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Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It Paperback – 1 May 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (1 May 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1782064958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782064954
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.3 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Timely and readable' Guardian.

'An inspiring read that gives lie to the old saying that ignorance is bliss' Good Book Guide.

'A lovely, erudite exploration of what it is that makes us human' Independent on Sunday.

'Leslie [...] writes convincingly [...] about the human need and desire to learn deeply and develop expertise' Wall Street Journal.

'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' New York Times.

From the Back Cover

'I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious' Albert Einstein
Everyone is born curious. But only some of us retain the habits of exploring, learning and discovering as we grow older. Which side of the 'curiosity divide' are you on?
In Curious Ian Leslie makes a passionate case for the cultivation of our desire to know. Curious people tend to be smarter, more creative and more successful. But at the very moment when the rewards of curiosity have never been higher, it is misunderstood and undervalued, and increasingly practised only by a cognitive elite. Drawing on fascinating research from psychology, sociology and business, Curious looks at what feeds curiosity and what starves it, and uncovers surprising answers. Curiosity isn't a quality you can rely on to last a lifetime, but a mental muscle that atrophies without regular exercise. It's not a gift, but a habit that parents, schools, workplaces and individuals need to nurture if it is to thrive. Filled with inspiring stories, case studies and practical advice, Curious will change the way you think about your own mental life, and that of those around you.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Big Jim TOP 100 REVIEWER on 9 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Curiosity may have killed the cat but according to this book it is perhaps the major reason why homo sapiens moved away from their primate cousins to become the pre-eminent species on earth, in power terms at least. Using many examples of typical behaviours, results of experiments and historical anecdotes, the theory is expounded in a clear and easily understandable way. Of course a book of this size doesn't go into any great depth but is aimed at the layman who may want to know why some of us turn over stones to see what's underneath, take apart engines to see how they are put together or want to learn things like ancient languages that may have no practical or financial value to the user but they do it for the sake of it. Curious? Then read this book and understand why.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ed Holloway on 20 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting topic, but too many examples of lazy writing, poor arguments and cherry-picking evidence.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Strengthening observational skills is a worthy objective. However, if a person has little (if any) curiosity driven by a desire to learn, to understand, what's the point? Also, someone with little (if any) curiosity probably has no interest in that fact.

It is no coincidence that companies that are annually ranked among those that are most innovative are also the most profitable and have the greatest cap value in their industry. What they also have in common is a culture within which anomalies are highly valued. This is what Isaac Asimov has in mind when observing, "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but `That's funny....'" Now more than at any prior time that I can remember, all organizations (whatever their size and nature may be) need both problem-finders and problem-solvers at all levels and in all areas of operation in the given enterprise.

As Ian Leslie explains, "A society that values order above all else will seek to suppress curiosity. But a society that believes in progress, innovation, and creativity will cultivate it, recognizing that the inquiring minds of its people constitute its most valuable asset." He goes on to point out, "During the Renaissance and Reformation, European societies started to see that their future lay with the curious and encouraged probing questions rather than stamping on them. The result was the biggest explosion of new ideas and scientific advances in history." Moreover, "The great unlocking of curiosity translated into a cascade of prosperity for the nations that precipitated it. Today, we cannot know for sure if we are in the middle of this golden period or at the end of it. But we are, at the very least, in a lull.
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