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The Thinking Life: How to Thrive in the Age of Distraction Paperback – August 7, 2012
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“Insightful meditation on how changing the way we think can improve our daily lives. ... A deft exploration that urges us to think before speaking.” ―Kirkus, Starred Review
“Being highly educated and extraordinarily decorated does not necessarily translate into good thinking. But if a Nobel Prize were awarded for gracious self-control, Professor Forni would be the proper judge. As with Choosing Civility and The Civility Solution, The Thinking Life serves well to refine even the most intransigent of us. Having just finished the book, I growled at my college-age daughter when she announced that her friends would visit our home late this evening. Then it immediately dawned on me that I was guilty of disobeying Professor Forni's thoughtful guidelines. Fortunately my heartfelt apology was accepted. And for penance, I promise to think first next time.” ―Peter Agre, 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
“The Thinking Life is as the most provocative and useful book I've read in years. As I traveled through it, Professor Forni gave me ideas about how to become more thoughtful, made me feel guilty, annoyed me with his grumpiness, and inspired me with his wit and optimism. You probably won't agree with everything in this book, but that is part of its brilliance: Forni's compels you to live The Thinking Life as you devour his little gem.” ―Robert Sutton, Stanford Professor and author of New York Times bestsellers Good Boss, Bad Boss and The No Asshole Rule
“I am always interested in what Dr. Forni has to say about becoming more civil, and this book talks about how much harder it is when we're constantly on our cell phones, blackberries, Twitter and Facebook. And don't forget the iPad! Dr. Forni says serious thinking leads to the good life…and I am listening with both ears.” ―Gayle King
“An eloquent introduction on how to lead a more conscientious, thoughtful life.” ―Ben Casnocha, author, My Start-Up Life
About the Author
P.M. FORNI is a professor at Johns Hopkins University. He is author of Choosing Civility and The Civility Solution. His work has been featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post. He has appeared on NPR and Oprah. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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Top customer reviews
Rather than an in-depth discussion of why thinking is important and how to do it well, the book is more like a series of brief essays with a number of useful tips such as not checking email all the time and trying to frame things in a positive way. These pieces were fun to read and had some good information, particularly for people who have not read the authors that Forni cites in the very minimal endnotes, such as Martin Seligman, Steven Covey, Scott Peck, and others not listed in the endnotes, including Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Daniel Kahneman who have written about thinking.
In some ways, I felt that "The Thinking Life: How to Thrive in the Age of Distraction" was a reflection of the distracting age in which we live. It jumped from one idea to another: on one page, the author is reminding me to exercise and eat healthy food, on another he recounts the myth of Perdix and Daedalus. We are reminded that reading is not the same as studying and that trying new things against opposition, as high-jumper Dick Fosbury did, can lead to new heights of success. There were plenty of bullets to serve as checklists to help remind me to do (or avoid doing) certain things, but little guidance was given how to change a life-time habit of not thinking into a thinking life, especially considering the difficulty of changing existing habits (see, for example, works on habit and willpower by Charles Duhigg or Roy Baumeister & John Tierney).
Interesting and fun, but much more like skimming across the surface rather than finding a place to drop anchor and dive in to explore the depths of thinking: how it should be done, why it is important, and where we might best direct our thoughts when we are engaged in serious thinking.
Most recent customer reviews
one aspect of what Forni covers and give you a good, small book.Read more