Sylvia Lim

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7 Essential Books on Music, Emotion, and the Brain

Last year, Horizon’s fascinating documentary on how music works was one of our most-liked pickings of 2010. But perhaps even more fascinating than the subject of how music works is the question of why it makes us feel the way it does. Today, we try to answer it with seven essential books that …

What Is Love? Famous Definitions from 400 Years of Literary History

After those collections of notable definitions of art, science, and philosophy, here comes a selection of poetic definitions of a peculiar phenomenon that is at once more amorphous than art, more single-minded than science, and more philosophical than philosophy itself. Gathered here are some of …

Carl Sagan on Science and Spirituality

The friction between science and religion stretches from Galileo’s famous letter to today’s leading thinkers. And yet we’re seeing that, for all its capacity for ignorance, religion might have some valuable lessons for secular thought and the two need not be regarded as opposites.<p>In 1996, mere …

Horizontal vs. Vertical Identity and How Love Both Changes Us and Makes Us More Ourselves

It’s been said that <i>“who we are and who we become depends, in part, on whom we love.”</i> But the opposite is also true — we blossom into who we are under the warming light of the love that surrounds us.<p>This beautiful osmosis is precisely what <b>Andrew Solomon</b> explores in <b>Far From the Tree: Parents,</b> …

9 Books on Reading and Writing

Hardly anything does one’s mental, spiritual, and creative health more good than resolving to read more and write better. Today’s reading list addresses these parallel aspirations. And since the number of books written about reading and writing likely far exceeds the reading capacity of a single …