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On Looking: A Walker's Guide to the Art of Observation

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You are missing most of what is happening around you right now. You are missing what is happening in the distance and right in front of you. In reading these words, you are ignoring an unthinkably large amount of information that continues to bombard all of your senses. The hum of the fluorescent lights; the ambient noise in the room; the feeling of the chair against your You are missing most of what is happening around you right now. You are missing what is happening in the distance and right in front of you. In reading these words, you are ignoring an unthinkably large amount of information that continues to bombard all of your senses. The hum of the fluorescent lights; the ambient noise in the room; the feeling of the chair against your legs or back; your tongue touching the roof of your mouth; the tension you are holding in your shoulders or jaw; the constant hum of traffic or a distant lawnmower; the blurred view of your own shoulders and torso in your peripheral vision; a chirp of a bug or whine of a kitchen appliance. On Looking begins with inattention. It is not meant to help you focus on your reading of Tolstoy; it is not about how to multitask. Rather, it is about attending to the joys of the unattended, the perceived "ordinary." Horowitz encourages us to rediscover the extraordinary things that we are missing in our ordinary activities. Even when engaged in the simplest of activities-taking a walk around the block-we pay so little attention to most of what is right before us that we are sleepwalkers in our own lives. So turn off the phone and portable electronics and get into the real world, where you'll find there are worlds within worlds within worlds.


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You are missing most of what is happening around you right now. You are missing what is happening in the distance and right in front of you. In reading these words, you are ignoring an unthinkably large amount of information that continues to bombard all of your senses. The hum of the fluorescent lights; the ambient noise in the room; the feeling of the chair against your You are missing most of what is happening around you right now. You are missing what is happening in the distance and right in front of you. In reading these words, you are ignoring an unthinkably large amount of information that continues to bombard all of your senses. The hum of the fluorescent lights; the ambient noise in the room; the feeling of the chair against your legs or back; your tongue touching the roof of your mouth; the tension you are holding in your shoulders or jaw; the constant hum of traffic or a distant lawnmower; the blurred view of your own shoulders and torso in your peripheral vision; a chirp of a bug or whine of a kitchen appliance. On Looking begins with inattention. It is not meant to help you focus on your reading of Tolstoy; it is not about how to multitask. Rather, it is about attending to the joys of the unattended, the perceived "ordinary." Horowitz encourages us to rediscover the extraordinary things that we are missing in our ordinary activities. Even when engaged in the simplest of activities-taking a walk around the block-we pay so little attention to most of what is right before us that we are sleepwalkers in our own lives. So turn off the phone and portable electronics and get into the real world, where you'll find there are worlds within worlds within worlds.

30 review for On Looking: A Walker's Guide to the Art of Observation

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Once, someone told me I was the most interested person alive. "Thank you!!" I told him, astonished that finally someone else realized what I've known all along - that the Dos Equis guy is lying. It is, in fact, I who am the most interesting person alive!* "No, no - not interesting...interested," he said, shattering my dreams without even realizing it. Shit. So much for that. But then I thought about it, and being the most interested person alive is pretty cool, too. I can get sucked into ANYTHING Once, someone told me I was the most interested person alive. "Thank you!!" I told him, astonished that finally someone else realized what I've known all along - that the Dos Equis guy is lying. It is, in fact, I who am the most interesting person alive!* "No, no - not interesting...interested," he said, shattering my dreams without even realizing it. Shit. So much for that. But then I thought about it, and being the most interested person alive is pretty cool, too. I can get sucked into ANYTHING because I am fascinated by EVERYTHING. I might be the only person on the planet who enjoyed Yann Martel's 14-page description of a pear in Beatrice and Virgil, and I have yet to encounter a subject that can't even pique my curiosity a little bit. Soo, I felt pretty good when I started with Alexandra Horowitz's On Looking as I was anticipating having an obscure-fact party in my brain, but alas, there was no party to be had. Boo. First off, the book is one giant LIE. Okay so that may be a slightly extreme way of putting it, but I don't seem the be the only one who thought she would repeat the same walk with 11 different experts, thereby casting 11 different points of view on the same space. Wouldn't that have been infinitely more interesting?? (Spoiler alert: Yes.) I thought the entire point of the book is "look how much you're missing in everyday life" - so shouldn't these alleged** experts be able to illuminate one walk in 11 different ways? Oddly, some of the walks were in fact the same, whereas the others were in entirely different states. Huh? There was also a problem of content. It often seemed the Horowitz didn't sponge enough information out of her experts to fill the whole book, so she resorted to bolstering each chapter with marginally relevant filler content. Example: In one chapter, she scours the streets with a doctor who's adept at diagnosing illness based on peculiarities of gait and appearance. Unfortunately, probably because people were bundled up against the cold and thereby hiding their sickly complexions from inspection, there were only about two people the doctor was able to size up on their walk. Rather than scrap that doctor idea and come up with a new expert to walk with, Horowitz is like, "hey guys, let me also tell you about this physical therapist I know from when my back was out, which I may have mentioned before because my back was out for like half of this project which probably was an ominous way to begin a book dependent upon my ability to walk but anyway this guy also knows some things about gaits, like let's see well usually you walk with your hips in synchronous rotation which thereby forces the legs forward via kinetic propulsion [yes, I made that up] and...what was I talking about again?" Right, like that. By far my favorite chapter was her walk with her toddler son as I myself have an almost-toddler son, and I am endlessly fascinated by what he finds fascinating. We take him to the aquarium to see the bright, colorful fish and silly penguins, and the kid stares at, say, the bolt holding the tank together. Horowitz was smart to start the book with this little man's walk, though, since it hammers home the point that really, nothing is intrinsically more interesting to look at than anything else (except faces, according to science - babies are born to respond to faces). Everything provides an opportunity for investigative study, when you think about it, but in this day of constantly being "on," we too often forget that. Horowitz's book is a nice, if slightly off-target, reminder to slow down and look at the world around you. I can think of no better ending to this review than the immortal words of one Mr. Ferris Bueller: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."*** *I pride myself on being a grammar nerd, but this is tripping me up. Do I say am or is there?? Calling Jess, help please...both sound wrong. **I don't know why I said that. They're clearly well-established in their fields and are fully deserving of the "expert" title. ***RIP John Hughes.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Robert Freeman

