Maria Popova
Book Recommendations

  • Man's Search for Meaning

    Man's Search for Meaning

    Man's Search for Meaning

    Viktor E. Frankl
    Existential psychotherapy
    4.36 (522,974)

    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 renewed purpose. at the heart of his theory, known as logotherapy, is a conviction that the primary human drive is not pleasure but the pursuit of what we find meaningful. man's

    Maria Popova

    A meditation on what the gruesome experience of Auschwitz taught him about the primary purpose of life: the quest for meaning, which sustained those who survived.

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  • A Rap on Race

    A Rap on Race

    A Rap on Race

    James Baldwin
    4.06 (234)

    In 1970, america's most celebrated black author and the world's most acclaimed anthropologist met for a seven-and-a-half hour conversation about race and society. the transcript of their discussion is a revealing and unique book filled with candor, passion, rage, and brilliance. "blunt, peppery, and spontaneous. . . ".--the atlantic.

    Maria Popova

    We've got to be as clear-headed about human beings as possible, because we are still each others only hope.

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  • Stumbling on Happiness

    Stumbling on Happiness

    Stumbling on Happiness

    Daniel Gilbert
    Psychology
    3.81 (59,281)

    • 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 such excellent aim; why can’t we remember one song while listening to another; and why does the line at the grocery store always slow down the moment

    Maria Popova

    Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished.

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  • On the Shortness of Life

    On the Shortness of Life

    On the Shortness of Life

    Seneca
    Health & Fitness
    Philosophy
    4.18 (25,006)

    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 other. they have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. they have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. they have enriched lives—and destroyed them.now, penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook

    Maria Popova

    [by Seneca] Is a sublime read in its pithy totality. .., poignant reminder of what we so deeply intuit yet so easily forget and so chronically fail to put into practice.

     — Source

  • Gathering Moss

    Gathering Moss

    Gathering Moss

    Robin Wall Kimmerer
    Nature
    4.41 (5,392)

    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 it a scientific treatise. rather, it is a series of linked personal essays that will lead general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are

    Maria Popova

    an extraordinary celebration of smallness and the grandeur of life, as humble yet surprisingly magical as its subject

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  • Desert Solitaire

    Desert Solitaire

    Desert Solitaire

    Edward Abbey
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.19 (44,410)

    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.through prose that is by turns passionate and poetic, abbey reflects on the condition of our remaining wilderness and the future of a civilization that cannot reconcile itself to living in the

    Maria Popova

    A miraculously beautiful book, originally published in 1968, which I discovered through a passing mention by the wonderful Cheryl Strayed.

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  • The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861 (New York Review Books Classics)

    The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861 (New York Review Books Classics)

    The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861 (New York Review Books Classics)

    Damion Searls,Henry David Thoreau
    4.32 (338)

    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 some of the finest prose in english and, for those acquainted with it, its prismatic pages exercise a hypnotic fascination. yet at roughly seven thousand pages, or two million words, it remains

    Maria Popova

    A book I continue to consider an existential Bible of secular scripture, replete with the great transcendentalist philosopher and poets wisdom on the myth of productivity, the greatest gift of growing old, the sacredness of public libraries, the creative benefits of keeping a diary, and the only worthwhile definition of success.

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  • On Science, Necessity, And The Love Of God
    Maria Popova

    The essay considers how the advent of two theories relativity (a very simple theory, so long as one does not try to understand it) and quantum mechanics

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  • Still Writing

    Still Writing

    Still Writing

    Dani Shapiro
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.18 (3,992)

    "everything i know about life, i learned from the daily practice of sitting down to write."from the best-selling author of devotion and slow motion comes a witty, heartfelt, and practical look at the exhilarating and challenging process of storytelling. at once a memoir, meditation on the artistic process, and advice on craft, still writing is an intimate and eloquent companion to living a creative life.through a blend of deeply personal stories about what formed her as a writer, tales from other authors, and a searching look at her own creative

    Maria Popova

    Is soul-quenching in its entirety, with famous writers advice on the craft

     — Source