Dez Williams

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A Short Guide to a Happy Life: Anna Quindlen on Work, Joy, and How to Live Rather Than Exist

The commencement address is a special kind of modern communication art, and its greatest masterpieces tend to either become a book — take, for instance, David Foster Wallace on the meaning of life, Neil Gaiman on the resilience of the creative spirit, Ann Patchett on storytelling and belonging, and</b> …

Jack Kerouac on Kindness, the Self Illusion, and the “Golden Eternity”

In the mid-1950s, literary iconoclast and beat icon <b>Jack Kerouac</b> (March 12, 1922–October 21, 1969) became intensely interested in Buddhism, which began permeating his writing. It was the golden age of Eastern ideas drawing Western minds, from legendary composer John Cage to pioneering philosopher …

How to Master on the Art of Getting Noticed: Austin Kleon’s Advice to Aspiring Artists

In 2012, artist Austin Kleon gave us <i>Steal Like an Artist</i>, a modern manifesto for combinatorial creativity that went on to become one of the best art books that year. He now returns with <b>Show Your Work!</b> (<i>public library</i> | <i>IndieBound</i>) — “a book for people who hate the very idea of self-promotion,” in …

33 Books on How to Live: My Reading List for the Long Now Foundation’s Manual for Civilization

In a recent piece about the Manual for Civilization — the Long Now Foundation’s effort to assemble 3,500 books most essential for sustaining or rebuilding humanity, as part of their collaboratively curated library of 3,500 books for long-term thinking — I lamented the fact that Stewart Brand’s …

Astronaut Chris Hadfield Covers Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in Space

For no other reason than sheer soul-uplifting awesomeness, here’s astronaut <b>Chris Hadfield</b> — yes, him — covering David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” aboard the International Space Station, which Hadfield considers “the world’s first great outpost away from the world”:<p>Hadfield, whose 2013 book <i>An Astronaut’s</i> …

The Unaddressed Business of Filling Our Souls: Mood Science and the Evolutionary Origins of Depression

<i>“Depression is a disorder of the ‘I,’ failing in your own eyes relative to your goals,”</i> legendary psychologist Martin Seligman observed in his essential treatise on learned optimism. But such a definition of depression, while true, appears somehow insufficient, overlooking the multitude of …

Viktor Frankl on the Art of Presence, the Soul-Stretching Capacity of Suffering, and How to Persevere in Troubled Times

The life-story of Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor <b>Viktor Frankl</b>, born on March 26, 1905, is one of history’s greatest testaments to the tenacity of the human spirit. In his remarkable 1946 psychological memoir <b>Man’s Search for Meaning</b> (<i>public library</i>), previously discussed at length …

Whatever You Are, Be a Good One

In March of 1884, Leo Tolstoy resolved in his diary to create a “circle of reading” for himself, probing “the great philosophers of all time and all people” for wisdom on how to live well. This was the birth of his famous <i>Calendar of Wisdom</i>, which he spent the remaining seventeen years of his life …

The Presence of Absence: Jane Dorn’s Haunting Photographs of Abandoned Buildings in the South

<i>UPDATE: Dorn’s photos are now available on society6. Click each image below for the respective print.</i><p><i>“While a painting or a prose description can never be other than a narrowly selective interpretation,”</i> Susan Sontag wrote in her timeless meditation on photography, <i>“a photograph can be treated as a</i> …

The Science of Smell: How the Most Direct of Our Senses Works

<i>“Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes,”</i> Anna Quindlen advised in her indispensable <i>Short Guide to a Happy Life</i>. Susan Sontag listed “linen” and “the smell of newly mown grass” among her favorite things. <i>“A man may have lived all of his life</i> …

Mary Oliver on the Mystery of the Human Psyche, the Secret of Great Poetry, and How Rhythm Makes Us Come Alive

<i>“Poetry makes possible the deepest kind of personal possession of the world,”</i> James Dickey wrote. <i>“The way to develop good taste in literature,”</i> Joseph Brodsky advised, <i>“is to read poetry.”</i> Wordsworth believed the poetic form to be <i>“the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge.”</i> For Edward Hirsch, it …

10 Habits Of Highly Creative People

Writers' block? Go take a nap.<p>Composer Erik Satie walked roughly 10 kilometers from Arcueil to Paris every morning. Saul Bellow rode his mountain bike. Novelist Haruki Murakami keeps a famously intense running schedule, which he described in the <i>Paris Review</i>:<p><b>Whether it lets the mind wander, improves</b> …

Curried Cream of Celery Soup

48<p>SHARES<p>Curry powder lends a spicy twist to this soothing standby.<p>8Servings<p>Ingredients<p>1/4 cup sliced almonds<br>• 2 Tbs. olive oil<br>• 6 celery stalks, diced …

Vegan Sweet Potato and 2-Bean Chili With Hominy Recipe

A vegan black bean and sweet potato chili packed with rich, complex chili flavor.<p><b>Note:</b> Masa harina is a dried corn flour used to make tortillas and other corn-based Mexican dishes. It can be found under the brand name Maseca.<p>Read the Whole Story<p>Ingredients3 whole sweet dried chilies like Costeño, …

Red Bean-Chipotle Burgers

A few days ago, my family was in the mood for a good old burgers-and-“fries” meal. Now, you know I try to eat as little processed food as possible, …

Thai Coconut Soup with Tofu and Mushrooms

Last night I realized that I had an open can of coconut milk that I needed to use soon–never a bad situation since coconut milk is one of my favorite …

Nutrition

Cauliflower Dal with Panch Phoran

Sometimes a recipe comes along that’s so spectacular that you feel compelled to climb your way up to the top of the nearest alp and sing like Julie …