What We Are Reading Today: Figuring by Maria Popova

Updated 14 March 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Figuring by Maria Popova

  • Exploring the complexities of love and the human search for truth

Figuring explores the complexities of love and the human search for truth and meaning through the interconnected lives of several historical figures across four centuries — beginning with the astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of planetary motion, and ending with the marine biologist and author Rachel Carson, who catalyzed the environmental movement. 

The author of this book, Maria Popova, is a well known curator of the excellent website brainpickings.org. 

Christine Kenneally said in a review published in The New York Times: “Though the general structure of Figuring is chronological, it’s anything but linear. Generally it proceeds through a series of surprising links, fascinating diversions and sometimes dizzying associative drift. When the connections cohere, it’s like carefully constructed fiction.”

A reviewer said in goodreads.com: “It is very affecting and beautiful writing and the author artfully weaves together many figures from the past, predominantly women.”


What We Are Reading Today: No Stopping Us Now by Gail Collins

Updated 18 October 2019

What We Are Reading Today: No Stopping Us Now by Gail Collins

No Stopping Us Now is lively, fascinating, eye-opening look at women and aging in America, by New York Times columnist Gail Collins.

Collins was the editorial page editor of The New York Times from 2001 to Jan. 1, 2007. 

She was the first woman editorial page editor at the Times.

No Stopping Us Now “is a chronicle of the herky-jerky nature of older women’s journey to progress in the US over the years,” said Lesley Stahl in a review for the Times.

“It’s eye-opening, brimming with new information and, as you’d expect from Collins, a lot of fun,” added Stahl.

Stahl is a correspondent for 60 Minutes and the author of Becoming Grandma and Reporting Live.

Collins “has delivered a deeply researched, entertaining book about the ragged journey of this increasingly visible segment of America’s population, bringing a reporter’s eye to the facts and anecdotes, and never without humor,” said Stahl.

Collins was also a journalism instructor at Southern Connecticut State University.

Collins’ excavation of the past has produced a vault of nuggets and gems, added Stahl.