    Alexandra Horowitz is an incredibly intelligent and interesting person. I just really wish she was a better writer. She has the unfortunate inability to tell when she's gone on far too long on a topic. I can sense her passion, but she's far more engrossed in each individual topic than I was. About a third of the way through the book she noticed a couch on the side of the road, and the first thing I thought was "great, now we're going to have three pages in a row about a couch". All in all, I don't Alexandra Horowitz is an incredibly intelligent and interesting person. I just really wish she was a better writer. She has the unfortunate inability to tell when she's gone on far too long on a topic. I can sense her passion, but she's far more engrossed in each individual topic than I was. About a third of the way through the book she noticed a couch on the side of the road, and the first thing I thought was "great, now we're going to have three pages in a row about a couch". All in all, I don't think it's worth reading unless you really like her style. I just found it very slow and repetitive, despite her occasional moments of genius.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christi Cassel

    The idea is a good one, but the execution is terrible. The book is subtitled “Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes.” Even loosely defined, simply being a dog or a youngster or blind does not make you an expert. I’m sorry. But the biggest problem is simply that Horowitz is annoying . . . and she goes on all the walks. I have a few specific beefs with her. First, she’s condescending. She has an annoying habit of using words and defining them in the text (like “I was seeing a glimmer of animism in my son—th The idea is a good one, but the execution is terrible. The book is subtitled “Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes.” Even loosely defined, simply being a dog or a youngster or blind does not make you an expert. I’m sorry. But the biggest problem is simply that Horowitz is annoying . . . and she goes on all the walks. I have a few specific beefs with her. First, she’s condescending. She has an annoying habit of using words and defining them in the text (like “I was seeing a glimmer of animism in my son—the attribution of life to the inanimate,” and “My son’s neophilia—love of the new . . .”). Second, she is extremely self-centered. The point of the book as presented was for Horowitz to gain new and interesting perspectives on her everyday walk. Unfortunately, too much of the book is focused on her own observations and research. And that wasn’t nearly as interesting as the information and observations provided by the experts. Third and finally, she is untrustworthy. Remember when Oprah got so pissed at James Frey when The Smoking Gun report came out revealing that A Million Little Pieces wasn’t the memoir he claimed it was? That’s because you have to be able to trust your non-fiction author (whereas, when reading fiction, you know that you have the potential to be tricked by an unreliable narrator). Horowitz got some things straight-up wrong, so I couldn’t trust her. Here’s an example: she talks about Tetris at one point (as I mentioned here, I’m a bit of a geek . . . especially when it comes to puzzle games), describing the “Tetris Effect”: "I became a Tetris player. Do you know the game? [. . .] Four simple shapes floated down from the top of the screen, and all one had to do was rotate them and send them scurrying to the left or right in an attempt to fill all the bins at the bottom of the screen before the shape landed, clumsily, on its edge. Tetris players know what happens after hours of playing this game. Objects in the real world all turn into variation on these shapes. Entering the library, I saw the jagged pieces that needed to be rotated vertically and set onto a matching shape." The problem: Tetris has seven simple shapes (even if you give her the benefit of the doubt and count the L and its mirror image as one shape and the z and its mirror image as one shape, you’re still left with five different shapes). Horowitz notes that the name Tetris is derived from the prefix “tetra-” . . . but she should know that the four refers to the fact that each of those seven simple shapes is comprised of four segments. If Tetris is a game she has played so much that the library starts turning into tetronimos, as she claims, then she should certainly know how many different shapes there are. Something doesn’t add up. I understand that this is a silly bone to pick. But I use it simply to illustrate my point: people writing non-fiction need to get their facts straight. If they don’t get the simple things right, how can we trust anything else they write? Not to mention, this Tetris Effect tangent is also a great example of the many self-centered tangents she goes on . . . at the expense of the more interesting observations of the experts. Read the full review here: http://iknowwhatyoushouldread.wordpre...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    I'm not sure if it was intentional or not but the author puts on a great show of not knowing things that I just assume are common knowledge. Not knowing that fossils can appear in rocks used as building material ? Not being aware of the variety of typefaces ? Come on, I'm guessing she is just using this as a means of allowing her walking partners to display their expertise. As in a "Golly, that sure is interesting Mr. Science Man!" kind of way. Wether it was on purpose or not, it is very irritat I'm not sure if it was intentional or not but the author puts on a great show of not knowing things that I just assume are common knowledge. Not knowing that fossils can appear in rocks used as building material ? Not being aware of the variety of typefaces ? Come on, I'm guessing she is just using this as a means of allowing her walking partners to display their expertise. As in a "Golly, that sure is interesting Mr. Science Man!" kind of way. Wether it was on purpose or not, it is very irritating. The result is writing with little depth or insight. So Its a well intentioned book, but really not of great interest to anyone who is even somewhat well read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Horowitz's book concept is good, although not necessarily new (both James Levine's and John Berger's books on seeing come to mind). Make no mistake that these are just "walks," though. They are urban walks. Horowitz portays herself as an educated lay person or ingenue on these forays into her city neighborhood, and her disingenousness didn't always strike me as believable. E.g., that she never knew that fossil impressions could be seen rock; that she never realized that blind persons walk toward Horowitz's book concept is good, although not necessarily new (both James Levine's and John Berger's books on seeing come to mind). Make no mistake that these are just "walks," though. They are urban walks. Horowitz portays herself as an educated lay person or ingenue on these forays into her city neighborhood, and her disingenousness didn't always strike me as believable. E.g., that she never knew that fossil impressions could be seen rock; that she never realized that blind persons walk toward stationary objects (like a building) and tap them in order to gauge their surroundings and delineate the borders of their current environment (didn't she ever "play blind" as a child?). Because she returns to it repeatedly, Horowitz's central message is neuroplasticity and our brains' changes based on what we choose to focus upon. In a book that by and large avoids controversy, strong opinions, or discussions of her own research, I couldn't help but appreciate this little jibe that Horowitz, the research psychologist and animal behaviorist - not the layperson -, got in at certain scientists:Scientists first learned this, as well as most of our knowledge about brains, not from examining our own brains, but from peering at monkey brains. The monkeys did not submit to this voluntarily, of course: the content of the words you are about to read come from the poignant sacrifices of enough monkeys to type that Shakespearean play after all. A monkey's brain is similar enough to ours that scientists find it informative about human brains, but different enough that the same scientists are willing to sacrifice a monkey life for that bit of information.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    http://www.simonandschuster.com/books... - a video that will show you some of the things I wanted to see in the book. Is it because I read the large-print edition that I saw almost no useful illustrations? I already do know how to slow down and pay attention, how to look from the knee-high level of a dog, how to engage other senses... but what Horowitz could have done for me is shown me some of the specific things that her experts taught her to see. To be fair, she writes a decent word-picture, http://www.simonandschuster.com/books... - a video that will show you some of the things I wanted to see in the book. Is it because I read the large-print edition that I saw almost no useful illustrations? I already do know how to slow down and pay attention, how to look from the knee-high level of a dog, how to engage other senses... but what Horowitz could have done for me is shown me some of the specific things that her experts taught her to see. To be fair, she writes a decent word-picture, and some of the experts have published, so if I cared enough (especially, for instance, about Tracks and Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates: A Guide to North American Species) I could do further reading. I thought it ironic, too, when I ordered this book from my library system - the only copy in rural NV is the large-print. A book about Looking. Ok then. But Horowitz does devote a walk to each a blind woman (mostly sound and touch), a dog (for scent), and a sound engineer (for the science of sound). I think my favorite walk, besides the one with her son of course, was the one with the letterer. Oh the typefaces! Well researched. Some shaky science. Fascinating. Some repetition; some obviousness. Source notes and index. The main thing I learned though is that I am very grateful I do not live in a big city and do not have to remind myself to stop and smell the roses, nor even have to travel to a park to find some to smell. But as you can see by my rating of four stars, I'm still very glad I read it, and I do recommend it to interested readers. Here's a sample of one thing that she learned, which also exemplifies her writing style: "My mind boggled a small boggle. The strip of denuded leaf we were looking at was a path cleared by a young fly who was growing up sufficiently quickly that the path he left in his wake had widened over the course of his living on that one leaf."

