Draws on a series of walks the author took in her Manhattan neighborhood while accompanied by experts in various fields of knowledge to explore the nature of human perception and how individuals interact with the ordinary world around them.
On Looking begins with inattention. 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 like 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.
The author of the best-selling Inside of a Dog counsels readers on how to rediscover everyday joys in typically overlooked areas of life, sharing guidelines for focusing attention on the senses and engaging in simple activities to reconnect with the real world.
Simon and Schuster
From the author of the giant #1 New York Times bestseller Inside of a Dog comes an equally smart, delightful, and startling exploration of how we perceive and discover our world.
Alexandra Horowitz’s brilliant On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes shows us how to see the spectacle of the ordinary—to practice, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put it, “the observation of trifles.” On Looking is structured around a series of eleven walks the author takes, mostly in her Manhattan neighborhood, with experts on a diverse range of subjects, including an urban sociologist, the well-known artist Maira Kalman, a geologist, a physician, and a sound designer. She also walks with a child and a dog to see the world as they perceive it. What they see, how they see it, and why most of us do not see the same things reveal the startling power of human attention and the cognitive aspects of what it means to be an expert observer.
As the million-plus readers of Inside of a Dog have discovered, Alexandra Horowitz is charmingly adept at explaining the mysteries of human perception. Trained as a cognitive scientist, she discovers a feast of fascinating detail, all explained with her generous humor and self-deprecating tone. On Looking presents the same engaging combination, this time in service to understanding how human beings encounter their daily worlds and each other.
Page by page, Horowitz shows how much more there is to see—if only we would really look. On Looking is nutrition for the considered life, serving as a provocative response to our relentlessly virtual consciousness. So turn off the phone and other electronic devices and be in the real world—where strangers communicate by geometry as they walk toward one another, where sounds reveal shadows, where posture can display humility, and the underside of a leaf unveils a Lilliputian universe—where, indeed, there are worlds within worlds within worlds.
Alexandra Horowitz’s On Looking confirms her place as one of today’s most illuminating observers of our infinitely complex world.
eleven walks with expert eyes
From the critics
From Library Staff
Thursday, September 19.
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