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On Looking : Eleven Walks With Expert Eyes
by Alexandra Horowitz


Overview - From the author of the #1 New York Times giant bestseller Inside of a Dog comes an equally smart, delightful, and startling exploration of how we perceive our surroundings.

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.  Read more...


 
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More About On Looking by Alexandra Horowitz
 
 
 
Overview
From the author of the #1 New York Times giant bestseller Inside of a Dog comes an equally smart, delightful, and startling exploration of how we perceive our surroundings.

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.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781439191255
  • ISBN-10: 1439191255
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publish Date: January 2013
  • Page Count: 308
  • Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Books > Social Science > Anthropology - General
Books > Nature > General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-11-26
  • Reviewer: Staff

Horowitz (Inside of a Dog) turns neighborhood walks into an exploration of how people interpret the world. Each walk pairs her with a different companion, each experience offering expertise in a wildly different arena, from the fractured geology of Horowitz's native Manhattan to a city block's surprisingly abundant insect life or how blind people experience the world. Some walks playfully dip into academic specialties, as when Dr. Bennett Lorber displays his Sherlock Holmes–like knack for diagnosing passersby, or when urban behaviorist Fred Kent shares his counterintuitive perspective as president of the Project for Public Spaces. Elsewhere, a sound engineer explains the "auditory restoration" phenomenon, in which the mind fills in unheard sounds, while a typographer examines fonts and lettering on signs and buildings, going so far as to distinguish between different forms of the letter "Q." Even when Horowitz leaves her home turf to venture to Philadelphia and to Springfield, Mass., or consults such dubious "experts" as her dog, Finnegan, and toddler son, her writing remains insightful. The quirks in how each individual processes the same picture provide readers with their own eyes refreshed, ready to take a good look around them. Agent: Kris Dahl, ICM. (Jan.)

 
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