Only the best thing ever: Advice to Little Girls – a playful and mischievous short story penned by young Mark Twain in 1865 and illustrated by beloved Russian children’s book artist Vladimir Radunsky. Plenty of images, and a personal story, at the link:
“You can never know anyone as completely as you want. But that’s okay, love is better.”
A spectacular illustrated meditation on love, loss, and what it means to be human:
“If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don’t compromise, and don’t waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now. Now.”
Debbie Millman’s fantastic illustrated essays of wisdom on the creative life – a timeless treat halfway between philosophy and design:
“That is the creative artist — a penalty of the creative artist — wanting to make order out of chaos.”
Timeless wisdom from the great Ursula Nordstrom, who groomed Maurice Sendak’s genius and ushered in the golden age of children’s literature.
“Might as well enjoy it… . Greatest city the world has ever seen.” Kerouac’s tour of the beat night life of New York:
What a catalog of superficiality reveals about the complex inner worlds of young women.
“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. … The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”
Carl Sagan on science and spirituality, a timelessly fantastic read:
Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poems for young people, with enchanted vintage illustrations
“I do not accept subtractive models of love, only additive ones.”
Fantastic read on “horizontal” vs. “vertical” identity and how the power of love both changes us and makes us more ourselves
Darwin’s life, adapted in poems by his great-grand-daughter, using his books, journals, autobiography, scientific papers, notebooks, drafts, and letters to summon an affectionate and imaginative memoir of rare poetic elegance.
“To write well about the elegant world you have to know it and experience it to the depths of your being just as Proust, Radiguet and Fitzgerald did: what matters is not whether you love it or hate it, but only to be quite clear about your position regarding it.”
Italo Calvino on writing – timeless wisdom culled from 40+ years of his freshly published letters
“Thought is a kind of opium; it can intoxicate us, while still broad awake; it can make transparent the mountains and everything that exists. It is by love only that one keeps hold upon reality, that one recovers one’s proper self, that one becomes again will, force, and individuality. “
Swiss philosopher Henri-Frédéric Amiel’s timeless wisdom on love, culled from his lengthy journals:
“I was a father for six years, a mother for ten, and for a time in between I was both, or neither, like some parental version of the schnoodle, or the cockapoo. Of course, as parents go, I was a rather feminine father; for that matter I suppose I’m a masculine mother. When I was their father I showed my boys how to make a good tomato sauce, how to fold a napkin, how to iron a dress shirt; as their mother I’ve shown them how to split wood with a maul. Whether this means I’ve had one parenting style or two, I am not entirely certain. I can assure you I am not a perfect parent and will be glad to review the long list of my mistakes. But in dealing with a parent who subverts a lot of expectations about gender, I hope my sons have learned to be more flexible and openhearted than many of their peers with traditionally gendered parents.”
Why there’s much more to the art of raising a human being than the science of chromosomal alignment.
Band battles, brass classics, Cotton Club etiquette, and how to do the “double roll” like a pro.
Curator extraordinaire Hans Ulrich Obrist gathers 20 years of famous artists’ irreverent instructions for art anyone can make, including contributions by Lawrence Weiner, Louise Bourgeois, Ai Weiwei, Douglas Coupland, David Lynch, and Sol LeWitt.