  7. 4 out of 5

    GoldGato

    In a sense, expectation is the lost cousin of attention: both serve to reduce what we need to process of the world "out there". Out there. How many of us actually get "out there" nowadays, let alone take the time to perceive our surroundings? This book makes us think along new wavelengths of perception and challenges us to stop and eat the roses. Alexandra Horowitz does something very simple in that she starts with a core goal of walking around her local block to see if she can discover new sight In a sense, expectation is the lost cousin of attention: both serve to reduce what we need to process of the world "out there". Out there. How many of us actually get "out there" nowadays, let alone take the time to perceive our surroundings? This book makes us think along new wavelengths of perception and challenges us to stop and eat the roses. Alexandra Horowitz does something very simple in that she starts with a core goal of walking around her local block to see if she can discover new sights, sounds, and smells. In essence, she becomes a micro explorer. Sometimes we see least the things we see most. After her initial foray, the author then partners with noted specialists to find out if they 'view' the same walk with a different perspective. They most certainly do. For instance, her jaunt with an urban traffic planner causes her to realize that the very safety measures put into place for city pedestrians (crosswalks, raised curbs, traffic lights) actually make it more dangerous for us because we assume they are there to guarantee our safety, causing us to spend less time taking responsibility for our own safety. Interesting. She begins to notice items she never noticed before. Simple lettering on a building that a graphics expert states is a disaster of different fonts. Pipes sticking out from older buildings, lights that can be seen under the sidewalk. New York City suddenly looks like a new land. When she walks with her child, leaves and steps take on more relevance because smaller human beings see what is nearer to their height level. The walk she takes with her dog means a focus on smells and why that is so important to a canine, especially an urban doggy. I became completely absorbed in this book, perhaps because I live in a land where the majority, and I do mean the majority, meander down sidewalks without looking because they spend their time reading a phone or a tablet. This has led to increased deaths, as cars hit urbanites who are too absorbed in their Facebook updates to realize the danger. To put the book to the test, I did my own lunchtime walk around Lake Merritt in Oakland. Immediately, I realized that my normal walk was against the grain in that nearly every other person was walking around the lake clockwise, while I always went counter-clockwise. I noticed benches I never saw before and even apartments that no longer looked like every other building. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in taking a break from their sphere of comfort to try a different outlook. Also, I have to say the book helped me change one of my work procedures, as I used its findings to improve the pipeline flow in a backend process. Sweet. Book Season = Spring (fresh air, clear skies)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kaylie Longley

    In 2019, I am setting 19 goals for myself. On Goodreads, that's 36 books. In real life, one goal is scheduling time for adventure, at least once a week. Alexandra Horowitz' nonfiction book, On Looking, encourages just that. Sometimes, I get stuck. Horowitz, a cognitive psychologist and avid walker, suggests I need to go outside, sometimes with a companion, to get a fresh perspective. But she got 11. Though it's not quite 11 walks around the same block, it reads like a love letter to New York: tan In 2019, I am setting 19 goals for myself. On Goodreads, that's 36 books. In real life, one goal is scheduling time for adventure, at least once a week. Alexandra Horowitz' nonfiction book, On Looking, encourages just that. Sometimes, I get stuck. Horowitz, a cognitive psychologist and avid walker, suggests I need to go outside, sometimes with a companion, to get a fresh perspective. But she got 11. Though it's not quite 11 walks around the same block, it reads like a love letter to New York: tangents (and walks) are winding, and some stories feel more personal. The footnotes, clearly inspired by Oliver Sacks, often miss the clever mark. The so-called experts include her son, dog, and various professionals, in sound engineering, physical therapy, typography, and much more. I'm not sure how she found these folks, or why she chose them, but the richest material highlights their passions: on these walks, neglected couches are flipped over, letters on windows are "pregnant", and only certain spots are suitable for dog peeing. Yet despite the promise of 11 consistent paths (and thus creating a constant variable), I loved the conversations between the author and her blind companion, thoughtful and reflective. The bookends, a walk with her toddler and pup, add depth by reminding me to pause, sniff, and laugh at the mundane. Horowitz wants to be perceived as an expert social scientist, but she is full of zest and curiosity, and that is her strength. I learn a mouse can fit into a dime-sized hole. That sometimes a bug's path grows larger as the bug himself does, too. Life is all about one's perception, and On Looking reminds me to keep exploring.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jill Furedy

