remember that we — as individuals and groups — can do something about those troubles.” …

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Your Most Common Decluttering Dilemmas, Tackled by a Pro

The title of professional organizer Shira Gill’s new book Minimalista: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life might have you thinking of all-white spaces and capsule wardrobes of just 25 items of clothing (I know that’s what I used to think when I heard the word “minimalist”). However Shira’s brand of minimalism is different: It makes room for all types of aesthetics and styles, kids, spouses, pets, and in Gill’s own case, a weakness for vintage jeans. In the introduction to Minimalista Gill writes, “To me minimalism doesn’t refer to the lack or absence of something. It’s about having the perfect amount. Just enough without the excess. More specifically, I mean the exact right number of something for you. You might love hats. No problem. One hat is the perfect number of hats for me. For you, it could be ten. It could be fifteen. It’s probably not one hundred. I preach a…

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Halloween’s Forbidden Fruit: Michael Pollan on Gardening as Radicalism and the Scandalous Botanical Origin of the Broomstick in Flying-Witch Legends

“For most of their history… gardens have been more concerned with the power of plants than with their beauty — with the power, that is, to change us in various ways, for good and for ill.” …

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A General Theory of Possibility: The Abstract Art of Otherwise and the Physics of Resilience

“As always happens with contradictions, something in the assumptions has to give… Declaring something impossible leads to more things being possible.” …

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Kinship: Ursula K. Le Guin’s Love Poem to Trees, the Interleaving of Life and Death, and the Eternal Flame of Being

A lyric reminder that “the word for world is forest” and the feeling of forest is love. …

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How (Not) to Love: Breaking Our Patterns to Unbreak Our Hearts, or, Chekhov’s Insight into the Most Disquieting and Liberating Truth about Love

“We want to believe that love is singular and exclusive, and it unnerves us to think that it might actually be renewable…” …

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The Century-Old Field Guide to Wonder and the Forgotten Woman Who Laid the Groundwork for the Youth Climate Action Movement

“All things seem possible in nature; yet this seeming is always guarded by the eager quest of what IS true. Perhaps half the falsehood in the world is due to lack of power to detect the truth and to express it.” …

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The Art of Solitude: Buddhist Scholar and Teacher Stephen Batchelor on Contemplative Practice and Creativity

“Here lies the paradox of solitude. Look long and hard enough at yourself in isolation and suddenly you will see the rest of humanity staring back.” …

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Alain de Botton on the Myth of Normalcy and the Importance of Breakdowns

“Crisis… is an attempt to dislodge us from a toxic status quo and constitutes an insistent call to rebuild our lives on a more authentic and sincere basis.” …

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Thich Nhat Hanh on the Art of Deep Listening and the 3 Buddhist Steps to Repairing a Relationship

“The intention of deep listening and loving speech is to restore communication, because once communication is restored, everything is possible.” …

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Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Lost Lectures on Social Change and the Three Archetypes of Youth

“There has always been a force struggling to respect higher values. None of the current evils rose without resistance, nor have they persisted without opposition.” …

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Broken Tulips: How a Virus Gave the World’s Most Prized Flower Its Beauty

An epochal intersection of art and science, ecology and culture, psychology and microbiology. …

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A Process for the Transfer of Energy and Feeling: George Saunders on the Key to Great Storytelling

“What a story is ‘about’ is to be found in the curiosity it creates in us, which is a form of caring.” …

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September 28, 1951: Alan Turing, the World’s First Digital Music, and the Poetry of Possibility

A hoot, a hummingbird, and an electronic hymn for the modern world. …

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Place, Personhood, and the Hippocampus: The Fascinating Science of Magnetism, Autonoeic Consciousness, and What Makes Us Who We Are

“Often the places we grow up in… influence how we perceive and conceptualize the world, give us metaphors to live by, and shape the purpose that drives us.” …

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Between Restlessness and Rapture: Autumn and the Sensual Urgency of Aliveness

A wildlife ecologist’s serenade to the season that makes you “want to linger long enough to hear every sound and look far enough to see into forever.” …

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The Good Luck of Your Bad Luck: Marcus Aurelius on the Stoic Strategy for Weathering Life’s Waves and Turning Suffering into Strength

“What happened could have happened to anyone, but not everyone could have carried on.” …

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The Gifted Listener: Composer Aaron Copland on Honing Your Talent for Listening to Music

“There are few pleasures in art greater than the secure sense that one can recognize beauty when one comes upon it… Recognizing the beautiful in an abstract art like music partakes somewhat of a minor miracle.” …

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Blue Floats Away: A Tender Illustrated Fable About Our Capacity for Transformation, Told Through the Story of Water

In praise of our unfathomed capacity to experience beautiful new things beyond our habitual ideas of the possible. …

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The Unfinished Story of the World: Richard Powers’s Advice on Life and the Antidote to Cynicism

“This fluke, single, huge, cross-indexed, thermodynamic experiment of a story that the world has been inventing to tell itself at bedtime is still in embryo. It’s not even the outline of a synopsis of notes toward a rough draft yet.” …

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Bridging the Island Universes of Our Experience: Aldous Huxley on Making Sense of Ourselves and Each Other

“To see ourselves as others see us is a most salutary gift. Hardly less important is the capacity to see others as they see themselves.” …

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