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Maria Popova

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Maria Popova is a Bulgarian-born, American-based writer of literary and arts commentary and cultural criticism that has found wide appeal, both for its writing and for the visual stylistics that accompany it.
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On the Shortness of Life
by Seneca (Mar 30, 2018)
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The Stoic writings of the philosopher Seneca offer powerful insights into the art of living, the importance of reason and morality, and continue to provide profound guidance to many through their eloquence, lucidity and timeless wisdom.Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves—and each oth...
Maria Popova
A poignant reminder of what we so deeply intuit yet so easily forget and so chronically fail to put into practice.     source
The Republic
by Plato (Jan 02, 2018)
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Packaged in handsome, affordable trade editions, Clydesdale Classics is a new series of essential works. From the musings of intellectuals such as Thomas Paine in Common Sense to the striking personal narrative of Harriet Jacobs in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, this new series is a comprehensive collection of our intellectual history throu...
Maria Popova
I’m actually gobsmacked that this isn’t required in order to be sworn into office, like the Constitution is required for us American immigrants when it comes time to gain American citizenship.     source
This book is also recommended by
Mark ZuckerbergSusan J. FowlerVlad Tenev
On the Move
A Life
by Oliver Sacks (Feb 23, 2016)
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A New York Times Notable BookOne of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, BookPage, Slate, Men’s JournalWhen Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote: “Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far.” It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. With unbridled ho...
Maria Popova
An uncommonly moving autobiography.     source
Still Writing
The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life
by Dani Shapiro (Aug 12, 2014)
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“Still Writing offers up a cornucopia of wisdom, insights, and practical lessons gleaned from Dani Shapiro's long experience as a celebrated writer and teacher of writing. The beneficiaries are beginning writers, veteran writers and everyone in between.”—Jennifer EganFrom Dani Shapiro, bestselling author of Devotion and Slow Motion, comes a witty, ...
Maria Popova
The author's magnificent memoir of the writing life, at once disarmingly personal and brimming with widely resonant wisdom on the most universal challenges and joys of writing.     source
The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861
by Henry David Thoreau (Nov 24, 2009)
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Henry David Thoreau’s Journal was his life’s work: the daily practice of writing that accompanied his daily walks, the workshop where he developed his books and essays, and a project in its own right—one of the most intensive explorations ever made of the everyday environment, the revolving seasons, and the changing self. It is a treasure trove of ...
Maria Popova
A book I continue to consider an existential Bible of secular scripture.     source
Stumbling on Happiness
by Daniel Gilbert (Mar 20, 2007)
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• Why are lovers quicker to forgive their partners for infidelity than for leaving dirty dishes in the sink? • Why will sighted people pay more to avoid going blind than blind people will pay to regain their sight? • Why do dining companions insist on ordering different meals instead of getting what they really want? • Why do pigeons seem to have s...
Maria Popova
Explores the sometimes subtle, sometimes radical changes we can make in our everyday cognitive strategies in order to avoid ending up unhappy and disappointed.     source
This book is also recommended by
Sam HarrisDerek Sivers
Man's Search for Meaning
by Viktor E. Frankl (Jun 01, 2006)
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Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Based on his own experience and the stories of his patients, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with re...
Maria Popova
A meditation on what the gruesome experience of Auschwitz taught the author about the primary purpose of life: the quest for meaning, which sustained those who survived.     source
Gathering Moss
A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses
by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Feb 28, 2003)
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Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses. Robin Wall Kimmerer's book is not an identification guide, nor is...
Maria Popova
An extraordinary celebration of smallness and the grandeur of life.     source
Desert Solitaire
A Season in the Wilderness
by Edward Abbey (Jan 01, 1971)
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First published in 1968, Desert Solitaire is one of Edward Abbey’s most critically acclaimed works and marks his first foray into the world of nonfiction writing. Written while Abbey was working as a ranger at Arches National Park outside of Moab, Utah, Desert Solitaire is a rare view of one man’s quest to experience nature in its purest form.Throu...
Maria Popova
So powerful, so enduring, so fiercely necessary today.     source
On science, necessity, and the love of God;
Essays
by Simone Weil (Jan 01, 1968)
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Text: English (translation)...
Maria Popova
You will find yourself at once infinitely gladdened by the author's enduring ideas and infinitely saddened by the self-fulfilling prophecy embedded in this particular one.     source