    Like many others, I believed this book would look at the same walk in the same area from multiple perspectives. I kinda wish it had been. I liked how the author of In the Neighborhood looked at his street from different homes and families, from the trashman's perspective, the mailman's, etc and thought this would be similar. It wasn't and lost something for me by changing the locations. This was somewhat interesting, but a slow read. I get what she was trying to do, but her toddler and dog har Like many others, I believed this book would look at the same walk in the same area from multiple perspectives. I kinda wish it had been. I liked how the author of In the Neighborhood looked at his street from different homes and families, from the trashman's perspective, the mailman's, etc and thought this would be similar. It wasn't and lost something for me by changing the locations. This was somewhat interesting, but a slow read. I get what she was trying to do, but her toddler and dog hardly qualify as experts. I found I wasn't all that interested in what she would learn next, and I didn't see how much of it would be applied to my life. I won't distinguish the kearning or font of most signs I see, don't have the background nor desire to identify bug trails, nor types of rocks. It was mildly entertaining, but it was not the group of experts I was anticipating. The sight, smell, touch aspects were more like it. Most of what I got from this was the part about how studying things trains your brain to pick those things out easily...like the bug guy spotting evidence of bugs everywhere. I'm not going to do that without one of her experts beside me. Perhaps then I'd better appreciate what they were showing her. So while it was not a bad read, it also wasn't quite what I expected or hoped for.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ariel Gordon

    NEW YORKER Alexandra Horowitz is a psychologist with a PhD in cognitive science. She's studied rhinoceroses, bonobos and humans, but it was when she turned her attention to dogs, specifically to her own dog Pumpernickel, that she found her niche. The result was the international bestseller Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know (2009), which combined Horowitz's observations of her pet with current research. Her intriguing followup is about what humans see - and what we miss and why - when NEW YORKER Alexandra Horowitz is a psychologist with a PhD in cognitive science. She's studied rhinoceroses, bonobos and humans, but it was when she turned her attention to dogs, specifically to her own dog Pumpernickel, that she found her niche. The result was the international bestseller Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know (2009), which combined Horowitz's observations of her pet with current research. Her intriguing followup is about what humans see - and what we miss and why - when out in the world. Horowitz begins On Looking by walking around her own block and describing what she sees. She then retraces her steps with a variety of experts, including a geologist, a sound designer and a blind person, as well as with her dog and infant son. One of the problems with the book is that the conceit she sells early on - to the extent that she uses quotes from her initial essay as epigraphs for the essays that follow - is flabby. While three of the chapters stay close to home, literally walking the walk, other chapters adapt themselves to Horowitz's companions' areas of interest. So we loiter downtown for our walk with the font nerd and experience the crowds of Broadway with the urban sociologist but also travel to Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. And so readers lose the baseline of the original itinerary, trading the intimacy of Horowitz's block for Anytown, U.S.A. And while Horowitz is an eloquent and affable host on these walks, she sometimes veers towards the precious, confiding in a footnote, for instance, that her footnotes are nowhere near as surprising and original as those of Oliver Sacks. More troubling is her apology for using technical terms in this excerpt from her walk with Sidney Horenstein of the American Museum of Natural History: "One risks, in writing about geology, numbing one's readership with the terminology. Schist, gneiss, phyllite; metamorphic, sedimentary, siliciclastic, schistosity. It can be dizzying. I sympathize. I hear 'Paleozoic' and I nearly drop right into a deep sleep." It is counter-intuitive, almost bewildering, to hear a scientist apologize for talking science. Isn't that why we read books of popular science? In addition, U.S. publisher Scribner has chosen to include some of the Horowitz's line drawings with the text, but their postage-stamp size means that they're too small to be of any real use as illustrations. And while it is lovely to see the paintings that came from Horowitz's walk with artist Maira Kalman, the two colour plates seem somehow out of place. These quibbles aside, On Looking is a quietly illuminating study of how human beings process all the information available to them when doing something like going for a walk. Particularly interesting is Horowitz's analysis of how expertise changes the brain. Of course, the answer to the question "How do I keep myself from missing things?" is "You have to spend time looking!" But just as being able to guess the murderer halfway through a mystery isn't always fatal, it doesn't matter here either, because Horowitz reminds us of the specific wealth of what there is to see: animals and rocks and buildings and people, smells and sounds and textures. Finally, as non-fiction devotees know, one of the pleasures of the genre is that even though you might not be wholly persuaded by the main thesis, you're certain to pick up nuggets of useful and novel information. Like the notion that typhoid is supposed to smell like "freshly baked brown bread," and that rats produce a particular sound "to accompany pain or social defeat, and oddly, ejaculation." (This review was published in the Winnipeg Free Press' Books Section on February 23, 2013.)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Near the end of On Looking, Alexandra Horowitz says this about the walks she's taken over the course of writing the book, and how they've changed her: "I have become, I fear, a difficult walking companion, liable to slow down and point at things. I can turn this off, but I love to have it on: a sense of wonder that I, and we all, have a predisposition to but have forgotten to enjoy" (264-265). Which is great, but is maybe what also makes me not this book's ideal audience: I was already big on no Near the end of On Looking, Alexandra Horowitz says this about the walks she's taken over the course of writing the book, and how they've changed her: "I have become, I fear, a difficult walking companion, liable to slow down and point at things. I can turn this off, but I love to have it on: a sense of wonder that I, and we all, have a predisposition to but have forgotten to enjoy" (264-265). Which is great, but is maybe what also makes me not this book's ideal audience: I was already big on noticing-while-walking, already likely to point at things (the honeysuckle in a front garden, the way the ivy on a building's side is being rippled by the wind, graffiti, signs with old telephone exchanges, light). Which isn't to say I pay vivid attention to my surroundings all the time, and which isn't to say I didn't enjoy this book: just that maybe it'd be more interesting for people who aren't already quite as into city-walking-while-looking as I am. Horowitz structures the book around the "eleven walks" of the subtitle, though there are really more walks than that: she starts and ends with a solitary walk, and one of the chapters actually has two experts, and, I'm pretty sure, two walks. But anyhow: she sets out to walk familiar city streets with an eye to things she either doesn't know about or doesn't normally attend to: with the help of experts, she intends to learn about her surroundings, but also to learn to move through her surroundings differently, to be awake to things she previously would have missed: she and her experts will be, as she puts it, "investigators of the ordinary" (3). The experts are varied, and include her nineteen-month-old son and the family dog, as well as a geologist, a typographer, an artist (Maira Kalman! Who is awesome!), a field naturalist (specialty: insects), an animal behavior researcher (specialty: urban wildlife), the president of the Project for Public Spaces, a doctor, a physical therapist, a blind person, and a sound designer/sound engineer. In the course of the walks, Horowitz learns about some stuff I already knew about (Manhattan schist, the paths of glaciers and the "erratics" left behind) but also stuff I didn't know (like: I knew about limestone's aquatic origins, but didn't realize you can spot fossil crinoids or traces of sea worms in it; I had no idea about the galls inside which insect larvae live). She also writes about attention and cognition: how our brains filter and create the images and sensations we have of the world around us, how our expectations affect what we notice or don't. This sometimes makes for a narrative that doesn't quite flow: in most chapters, Horowitz is writing about the experience of a specific walk through a specific place and what she saw and learned, but also about these overarching issues of how we process information, and it sometimes feels like too much combined. I think the chapters featuring walks with her son and her dog were my favorites, and I think it's partly because they're more focused on recounting the actual walk: Horowitz learns things on these walks, and writes about what she learns, but her experts in these chapters aren't actually teaching her facts and figures, and it makes for better writing, I think.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Mantle

