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The paradoxical psychology of why we fall in love, what maturity really means, how our emotions affect our immune system, the transformative power of solitude, and a year’s worth more.

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In 2015, I poured tremendous time, thought, love, and resources into Brain Pickings, which remains free. If you found any joy and stimulation here this year, please consider supporting my labor of love with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner:

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WelcomeHello, Peter Blue! If you missed the most recent regular edition – the 15 best books of 2015 – you can catch up right here. And if you're enjoying this newsletter, please consider supporting my labor of love with a donation – I spent thousands of hours and enormous resources on it this year, and every little bit of support helps tremendously. If you already donated this year, from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU.

The Best of Brain Pickings 2015

After the annual reading list of the 15 finest books of the year, it’s time for the annual look back upon the best of Brain Pickings this year — “best” being a hybrid measure of the articles you read and shared most ardently, and those I took the greatest pleasure in writing. Please (re)enjoy, and here’s to a vitalizing new year.

1. Why We Fall in Love: The Paradoxical Psychology of Romance and Why Frustration Is Necessary for Satisfaction

Read the article here.

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2. 9 Learnings from 9 Years of Brain Pickings

Read the article here.

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3. Love, Lunacy, and a Life Fully Lived: Oliver Sacks, the Science of Seeing, and the Art of Being Seen

Read the article here.

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4. Nietzsche on How to Find Yourself and the True Value of Education

Read the article here.

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5. Patti Smith on Time, Transformation, and How the Radiance of Love Redeems the Rupture of Loss

Read the article here.

6. The Science of Stress and How Our Emotions Affect Our Susceptibility to Burnout and Disease

Read the article here.

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7. Desert Solitaire: An Uncommonly Beautiful Love Letter to Solitude and the Spiritual Rewards of Getting Lost

Read the article here.

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8. A Rap on Race: Margaret Mead and James Baldwin’s Rare Conversation on Forgiveness and the Difference Between Guilt and Responsibility

Read the article here.

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9. Mary Oliver on What Attention Really Means and Her Moving Elegy for Her Soul Mate

Read the article here.

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10. The Heart and the Bottle: A Tender Illustrated Fable of What Happens When We Deny Our Difficult Emotions

Read the article here.

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11. In Defense of Boredom: 200 Years of Ideas on the Virtues of Not-Doing from Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds

Read the article here.

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12. Virginia Woolf on Why the Best Mind Is the Androgynous Mind

Read the article here.

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13. How to Love: Legendary Zen Buddhist Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh on Mastering the Art of “Interbeing”

Read the article here.

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14. The Soul of an Octopus: How One of Earth’s Most Alien Creatures Illuminates the Wonders of Consciousness

Read the article here.

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15. Creative Courage for Young Hearts: 15 Emboldening Picture Books Celebrating the Lives of Great Artists, Writers, and Scientists

Read the article here.

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16. Ursula K. Le Guin on the Sacredness of Public Libraries

Read the article here.

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17. Poet and Philosopher David Whyte on Anger, Forgiveness, and What Maturity Really Means

Read the article here.

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18. Beatrix Potter, Mycologist: The Beloved Children’s Book Author’s Little-Known Scientific Studies and Illustrations of Mushrooms

Read the article here.

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19. Rilke on How Great Sadnesses Bring Us Closer to Ourselves

Read the article here.

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20. Poet Jane Kenyon’s Advice on Writing: Some of the Wisest Words to Create and Live By

Read the article here.

Step into the time machine of timeless reading with the best Brain Pickings articles of 2014.

BP

If you've been enjoying the newsletter this year, you can help me keep it going with a donation. And if you've already donated, simply: THANK YOU.

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