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Rapt

Written by: Winifred Gallagher
Narrated by: Laural Merlington
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Publisher's Summary

In Rapt, acclaimed behavioral science writer Winifred Gallagher makes the argument that the quality of your life largely depends on what you choose to pay attention to and how you choose to do it.

Gallagher grapples with provocative questions -- Can we train our focus? What's different about the way creative people pay attention? Why do we often zero in on the wrong factors when making big decisions? -- driving us to reconsider what we think we know about attention.

As suggested by the expression "pay attention," this cognitive currency is a finite resource that we must learn to spend wisely. In Rapt, Gallagher introduces us to a diverse cast of characters -- artists and ranchers, birders and scientists -- who have learned to do just that and whose stories are profound lessons in the art of living the interested life.

No matter what your quotient of wealth, looks, brains, or fame, increasing your satisfaction means focusing more on what really interests you and less on what doesn't. In asserting its groundbreaking thesis -- the wise investment of your attention is the single most important thing you can do to improve your well-being -- Rapt yields fresh insights into the nature of reality and what it means to be fully alive.

©2009 Winifred Gallagher (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Rapt

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  • diziet
  • 02-04-18

annoying narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No- having really enjoyed (and used) Cal Newport's 'Deep Work' book I thought this would be helpful but I think it spends too much time setting up the importance of attention (Yeah I get it- I bought the book!) rather than the meat of the issue (focus, flow and how to filter.) The extended birdwatching example to illustrate ground up and top down focus was grindingly boring.A couple of clangers in the 'relationship' section (need to engage critically with the 'men are from mars; women are from venus' stereotypical analysis of attention in relationships) and the work related chapter was, again, much lighter than Cal Newport's work- disappointing all round.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

less time on the setup; more time on the tactics; and better critical engagement with the research (Rather than simply breathlessly listing studies and findings...)

Would you be willing to try another one of Laural Merlington’s performances?

No- I found the narration weirdly inflected and very patronising - particularly the attempt to sound 'humorous' at the numerous sections where the author is talking about something that might challenge our perceptions.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No.

Any additional comments?

None

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  • Paul Parkins
  • 29-04-17

It's ok

I got this because references to it in Deep Work made it sound really interesting. Unfortunately, those references all seem to have been based on the introduction of this book - they weren't representative of the whole thing. I was hoping for something more personal/narrative-based/jounalistic, but this was more technical/academic. Not the author's fault! For what it was, it was ok, but I probably wouldn't have bothered if I'd known. The intro is great though!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Charlene Allison
  • 20-07-22

Definitely One to Read

This book was a very interesting read, and goes well together with 'Flow' by mihaly csikszentmihalyi. The argument that what you focus on determines how your life goes has me nodding in vigorous agreement. As someone always striving to better myself and my life, I noted down the ways one can shift my (non-optimal) attention and improve my circumstances. I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in focus, attention, and the power of attention.

The only 'negative' thing was the speed at which the narrator read, but that was easily handled by turning the speed to x1.30😊

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 19-03-22

Great summary of the contemporary research

This book motivated me to put more care into what I attend to. It sometimes felt a bit dated, but was very interesting with numerous applications for everyday life.

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  • Richard
  • 08-03-17

Important but let down by narration

Given the competition for our attention from different sources this book is important and timely.

Unfortunately I found it difficult to focus on, mainly because of the narration which I found to be muffled and sometimes flat, lacking inflection. Moreover, it seemed as if the full stops had been removed from the text as many sentences started immediately that the predecessor had finished with no pause for breath. Whether the narrator reads that way or the pauses were edited out I have no idea but it made the book more difficult to listen to.

I will probably listen to it again to get more out of it but I was more than a bit disappointed by it.