Banana Yoshimoto’s debut novel Kitchen was such a sensation in Japan that the press dubbed the public’s obsession “bananamania.” Yoshimoto’s raw and poignant book paints a moving picture of urban life in 1980s Tokyo. It’s a love letter to the people and experiences that help us cope with loneliness: the misfits who cross paths in large cities, the way they become like family, and the simple but profound truth that when all feels lost, there’s nothing like the healing power of a good meal.

Nietzsche’s outspoken philosophical views continue to rattle feathers over 100 years after his death, and his Genealogy of Morals is no exception. To Nietzsche, humans aren’t cut out for politeness: we like power, and we like to wield it over others. He thinks the Greeks and Romans—with their orgies and gladiators—did it better. Find out why in this step-by-step breakdown of Nietzsche’s infamous polemic against priests, scientists, philosophers, and everybody else who prefers the quiet life.

This print article for The Philosopher’s Magazine compares Iranian music–in which riffing and flexing performing skills are seen as the highest marks of artistry–with philosophical theories about classical music, jazz, and improvisation, offering an example of comparative aesthetics in action.