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AWE: The Delights and Dangers of Our Eleventh Emotion Hardcover – October 15, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Neurobiologist Pearsall, author of The Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever Need, presents another no-nonsense guide to better living, this time focusing on the importance of a sense of awe. Once again challenging the popular culture of perpetual happiness, which tells people they should build self-esteem, think positively and strive to be happier, Pearsall contends that living life to its fullest-living an awe-filled life-does not mean avoiding pain; awe can be felt in the face of death as well as in watching a birth. Pearsall argues that awe makes the difference between languishing and flourishing, by consciously engaging and reflecting on the world outside the self. The author blends personal anecdotes from his own experience (for instance, with cancer) and that of his patients and interviewees with scientific knowledge of evolution and neurological studies of emotion. Pearsall is thorough and rigorous, backing up his claims with evidence and demonstrating knowledge of developments in not only the self-help world but also in clinical and neuropsychology. Loosely organized but well written, Pearsall's findings are accessible as well as credible. (Oct.)
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About the Author
Paul Pearsall, Ph.D., (1942-2007) was a board-certified Clinical Neuropsychologist, clinical professor at the University of Hawaii , and sat on the board of directors for the State of Hawaii Consortium for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Pearsall authored more than nineteen books, many of which were #1 New York Times bestsellers, including Super Immunity, The Power of the Family, Toxic Success, The Heart's Code, The Pleasure Prescription, The Beethoven Factor, and The Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever Need.
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Did like how there's some research about "awe" and everything that goes on with that.
The author's definition seems to include a rather pessimistic view of awe. He includes a component of sadness and "bad triumphs over good" philosophy perhaps influenced by his battle with cancer and his son's disability. A better editor might have tightened up the book and made it more coherent. There isn't much in the way of awe inspired by nature. His study seems to have had some preconceived conclusions already in mind.
I give it 4 stars because it made me think about a few things and left a powerful impact with details of the author's life. However, be warned that it won't leave you with a happy ending.