    In ‘On Looking’, Alexandra Horowitz takes the reader on a walk around many city blocks to consider what we see, and don’t see, and why our experience and understanding of our physical and social environment is often limited. At first, Horowitz sets out on what she’d regard as a normal walk around her block in New York City by herself. She likes to think of herself as an attentive person, yet the walks she takes subsequently with eleven ‘experts’ show how much she has missed in what she sees, h In ‘On Looking’, Alexandra Horowitz takes the reader on a walk around many city blocks to consider what we see, and don’t see, and why our experience and understanding of our physical and social environment is often limited. At first, Horowitz sets out on what she’d regard as a normal walk around her block in New York City by herself. She likes to think of herself as an attentive person, yet the walks she takes subsequently with eleven ‘experts’ show how much she has missed in what she sees, hears and understands. She walks first with her young son, then a geologist, a typographer, a sociable illustrator, an entomologist, a wildlife scientist, an expert on public spaces, a doctor, a blind person, a sound designer and her dog. Each ‘expert’ offers a different perspective on experiencing the (urban) world, what to pay attention to and how to ‘read’ the landscape. The walks also present varying ideas about what a walk is and how to take one. Finally, Horowitz sets out on her own again to test how her experience of walking in New York City had changed as a result of all she’s learned. She finds that she is more curious about her social and physical environment; she does see, hear and notice more. She is more engaged with her world and has regained a sense of wonder about it. The book is quite technical in parts. I’m not sure how much I’ll remember about what a hertz measures or what schist is, but Horowitz attempts to convey difficult information and concepts in a palatable form. Pay attention, be curious, look! The themes of ‘On Looking’ seem obvious and yet, clearly, we need the reminder to switch on to our surroundings, to live fully. Our environment is far more fascinating and complex than most of us realise.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laura McCann

    This book was completely different than anything I would normally read. It caught my attention because I take regular walks. I listened to this book as an audio book so i did not actually read it. I would never have made it thru it reading, the book would not have held my attention. It was a little dry. On the other hand I found some parts of the book and the concept very interesting. Taking with walks with 10 different people and one dog, it was interesting to see what each person saw or heard. This book was completely different than anything I would normally read. It caught my attention because I take regular walks. I listened to this book as an audio book so i did not actually read it. I would never have made it thru it reading, the book would not have held my attention. It was a little dry. On the other hand I found some parts of the book and the concept very interesting. Taking with walks with 10 different people and one dog, it was interesting to see what each person saw or heard. The chapters that have impacted me the most and I find myself thinking about and trying to notice on my own travels were the letters, the stone, the blind woman, the sounds and of course the dog walk (all my walks are with my dog). I did not enjoy the chapter about bugs, it was fascinating, but it did not make me want to go out in search of insects. I think the book is worth a listen to just to help you heighten your senses no matter where you are city or park. For me that is what this book did, it has caused me to slow down be aware of my surrounding and really look and listen. Because I am a dog person I plan to check out the authors other books about dogs.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    The premise for this book, walking around the same city path with several different people to get their view on what they see or hear, is fascinating. The interpretation and explanation of psychological theories to those walks was interesting. However, to me this read a bit more like a psychological study rather than the stories of the people and their views. I would have enjoyed this book more with less theory and more focus on the viewers' experiences. The premise for this book, walking around the same city path with several different people to get their view on what they see or hear, is fascinating. The interpretation and explanation of psychological theories to those walks was interesting. However, to me this read a bit more like a psychological study rather than the stories of the people and their views. I would have enjoyed this book more with less theory and more focus on the viewers' experiences.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Very good book about a woman who goes for walks with various experts (geologist, doctor, architect, etc) and experiences the various lens different people use to see the world.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Sometimes I have problems deciding how many stars to give a book, and this was one of those times. In terms of the fascinating stories and knowledge of the people the author walks with, it is a solid 5 stars. In terms of the author herself and her writing ... maybe 3? I didn't exactly dislike her and at times I really enjoyed her writing but I found myself being annoyed with the twee-ness that kept popping up. I think if I had skipped the first chapter where she walked with her son I might not h Sometimes I have problems deciding how many stars to give a book, and this was one of those times. In terms of the fascinating stories and knowledge of the people the author walks with, it is a solid 5 stars. In terms of the author herself and her writing ... maybe 3? I didn't exactly dislike her and at times I really enjoyed her writing but I found myself being annoyed with the twee-ness that kept popping up. I think if I had skipped the first chapter where she walked with her son I might not have noticed it so much in the following chapters, but I did and so there I am. This annoyance with people who write like this seems to be a problem that I don't share with too many if the legions of fans of so many blogs written in this style are to be believed. I don't claim to be any sort of expert on writing but I guess I just get tired of bullshit. (This is possibly because I am so full of it myself?? Not sure.) Anyhow, there is so much good about this book that I really shouldn't have gotten on any sort of rant of it being otherwise. I loved reading about the geology of NYC and the fossils that can be seen in the stone of any random building (even that concrete isn't such a terrible thing viewed in the right way), how Maira Kalman actually *sees* so many things (and the great illustrations that depict her uniqueness of seeing) and the huge variety of birds and animals and insects and the clues they leave (or don't) to indicate they are living very near us. I love this reminder of how much there is to see if we just take the time to actually do so. One of my favorite memories is of the time I was parked on a bench in San Diego, just across the water from North Island Naval Station and by just staying put I saw so many interesting things: actual seals and their Navy trainers; dogs and their walkers who were more than willing to tell me where to get the best fish tacos; and the USS Nimitz moving out. Recommended. *Steps and ramps and overhangs and decorative finials. "Every rock has distinctive characteristics: minerals, grain size, the overall look," Horenstein said. "And so you come to know them like friends. When I walk with people, I don't pay much attention to [the rocks}; it's not courteous. When I walk by myself, I pass these places and they greet me."* *I was beginning to see what Kalman saw. She did not see a space as defined by an edge, but as an infinitely explorable openness.* *A tall raincoat hurried a small raincoat along, all but their connected hand hidden under waterproof clothing."

