|Print List Price:||$16.99|
Save $3.00 (18%)
Hachette Book Group
Price set by seller.
Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It Kindle Edition
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
Ian Leslie writes on psychology, social trends, and politics for publications in the UK and US, including Slate, the Economist, NPR, Bloomberg.com, the Guardian, the Daily Mail, the London Times, the Daily Telegraph, and Granta.
Sean Runnette, a multiple AudioFile Earphones Award winner, has produced several Audie Award-winning audiobooks. He is a member of the American Repertory Theater company and has toured internationally with Mabou Mines, an avant-garde theater company. Sean's television and film appearances include Two If by Sea, Copland, Sex and the City, Law & Order, Third Watch, and lots and lots of commercials, for which he apologizes. --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
"A beautiful and important exploration of the need to nurture, develop, and explore our curiosity even when we've long left our childhood behind. Ian Leslie reminds us of those essential life lessons that we tend to forget in our quest to be busy and productive: that sometimes, it's ok to waste time; and often, the most productive mind ends up being the mind most open to indulging its most childish impulses."-- "Maria Konnikova, New York Times bestselling author of Mastermind: How to Think like Sherlock Holmes"
"A searching examination of information technology's impact on the innovative potential of our culture."-- "Kirkus Reviews"
"Curiosity--that elusive, mysterious state--seems always to slide away when writers attempt to dissect it. Ian Leslie not only offers a compelling analysis of how curiosity works, he tells us how to prompt it in our children, our employees, and ourselves. Both fascinating and eminently practical, Curious is a book to be relished."-- "Daniel Willingham, author of Why Don't Students Like School"
"I would never have guessed that so slim a volume could so richly pique my curiosity about curiosity. Stuffed with facts, ideas, questions, quotes, musings, findings, puzzles, mysteries, and stories, this is a book--as Montaigne said of travel--with which to 'rub and polish' one's brain. It's the most delightful thing I've read about the mind in quite some time."-- "David Dobbs, feature writer for National Geographic, Atlantic, Slate, and other major publications"
"If you weren't the curious sort, you'd likely never even crack this book. But then you'd be missing out on a world of interesting science exploring just why humans find the urge to learn and know so utterly irresistible."-- "The Scientist"
"With heavy implications for the future of education, the author makes a strong case for a more inquiry-based approach. Highly recommended for educators of all kinds. Leslie reaches to the true heart of education--turning students into twenty-first-century learners by bringing back that curiosity."-- "Library Journal"
"With this enthralling manifesto on the power of curiosity, Ian Leslie has written a book that displays all the key characteristics of its subject matter: an inquisitive, open-minded, and ultimately deeply rewarding exploration of the human mind's appetite for new ideas."-- "Steven Johnson, author of Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B00JZBA9N8
- Publisher : Basic Books (August 26, 2014)
- Publication date : August 26, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 764 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 242 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #322,587 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Ian Leslie does talk about the dangers to adhere to the instant gratifying ways of our lives which might leave us devoid of the necessary patience to acquire anything of value in our lives.
All and all, the book makes an important point on the importance of mental hard work.
This is a great book that reads easy. I strongly recommend it.
But the book offers much more. Leslie explores the history of curiosity, noting that it was disparaged in Christian tradition for a long period. He also weighs in on the continuing controversy between progressive educators and advocates of what the progressives call "rote learning." Progressives claim it stunts students' interest in learning. In truth, facts are the essential bricks on which students will build their lives — whatever life path they choose.
Leslie provides support for the view that teaching fact is important. He writes on page 113, "Teachers aren't there only to provide direct instruction on what and how to learn, of course, but this is the core of what they should do. Researcher John Hattie synthesized more than eight hundred meta-analyses (he ran a meta meta-analysis) of the success of different teaching approaches. The three most powerful teacher factors—those most likely to lead to student success—were feedback, quality of instruction, and direct instruction. In other words, traditional teaching—the transmission of information from adults to children—is highly effective when skillfully executed. This ought to be obvious. But Hattie says that when he shows teacher trainees the results of his research, they are stunned, because they have usually been told that direct instruction is a bad thing."
All this adds up to a book that is essential reading. It is also easy to read. I recommend it.
Ian Leslie's book does a good job of addressing not only the importance of curiosity but also why it declines and how to preserve it. As he points out "curiosity is vulnerable to benign neglect." It needs to be cultivated and supported. It is a habit that needs to be fostered by continued practice. Often we don't get that practice.
Leslie relates several compelling stories related to the need for curiosity. The first one comes from business professor Robert Mittelstaedt in his book Will Your Next Mistake be Fatal? "Titanic received many incoming messages warning of ice, but there is no mention of her inquiring of others for updates or more information. What if someone was curious enough to ask for more information from the ships in the area?" As Leslie then points out, "afterward, several planners and shipbuilders involved admitted to having had questions about the ship's safety that they didn't raise in front of colleagues, for fear of appearing foolish."
Ahh, the fear of appearing foolish. Perhaps one of the biggest curiosity killers among students and even well-experience professionals. It is no wonder that Leslie discusses this as the first point of seven ways to preserve curiosity: stay foolish. Consider Socrates. He was told that he was the wisest of all men in Athens because he was aware of what he didn't know. He was not afraid to ask foolish questions. Very often these "foolish" questions revealed profound insights.
Speaking of knowing what he didn't know this relates to a second story Lesie tells about curiosity: the often ridiculed statement of Donald Rumsfeld where he said "There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns-the ones we don't know we don't know." While initially ridiculed the statement was later reevaluated and was recognized by linguist Geoffrey Pullum as "impeccable, syntactically, semantically, logically, and rhetorically."
One reason this is such a useful insight is that, as Leslie points out, "in order to feel curious, you have to be aware of a gap in your knowledge in the first place. The trouble is, most of us, most of the time, go around thinking we know everything."
One of Leslie's last pieces of advice for preserving curiosity is to turn puzzles into mysteries. This is based on a distinction between the two that is discussed earlier in the book. "Puzzles have definite answers." On the other hand, "mysteries are murkier, less neat." The contain an uncertainty that puzzles do not. Puzzles focus on tactical questions such as "How many?" or "Where?" Mysteries force us to contemplate bigger "How?" or "Why?" questions.
So, ask more questions. Don't be afraid to seem foolish. Cultivate on enjoyment of learning and an appreciation of the mundane. Anything can be a source of curiosity. But, you have to be willing to open yourself to the opportunity when it presents itself. As Pasteur once said, "chance favors the prepared observer." Part of being prepared is to be curious.
- Asking questions (especially "why" inquiries) is crucial in expanding one's curiosity and knowledge. Regardless of what the question is, ask it, because someone else in the room might be thinking the same thing but be too shy to ask it.
- Whenever I have kids, I am going to prod them with questions all day and (sort of) look forward to answering all of their questions they pose throughout the day.
- The internet is both a blessing and a curse for curiosity (as Ian says, "the internet is making smart people smarter and dumb people dumber." 86)
I definitely recommend this book, just know there there is a lot of history and business jargon throughout it!
Top reviews from other countries
I thought I was curious before but now I'm going to stretch my curiousity to the maximum.
There's always more to learn and our minds and imaginations are here to be astounded, wowed and awed.
This book tells you it's ok to keep asking why and to keep delving deeper.