Daily Rituals

  • by Mason Currey
  • Narrated by Adam Verner
  • 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Franz Kafka, frustrated with his living quarters and day job, wrote in a letter to Felice Bauer in 1912, "time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers."
Kafka is one of 161 inspired - and inspiring - minds, among them, novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, who describe how they subtly maneuver the many (self-inflicted) obstacles and (self-imposed) daily rituals to get done the work they love to do, whether by waking early or staying up late; whether by self-medicating with doughnuts or bathing, drinking vast quantities of coffee, or taking long daily walks.
Thomas Wolfe wrote standing up in the kitchen, the top of the refrigerator as his desk, dreamily fondling his "male configurations..."
Jean-Paul Sartre chewed on Corydrane tablets (a mix of amphetamine and aspirin), ingesting ten times the recommended dose each day...
Descartes liked to linger in bed, his mind wandering in sleep through woods, gardens, and enchanted palaces where he experienced "every pleasure imaginable."
Here are: Anthony Trollope, who demanded of himself that each morning he write three thousand words (250 words every fifteen minutes for three hours) before going off to his job at the postal service, which he kept for thirty-three years during the writing of more than two dozen books...Karl Marx...Woody Allen...Agatha Christie...George Balanchine, who did most of his work while ironing...Leo Tolstoy...Charles Dickens...Pablo Picasso...George Gershwin, who, said his brother Ira, worked for twelve hours a day from late morning to midnight, composing at the piano in pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers...
Here also are the daily rituals of Charles Darwin, Andy Warhol, John Updike, Twyla Tharp, Benjamin Franklin, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, Anne Rice, and Igor Stravinsky (he was never able to compose unless he was sure no one could hear him and, when blocked, stood on his head to "clear the brain").
Brilliantly compiled and edited, and filled with detail and anecdote, Daily Rituals is irresistible, addictive, and magically inspiring.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Nothing else like this one

Dozens and dozens of daily rituals. I listened to most of them; some I skimmed over. And, I listened over a number of weeks. I think that is probably the best way to read this book, otherwise it could get monotonous. (But don't skip over Buckminster Fuller.) It was fun to come upon famous people who have working habits similar to your own, and I would think most of us have a twin somewhere in this book, habits-wise. Personally, I found it very helpful to have so many distinct working habtts laid out, because it made me see that these daily rituals are probably hard-wired, and that it's probably better to work with them rather than against them. I found some new insights, too.
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- Debra B

The narrator detracts

Would you try another book from Mason Currey and/or Adam Verner?

The narrator detracts consistently throughout this book with mispronunciations of authors' and other names and places. If you have a lot of foreign (especially French) words, hire someone who can pronounce them or at least take the trouble to learn how to say them for the duration of the book.

Would you be willing to try another book from Mason Currey? Why or why not?

It was an easy listen, er, "read"

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Consistent mispronunciations (try Sho-pan, not Sho-PON for Chopin, for instance...it grates on the ear, causes listener to not pay attention to the subject, just the delivery). Narrator sounds like an ignoramus or arrogant American who can't be bothered to learn how to say foreign words properly. It's not rocket science, just educated. Oh, and respectful. The narrator sounds like a fool.

Do you think Daily Rituals needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

no, it's just a compendium of factoids, pretty well put together, but more in depth or anecdotal stories of various authors would have been appreciated.

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- Pamela Crawford

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-09-2013
  • Publisher: Tim Ferriss