  17. 4 out of 5

    Donna Parker

    This book is quite simply about trying to slow down, look around and see live differently. This is a real issue with so-called modern life. People are rushing, all frenzied, distracted by cell phones, over-scheduling, drama, etc. and they don't see life anymore, unless it's an app for life. When I won this from the Goodreads First Reads Program I thought sure, sounds interesting, but it was more than that, it eye-opening, on many levels. To some extend I already look at things, places, people in This book is quite simply about trying to slow down, look around and see live differently. This is a real issue with so-called modern life. People are rushing, all frenzied, distracted by cell phones, over-scheduling, drama, etc. and they don't see life anymore, unless it's an app for life. When I won this from the Goodreads First Reads Program I thought sure, sounds interesting, but it was more than that, it eye-opening, on many levels. To some extend I already look at things, places, people in a very detailed way, but this book made me rethink even how I do that. You don't have to do it with expert eyes, just go for walk and look at your neighbourhood, note the people, the structures, the trees, etc. Do this in a store or at work, while driving (do also pay attention to the road), in a theater, park, or at the gym. Put down your cell phones and come back into the real world, your brain will thank you for it, in more ways than one.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    Walking the city with a toddler, an entomologist, geologist, naturalist, sound engineer, blind person, graphic designer obsessed with fonts, or physiotherapist can reveal things about the city that you might find worth noticing. At the very least they will be interesting. If you really love just listening to music or planning the rest of your day in your head as you travel around the city, you may not get much out of this book. But if you are sometimes bored in your wanderings, or are naturally Walking the city with a toddler, an entomologist, geologist, naturalist, sound engineer, blind person, graphic designer obsessed with fonts, or physiotherapist can reveal things about the city that you might find worth noticing. At the very least they will be interesting. If you really love just listening to music or planning the rest of your day in your head as you travel around the city, you may not get much out of this book. But if you are sometimes bored in your wanderings, or are naturally curious, you may enjoy this book. The sound engineer's perception of noises as interesting is a perspective that could improve our mental health, as could connecting with nature while we have nothing better to do as we walk or bicycle along.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Ragan

    I found this to be such an amazing book. It completely changed the way I see and think of the things around me as well as helping me understand how we can have such different perspectives from others and yet there is no right or wrong. This book is about enjoying each moment to the fullest and being mindful.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    I came very close to giving this just two stars, but thought some of my reasons for that were too idiosyncratic, so I barely tipped it to 3. This was a book club choice, and the premise intrigued me. Central idea: We see and sense so much less of the world than we could or ought to. To put flesh on those bones, Horowitz decided to invite various experts to take walks with her, either in her NYC home or where they lived, and show what we've been missing because we don't have their expertise. Among I came very close to giving this just two stars, but thought some of my reasons for that were too idiosyncratic, so I barely tipped it to 3. This was a book club choice, and the premise intrigued me. Central idea: We see and sense so much less of the world than we could or ought to. To put flesh on those bones, Horowitz decided to invite various experts to take walks with her, either in her NYC home or where they lived, and show what we've been missing because we don't have their expertise. Among others, she chose a geologist, a typeface expert, a sound engineer, a blind woman, and insect and animal experts. Her first chapter, on going around the block with her toddler son; and her last chapter, on going around with her dog, were actually the best. The rest suffered from varying quality and other problems, to wit: 1) This would have made an admirable longer article in a publication like The New Yorker. It suffered from having been expanded into a book. 2) I have read and written a lot about brain science, so much of this was well-traveled ground for me, and in some cases, I had read better explanations of such things as our ability to focus on a conversation in a noisy room, or inattention to objects we aren't expecting to see and our poor use of cues from hearing and smell. 3) As I said, the chapters varied widely in quality. The animal chapter should have been one of the most interesting, but wasn't. The typeface chapter could have been skipped altogether. 4) There were plenty of factoids of the kind you like to lift out and post on social media. But when you strung all that together, along with her essay prose, the sum was not as great as the parts.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kara Krebs

    Gratuitous esoteric verbiage. Not a big fan -bit of a slog to read through. I like the general idea of the book - slowing down to pay attention and be present in the mundane aspects of life, but this book was a little much.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vince

    I really love the idea of this book. And the author's style is wry, self-effacing and easy to read. Yet her summary of 11 walks with subject-matter experts doesn't build up to anything more transformative than, "Wow, there are many different ways of paying more attention to the world!" One gets the impression that some of the walks actually weren't all that fascinating (especially those in the latter half of the book) - included more out of a sense of obligation than authentic enthusiasm. I really love the idea of this book. And the author's style is wry, self-effacing and easy to read. Yet her summary of 11 walks with subject-matter experts doesn't build up to anything more transformative than, "Wow, there are many different ways of paying more attention to the world!" One gets the impression that some of the walks actually weren't all that fascinating (especially those in the latter half of the book) - included more out of a sense of obligation than authentic enthusiasm.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Daphne

