The Best of Brain Pickings 2020 – Brain Pickings

by Jeremy

Like every year, this annual glance over the shoulder of time is a composite of the essays that most resonated with readers and those I most enjoyed writing. The overlap is always significant but always the Venn diagram of a partial eclipse rather than a perfect totality.

Even more so than other years, in this particularly trying year, it has been curious to observe the patterns that emerge across those ideas, themes, and regions of being that most sustain us in times of crisis: love, trees, poetry, creativity, the stubborn insistence on living in the face of loss, the constancy of nature’s consolations, the revivifying passion for going on making, going on loving, going on living.

Essential Life-Learnings from 14 Years of Brain Pickings


Antidotes to Fear of Death: Astrophysicist Janna Levin Reads Astronomer and Poet Rebecca Elson’s Stunning Cosmic Salve for Our Creaturely Tremblings of Heart

Yes to Life, despite Everything: Viktor Frankl’s Lost Lectures on Moving Beyond Optimism and Pessimism to Find the Deepest Source of Meaning


Seasons in a Pandemic: Mary Shelley on What Makes Life Worth Living and Nature’s Beauty as a Lifeline to Regaining Sanity.

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