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Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living Hardcover – April 5, 2016

4.5 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press (April 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594206805
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594206801
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By J. M. Sullivan on April 7, 2016
Format: Hardcover
I'm not sure what I like best about Krista Tippett: her finely-tuned ability to ask just the right question in just the right way at just the right time, her capacity for synthesizing complex ideas and making them accessible to commoners like myself, or her extraordinary ability to capture her thoughts (and those of others) through the written and spoken word. She truly is a modern sage and I feel lucky to have discovered her through her On Being podcast. I enjoyed this book so much I bought a hard copy and an audio copy (so I could listen to her unique and beautiful delivery of the material). This is the kind of book I need to read and re-read in order to deepen my appreciation for the wisdom it contains. What an incredible work from an incredible woman. Thank you for the gift of this book, Ms. Tippett. I'm buying copies for those of my friends who enjoy plumbing the depths of the human soul and contemplating the important questions in life. After all, what else is there?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As others have already mentioned, this is very thoughtful and profound contribution. Tippett addresses how we interact with ourselves, each other, and the universe, if not more. The book is infused with nods to her personal journal, which makes the book so much more real and enjoyable. If there's any message, it's that we need to listen more: listen to ourselves, our hearts, and those with whom we strongly disagree. Ultimately, I think this book is about hope for us, as people and tribes, and societies. No surprise HOPE is her last chapter.

Even though her radio program, On Being, is not this way, I worried that this book would be too much about God or an effort to proselytize in some way. It is not either of those things. It's a mature, honest, lived perspective on what wisdom is, where it comes from, and what it can mean for us. Scientists, skeptics, and nonbelievers will find a great deal to relate to in this book.

If I have any critique, it's that Tippet bases her vision and effort on the great people of the world: the scientists, religious persons, and leaders of all sorts. It's no surprise that their work and words inspire. But Tippett pays little attention to the despots, the true criminals, and those who choose ignorance over thought (perhaps a large proportion?). She nods to her abusive parents, but seems to let them off the hook. I have to wonder what she'd write if she were down in the trenches facing the lesser of our collective angels. There is wisdom in such places and experiences, too. Wisdom of equal import, I think.

That said, the book is super, a must read, a must gift…
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Format: Hardcover
Perhaps, like me, you've listened to On Being on your local NPR station or by podcast for years. Perhaps you listen not only to the gracefully edited version of the program but also to the messier, more intimate, unedited versions. If so, you will love this book.

Perhaps you've never heard of the author or her program but, like Solomon of old, you yearn to be wise. You too will find this book a refreshing stream in the desert.

Krista Tippett knows the power of a good first sentence. She has commented on how arrested she was by John O'Donohue's "It's strange to be here." Or Reinhold Niebuhr's "Man is his own most vexing problem."

Her own first sentence reads, "I'm a person who listens for a living." She begins with "I," not with a more distant journalistic third person voice. The felicitous phrase "listens for a living" refers to far more than her job. It announces that she has a calling, one that involves living itself), and that she is seeking "voices not shouting to be heard."

The search for wisdom can't be separated from the search for self-awareness. The subject and the seeker are one in this case. Like both of Tippett's other books, this one is an example of what Michelle Herman calls "stealth memoir." ([...]..) It is "An Inquiry" as the subtitle states into "Mystery and the Art of Living." It is also an inquiry into a process of understanding ideas in relationship to human beings who explore them and, at their best, embody them. The gerund "Becoming" (like "Being" in the title of the radio program) can't be separated from Krista Tippett herself.

Pursuing wisdom in public over the course of the last twelve years could be an overwhelming and confusing experience.
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Format: Hardcover
Krista Tippett, the host of public radio’s On Being, weaves threads of her own story with sizable clips of interviews from the show to offer us a rich vision of what it might look like for us to become wise in the twenty-first century. This book is especially recommended for those who yearn for something deeper than the daily grind of consumerism in which we are all too often ensnared. Tippett helps us loosen our bonds and imagine a more meaningful and more elegant way of life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was full of wisdom, or at least a vision of it. I wish I could just read this book and become wise, but unfortunately it just paints a picture of what obtaining wisdom should look like. I am not saying the content is not good, because it is fantastic, but don't expect to be wise after reading it.

I took my time with this book and the book itself sort of asks that of the reader. It is not something you just slog through, but is a distillation of what Krista Tippett has found to be most crucial in the "art of living." Don't expect roadmaps, but expect questions and soft direction. Tippett is a seeker. You can tell she loves and lives with question. I find myself of a similar persuasion, so I deeply enjoyed this book.

I look forward to revisiting this book and seeking more wisdom in the future.

So many excellent and eloquent quotes. This may be my most highlighted Kindle book so far. Some of the following is not from Tippett, but from those she has interviewed over the years. Here is a just a snapshot of the content.

On tolerance:
"We chose too small a word in the decade of my birth—tolerance—to make the world we want to live in now. We opened to the racial difference that had been there all along, separate but equal, and to a new infusion of religions, ethnicities, and values. But tolerance doesn’t welcome. It allows, endures, indulges. In the medical lexicon, it is about the limits of thriving in an unfavorable environment. Tolerance was a baby step to make pluralism possible, and pluralism, like every ism, holds an illusion of control. It doesn’t ask us to care for the stranger. It doesn’t even invite us to know each other, to be curious, to be open to be moved or surprised by each other.
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