    When I was twenty-one I spent a summer in Indonesia. Before Indonesia I wrote but I didn’t draw. I didn’t have the patience and I wasn’t very good. After Indonesia I spent hours drawing. I wasn’t a whole lot better but I was more patient. Indonesia slowed life down for me. Indonesia reminded me to pay attention. And then I forgot. Now, I’m too impatient to draw and, most of the time, I fail to pay attention. I find that frustrating because I know life is better when we pay attention. And I know cre When I was twenty-one I spent a summer in Indonesia. Before Indonesia I wrote but I didn’t draw. I didn’t have the patience and I wasn’t very good. After Indonesia I spent hours drawing. I wasn’t a whole lot better but I was more patient. Indonesia slowed life down for me. Indonesia reminded me to pay attention. And then I forgot. Now, I’m too impatient to draw and, most of the time, I fail to pay attention. I find that frustrating because I know life is better when we pay attention. And I know creativity flows from that attention. On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation, is a book about paying attention. In On Looking, Alexandra Horowitz sets out on eleven walks around eleven blocks with eleven different experts in search of eleven different perspectives on paying attention. She walks with her dog, her 19-month-old son, a geologist, a naturalist, a sound designer, an artist, a typographer, an animal behavior specialist, a space designer and a doctor. I read this book because Maria Popova of brain pickings.org said it was “one of the best books of 2013 and among the most interesting I’ve ever read.” This is high praise considering Popova’s extensive reading list and brilliant mind. I also read it because I want to learn to pay attention. And I thought Horowitz’ book could help me. On Looking works best as a reminder. A reminder that the world exists only as we see it and that we limit our experience of that world by where we place our attention. Horowitz states: We see, but we do not see: we use our eyes, but our gaze is glancing, frivolously considering its object. We see the signs but not their meanings. We are not blinded, but we do have blinders. Creativity is about looking with different eyes, seeing the unknown in the everyday, finding the new in the familiar. In short: Learning to pay attention. But paying attention, according to Horowitz, is complicated. Though paying attention seems simple, there are numerous forms of payment. I reckon that every child has been admonished by teacher or parent to 'pay attention.' But no one tells you how to do that. It seems like we shouldn’t need to be told how. It seems like paying attention would be the most natural thing in the world. But it’s not. It’s not because the process of aging is, in part, acquiring the skill of non, or selective, attention. Writes Horowitz: Even as we develop from relatively immobile, helpless infants into mobile, autonomous adults, we are more and more constrained by ways we learn to see the world. We summarize and generalize, stop looking at particulars, and start taking in scenes at a glance—all in an effort not to be overwhelmed visually when we just need to make it through the day. We do this to survive. We are bombarded by stimuli: inner and outer, so we factor out in order to move forward. But we pay a price. We miss a lot. The work of the artist is to see that which most of us miss. The artist seems to retain something of the child’s visual strategy: how to look at the world before knowing (or before thinking about) the name or function of everything that catches the eye. An infant treats objects with an unprejudiced equivalence: the plastic truck is of no more intrinsic worth to the child than an empty box is, until the former is called a toy and the latter is called garbage […] To the child, as to the artist, everything is relevant; little is unseen. When we assign value to one thing over another, when we give name and function to everything in our world, we stop seeing much of the world. Our job is to widen the gaze and soften the knowing. To slow it down and open up. Writes Horowitz: It did seem like the more we just stopped in one spot […] we just started seeing more things. Paying attention is simple. It’s stopping more. It’s noticing more. But paying attention is also hard. Because we’re busy and we’ve learned not to. The work is to to return to the world we have forgotten to see. To remember to pay attention. And be astonished. And tell about it. For more on the art of observation check out On Looking. The Untethered Soul is a brilliant book on how to pay attention. You can also listen to this interview of Maria Popova with the author of On Looking, Alexandra Horowitz. I offer highlights of that interview here.

  24. 5 out of 5

    A.J. Rubineau

    Eye-opening, and a gentle reminder to look at what I want to see.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Art

    A good book for those of us who enjoy walking in the city. The author takes separate walks with a dozen different sets of eyes, including her son, a type designer, a sound designer, her dog, a blind woman and a therapist who knows the human gait. In the end, the author took a walk on her own, reflecting on how the enhanced experiences enriched her strolling by reawakening her eyes, ears and nose. Each experience revealed fresh but ever-present aspects on familiar sidewalks. A geologist, for exam A good book for those of us who enjoy walking in the city. The author takes separate walks with a dozen different sets of eyes, including her son, a type designer, a sound designer, her dog, a blind woman and a therapist who knows the human gait. In the end, the author took a walk on her own, reflecting on how the enhanced experiences enriched her strolling by reawakening her eyes, ears and nose. Each experience revealed fresh but ever-present aspects on familiar sidewalks. A geologist, for example, discussed the source of building materials and the glaciation of Central Park. Look, pay attention and be here now, wrote the author. Fred Kent, founder of the Project for Public Spaces, illuminated one of these urban strolls. He favors slow walks. They're more social than quick ones. Street carts, tourists and shoppers help to slow the flow because they encourage loitering and chatting. "We don't bump people," said Fred. That's because of the pedestrian dance. We move as a swarm, as fish and birds do. In the case of humans, it's one swarm going one way while another one approaches. We slip-slide away. Texters and cellphone users lose the sense of their swarming community, the author writes. Engaging with the person on the phone blocks awareness of the street. Gaits revealed the state of health to a physical therapist who joined the author for a ninety-minute walk. The ideal gait is loose, smooth and efficient. (No mention here, but what do people reveal when they walk like lop-sided waddling penguins?) Walking with a blind woman sharpened the author's antennae for smells and sounds. The woman relied on cues from flip-flops and high heels, grunters and panters, wheeled luggage as well as the sounds and breezes that change under an awning or at the end of a block. A sound designer and engineer, meanwhile, heard the voices of the city, separating sound from noise. Early urban sounds go way back. Horses whinnied in 500 BC. Roosters crowed and street criers hawked in London of the 1600s. The ultimate interruption during the author's walk with the sound guy: a roaring motorcycle, which forced them to stop talking. Twenty-seven pages of notes and sources. A slow start to the book almost landed it in the abandoned pile. Sticking with it paid off. Meandering while walking is one thing. Meandering while writing is something else. The author's frequent meanderings distracted from the stories. pedestrian confessions: — Rain requires umbrellas, which enhance the pedestrian dance. Umbrellas introduce a couple of extra moves: the tilt and hoist when passing or approaching another one. — When a big snow falls, pull on your Timberland boots and become the first walker outside. The clean, white snow gives a crisp crunch with each step. The big fresh snow acts like a big cotton ball, muffling the sounds of the city. — I walk the four miles to work several times a year, not often enough. Each of these one-hour walks energizes and refreshes me. The tradeoff: an invigorating sixty-minute walk versus a twenty-minute bus trip and getting lost in a book. — My workplace moved recently to the middle of downtown from the artsy district a few blocks away. The relocation forced me to reacquaint myself with a familiar downtown core. Intimacy grows from the daily familiarity, while rediscovering the microneighborhoods and shortcuts to the delis and cafes. — I used to describe myself as a walker, but not since a governor took office.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kristin B. Bodreau

