“We live in a society which sees high self-esteem as a proof of well-being, but we do not want to be intimate with this admirable and desirable person.”
How to be alone—a wonderful antidote to one of the central anxieties and most misunderstood arts of our time:
Here is a book about an independent middle-aged woman who defies the still-prevalent stigma against singletons and is financially self-sufficient by her own creative labor, who is white and services a wealthy black client, and who is helped into the dénouement of her challenge not by a patronizing Prince Charming but by a little black girl dressed in preppy plaid.
A sweet reminder that however different the hats we wear may be, we are united by a common thread of goodwill, subtly subverting cultural stereotypes in a celebration of diversity.
A whimsical wordless story about the wonderland that unfolds when you simply dare, and care, to look.
Zadie Smith on the psychology of the two types of writers – applies to all creative endeavors:
“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today… The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.”
Seneca on busyness and the art of living wide rather than living long – the kind of read that stays with you for a lifetime:
The Memory of an Elephant – a most unusual children’s book for lovers of mid-century design
“The main thing is to be satisfied with your work yourself. It’s useless to have an audience happy if you are not happy.”
Legendary composer Aaron Copland on the conditions of creativity and the essential interplay of emotion and intellect in the creative experience:
How the web became the web, in 100 radical ideas that we’ve come to take for granted
Maurice Sendak’s darkest, most controversial, yet most hopeful and personal children’s book – a moving cry for mercy, for light, and for resurrection of the human spirit at a time of hopeless darkness:
"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which gave value to survival."
C.S. Lewis on true friendship – spectacular short read:
“Leaders remain leaders only as long as you let them.”
An honest and controversial vintage guide to teenage sexuality, education reform, and independent thinking, back after 40 years of being banned
Theodor Adorno on the art of punctuation – a manifesto for the “friendly spirits whose bodiless presence nourishes the body of language”
The clothes that protect us, that make us laugh, that serve as a uniform, that help us assert our identity or aspirations, that we wear to remember someone — in all of these are encoded the stories of our lives. We all have a memoir in miniature living in a garment we’ve worn.
A collection of playful and poignant stories about clothes that encode memories of life’s meaningful moments, featuring contributions by John Hodgman, Marina Abramovic, Piper Kerman, Pat Mahoney, Debbie Millman, Paola Antonelli, Kenneth Goldsmith, Meghan O’Rourke, Rosanne Cash, and more
“In the course of creative endeavors, artists and scientists join fragments of knowledge into a new unity of understanding.”
Fascinating read on the psychology of why creative work hinges on memory and the art of connecting the unrelated:
This wordless story about the power of kindness to those kicked away, illustrated in lyrical cut-paper dioramas, is the loveliest thing in ages