On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes (Google eBook)

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Simon and Schuster, Jan 8, 2013 - Psychology - 320 pages
109 Reviews
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.

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Great premise, but so dry. - Goodreads
The result is writing with little depth or insight. - Goodreads
The information seems to be well-researched. - Goodreads
The writing is engaging. - Goodreads
I just really wish she was a better writer. - Goodreads
The writing got too precious for me sometimes. - Goodreads

Review: On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes

User Review  - Blueyedwench - Goodreads

I feel like it would have been stronger had she taken a walk on the same path with different people, but it was still an entertaining read. What I would call "fluffy science" - just enough knowledge ... Read full review

Review: On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes

User Review  - Michelle - Goodreads

about as entertaining as non-fiction gets. Read full review

All 16 reviews »

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About the author (2013)

Alexandra Horowitz is the author of the bestselling Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know. She teaches psychology, animal behavior, and canine cognition at Barnard College, Columbia University. In New York City, Alexandra walks with her husband, the writer Ammon Shea, her son, and two large, non-heeling dogs.

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