    Pretentious, verbose, meandering, repetitive, DELIGHTFUL. Reading this was like raptly listening to someone who has a passion for something I don’t. The depth and the fire I sense when someone waxes poetic about something completely foreign. I find joy in the joy of that person, not in the information itself. But I do pick things up. Learning about the interconnectedness of seemingly unconnected things. Fascinating little tidbits of information that will never make me an expert, but that pique m Pretentious, verbose, meandering, repetitive, DELIGHTFUL. Reading this was like raptly listening to someone who has a passion for something I don’t. The depth and the fire I sense when someone waxes poetic about something completely foreign. I find joy in the joy of that person, not in the information itself. But I do pick things up. Learning about the interconnectedness of seemingly unconnected things. Fascinating little tidbits of information that will never make me an expert, but that pique my curiosity and delight the magpie-like nature of my brain. Each little factoid a shiny bauble to treasure. Even the writing style that many other reviewers found obnoxious was a pleasure for me. Too many words. Too many sidetracks. Too much over-explaining. And I adored all of it. I can ABSOLUTELY see why people found this tedious. I found it wonderful. If, like me, you delight in finding wonder in the mundane (or would like to learn how to) give this a read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vlad

    “The only true voyage would be not to travel through a hundred different lands with the same pair of eyes, but to see the same land through a hundred different pairs of eyes.” — Proust I loved the premise of this book -- that there's more to see than we think, that other ways of being and perceiving are readily available, if we take the time to practice them, that the world can be seen anew or afresh. And I love that the author largely delivers on that promise. Her writing is great, rich with met “The only true voyage would be not to travel through a hundred different lands with the same pair of eyes, but to see the same land through a hundred different pairs of eyes.” — Proust I loved the premise of this book -- that there's more to see than we think, that other ways of being and perceiving are readily available, if we take the time to practice them, that the world can be seen anew or afresh. And I love that the author largely delivers on that promise. Her writing is great, rich with metaphor and simile, and her skills of observation are admirable.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rusty

    So, Alexandra Horowitz is a #1 NY Times Bestselling author. Huh. I guess I don’t exactly have my finger on the pulse of the larger reading public, as I thought at first that I’d stumbled onto this little gem of a book that no one in the world had ever heard of. Ahem. Well, whatever. For me, I’ll equate this novel to something I might have not been surprised to have been written by Mary Roach (except hers probably would have been grosser) or Bill Bryson (his probably would have been longer). Work So, Alexandra Horowitz is a #1 NY Times Bestselling author. Huh. I guess I don’t exactly have my finger on the pulse of the larger reading public, as I thought at first that I’d stumbled onto this little gem of a book that no one in the world had ever heard of. Ahem. Well, whatever. For me, I’ll equate this novel to something I might have not been surprised to have been written by Mary Roach (except hers probably would have been grosser) or Bill Bryson (his probably would have been longer). Works out great for me though, because I love both those authors, and found this to be right in my wheelhouse for a light, breezy, non-fiction read. It is, in a word, about observation. You know, the world around us, the one that is right in our faces but we don’t see it, despite the fact that we look at it every day. I like that the author, before beginning her quest to really see things, took a walk around her block with the sole purpose of ‘seeing’ everything. She made notes, meticulous ones, about the things she discovered on her walk. And, as she pointed out on numerous occasions, she saw nothing. She retraces her walk (or at the very least, similar ones) with experts in a diverse set of fields, and does her best to see through their eyes. Each and every experience she catalogs adds another layer of in her sandwich of ignorance and inobservability (ugh, did I just type that?) that leaves her, and me, the reader, stunned at the amount that we miss every time we walk out our doors. I loved this book. I wish it were longer, I wanted a lot more time spent with the assorted experts she walked with. I wanted to hear more about the animals we live with, the hundreds of millions of years of geology that is right in front of us, of the sounds we don’t hear, or ignore… I wanted more of all these things. Super awesome.

  29. 4 out of 5

    TeriC

    Fascinating information

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes by Alexandra Horowitz, introduces us to a deeper awareness of how our brain perceives the world around us each day. Our ability to focus on one activity and screen out everything else is useful for staying on task, but it also causes us to miss most of what is going on around us. People today are often staring at a cell phone or listening to their headphones and ignoring the world around them. If you want to deepen your enjoyment of the world, it is nece On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes by Alexandra Horowitz, introduces us to a deeper awareness of how our brain perceives the world around us each day. Our ability to focus on one activity and screen out everything else is useful for staying on task, but it also causes us to miss most of what is going on around us. People today are often staring at a cell phone or listening to their headphones and ignoring the world around them. If you want to deepen your enjoyment of the world, it is necessary to become more observant. Alexandra walked around the block with her toddler, her dog, an artist, an expert in mindfulness, and also took walks in other locations with an expert on geology, a field naturalist (bug expert), and an expert in typography, an expert in sound, a blind person, a field biologist who studied urban raccoons and a doctor, who could diagnose from a distance. Each person shared their enthusiasm for their particular field with her and helped her become more observant. What really makes the book fun to read are her digressions on thoughts that came to her while she was with her various experts. She points out to us that with a little effort, we can become more aware and acquire a deeper connection and joy with the world around us. https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/08... is an excellent article with pictures and links illustrating some of the encounters from the book.

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