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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.
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Customer Reviews

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By Roy on 06-02-09

The Neuroscience of Concentration

Winifred Gallagher has turned mindfulness on its head in "Rapt." In this book she pays particular attention to the factors fostering and benefits of paying attention, concentration, and mental focus. The chapters on relationships, productivity, decisions, and creativity were of great practical benefit. She tells you the why and the how at every stage. This volume is well worth the time and money invested.

A related book, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, makes a wonderful companion listen and is also available from Audible.

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24 of 25 people found this review helpful


By Tedd on 05-25-09

held my attention...mostly

The work presents an impressive amount of research, related (often indirectly) to the phenomenon of human attention, albeit in slightly biased fashion. To this reader, the author often turned what should have been an objective presentation of the data into an indictment of Western culture. Intentional or not, those highly sensitive to such things be warned. When you get past this, however, the book does manage to impart many useful insights and is, on the whole, worth a listen.

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18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Paul Parkins on 04-29-17

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!

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By Richard on 03-08-17

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.

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