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The Intellectual Devotional: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class Hardcover – October 3, 2006


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The Intellectual Devotional: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class + The Intellectual Devotional Modern Culture: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Converse Confidently with the Culturati + The Intellectual Devotional: American History: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Converse Confidently about Our Nation's Past
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 375 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; Rough cut edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594865132
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594865138
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DAVID S. KIDDER is an entrepreneur with a wide range of technology and marketing experience. Kidder and his companies have appeared in articles in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and other publications. He lives in Westchester, New York, with his wife Johanna, their new baby, Jack, and Bella, their charismatic dog.

NOAH D. OPPENHEIM, a producer of NBC’s Today show, has extensive experience in television and print journalism. He has produced and reported for Scarborough Country and Hardball with Chris Matthews, and his writing has appeared in Esquire, the Wall Street Journal, Men’s Health, and the Weekly Standard. He lives in New York City with his wife Allison.

From AudioFile

Two voices--one male, one female--read short essays on 365 topics in seven fields of learning. Both narrators are competent, but the contrast between them is too great. Helen Litchfield's voice is sharper and louder than Oliver Wyman's. Further, the information is superficial and untrustworthy; there are frequent errors of fact and interpretation. The book's "daily" format is an uncomfortable match for audio. Audiobook consumers rarely listen for just a few minutes, the length of one of these entries. As a result, this is like listening to a substandard encyclopedia. Like the writers, the narrators can't be experts on every subject--as their pronunciation of many foreign and classical terms, or even "difficult" words, shows--they are off, or simply wrong, often enough to chafe. Both book and recording exhibit a lack of seriousness and care. W.M. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I love this book and have already purchased several copies for gifts.
Amy Eyler
Authors Kidder and Oppenheim offer factual options in this cleverly written book to enliven your conversations and broaden your knowledge on a variety of subjects.
Dorothy Weiss
It's a great starting point if you want to learn about something new but don't even know where to begin.
caf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

212 of 217 people found the following review helpful By William Holmes VINE VOICE on October 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"The Intellectual Devotional" is an intriguing concept and fairly well executed. Each day of the week features a brief, one page article about a given subject, followed by a smattering of "additional facts"--Monday's topic is history, Tuesday's is literature, Wednesday's is the visual arts, Thursday's is science, Friday's is music, Saturday's is philosophy and Sunday's is religion. I've been reading the book for a couple of weeks now, and I've found the brief essays to be informative, up-to-date and (on topics with which I'm already familiar) accurate. I read each daily "devotional" at breakfast over a cup of coffee, and it's a pleasant way to start the day (and certainly less painful than the newspaper).

Several of the reviews on Amazon have criticized the book's small type, and this is in fact something to be wary of if you have vision problems. The first paragraph on each page is in what appears to be a regular-sized font, but subsequent paragraphs are quite a bit smaller. The "Additional Facts" (which set out some of the most intriguing ideas on each page) are quite small indeed.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy Weiss on December 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do you frequently find yourself at a loss for words? Are you the constant listener to someone else's mindless chatter simply because you can't think of anything interesting to say?
Authors Kidder and Oppenheim offer factual options in this cleverly written book to enliven your conversations and broaden your knowledge on a variety of subjects. Their compilation offers History, Literature, Visual Arts, Science, Music, Philosophy and Religion explained in brief one page summaries. Each day you read one page only, absorb it. By the end of the week you will have explored each field of knowledge at least once a week. As your knowledge expands, so does your confidence and your conversations have more interesting substance.

Each day, while reading the book, I shared the information I had learned with my husband and friends who were delighted to discuss Ernest Hemingway, Cloning, illusion vs reality, Hammurabi's code of Laws, Noah, Plato, The Solar System, Vaccines, Albert Einstein, the Solar system, Da Vinci, Plato, Handel, atoms, Aristotle, Mozart, and Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" painting, just to mention a few passages. Actress Scarlett Johanssen portrayed "the girl" in a recent film based on Vermeer's life, so we gained more insight into how that portrait, "Girl with a Pearl Ear-ring," manifested, then our conversation strayed naturally to the quality of current motion pictures like "The Horse Whisperer" and " Island," in which Scarlett Johanssen was also featured, and that is exactly the purpose of this book, "to wake up our brains," enliven our thoughts, enhance our communication skills so that we become more confident and knowledgeable and stop hesitating to engage in diverse and dynamic conversations.

No need to be a hesitant, shy, silent observer. After reading this book, step into life armed with more knowledge and facts!
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By RDG Stout on January 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a fun book, no doubt about it, and quite educational in its own right. But it is also full of errors and misrepresentations from page one -- mostly minor ones, but even those are glaring embarrassments for a work which continually flaunts how "intellectual" and "cultured" it is.

The very first entry, for example, deals with "Egyptian hieroglyphics." Any amateur Egyptologist worth his or her salt will immediately tell you that the proper term is "hieroglyphs" -- "hieroglyphic" is the adjectival form of the word. A nitpick, perhaps, but one that tends to raise the hackles of Egyptian history professors.

Later entries contain cringe-inducing mistakes, such as the claim that the Hebrew Torah is the Christian Old Testament. In fact, the Hebrew Tanakh is equivalent to the (Protestant) Old Testament: the Torah consists only of the Pentateuch, the Five Books of Moses. This is not a minor point.

Other entries contain not so much outright errors, but a lack of nuanced understanding. To refer to the Mass as a "ritual reenactment," for instance, may pass muster for a Calvinist, but would make any Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian, etc. wince at the authors' lack of understanding.

In short, it's certainly a book worth buying and enjoying. But take its summaries with a grain of salt. Tackling such massive swathes of learning necessitates that the work be far wider than it is deep.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By C. G. La Ferle on December 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a fabulous concept! As a fan of daybooks and devotionals, I love the idea of this book. Covering seven key areas of knowledge, one for each day of the week, it delivers what it promises in the title and subtitle. I would have given the book FIVE stars if it weren't for the incredibly SMALL TYPE that makes reading very difficult for middle-aged readers like me -- especially at the end of the day. I am hoping that the publishers will release a "large print" version for anyone past 50. I will look forward to more editions of this wonderful book. Other than the typesize, it's highly recommended.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By S. Connors on October 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A great book to keep on your nightstand....Am planning to give it to my former co-workers for the holidays...As a retired teacher, I know that what often effects students' reading ability is their lack of "background knowledge" in different disciplines. I can see this book being used in the classroom as a fun way to build up this knowledge.
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