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.
10 books on the list
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...
A poignant reminder of what we so deeply intuit yet so easily forget and so chronically fail to put into practice. – source
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...
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
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...
An uncommonly moving autobiography. – source
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, ...
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
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 ...
A book I continue to consider an existential Bible of secular scripture. – source
• 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...
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
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...
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
This book is also recommended byJimmy FallonEmma WatsonPewDiePieTony RobbinsTerry CrewsJordan PetersonDavid BlaineSimon SinekDaniel PinkDavid Heinemeier HanssonJim KwikDerek SiversJames AltucherEsther PerelJeffrey ShawFedor HolzSusan SuehrMichael GervaisSven GatzChip ConleyBryan JohnsonDave Elitch
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...
An extraordinary celebration of smallness and the grandeur of life. – source
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...
So powerful, so enduring, so fiercely necessary today. – source