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Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work

Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work [Kindle Edition]

Mason Currey
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Product Description


a trove of entertaining anecdote and thought-provoking comparison (Toby Lichtig Telegraph)

a chance to see what great lives look like when the triumphs, dramas, disruptions and divorces have been all but boiled away. It will fascinate anyone who wonders how a day might best be spent, especially those who have wondered of their artistic heroes, as a baffled Colette once did of George Sand: how the devil did they manage? (Guardian)

Product Description

Anthony Trollope wrote three thousand words every morning before heading off to his job at the Post Office. Toulouse-Lautrec did his best work at night, sometimes even setting up his easel in brothels, and George Gershwin composed at the piano in pyjamas and a bathrobe. Freud worked sixteen hours a day, but Gertrude Stein could never write for more than thirty minutes, and F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in gin-fuelled bursts – he believed alcohol was essential to his creative process. From Marx to Murakami and Beethoven to Bacon, Daily Rituals examines the working routines of more than a hundred and sixty of the greatest philosophers, writers, composers and artists ever to have lived. Filled with fascinating insights on the mechanics of genius and entertaining stories of the personalities behind it, Daily Rituals is irresistibly addictive, and utterly inspiring.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1303 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (24 Oct 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447241835
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447241836
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,859 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, methodical, invaluable 6 July 2014
By Labern
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book needs defending.

This book does precisely what one would expect (especially if one has spent time searching for the daily rituals of important artists before, and has found the widely circulated image based on this book): it very clearly and methodically lists a huge variety of great minds (from Mozart to Woody Allen to Tolstoy) and their daily routines.

In this sense, it is invaluable: it is the sort of book that one can quite easily dip into (each subject is given a concise page or two), but it is also wildly addictive. I will address the reasons for this shortly.

For those who have asked for more 'analysis' and 'conclusions' to be drawn, I believe they misunderstand the very notion of what makes a great mind great. Echoing the author's introduction, the obvious principle that is drawn from a work such as this is that there is no one daily routine which works: it relies solely on the individual.

The idea that conclusions could be drawn is a naive one, and would detract from the power of this book. Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the book is the author's refusal to be drawn into moral commentary. The catalogue of drug use, sexual perversions and domestic oddities are covered matter-of-factly, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions. After all, the reader may well require some of these things in order to maximise their productivity. This book is wonderful: it stimulates the mind. It does not preach.

As I hinted above, the concise nature of this book makes it very easy to pick up: you can scan for your favourite artist and see their daily routine. However, the more involved way to read this book is to read it completely.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected 3 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Before purchasing this book I was expecting it to be a critical look at the daily routine of a group of talented people. I was expecting analysis and conclusions. In reality this book is more like a whimsical anthology. A bit like reading diary entries.

I wouldn't recommend it for the serious student of time management but it was fun nonetheless.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Factual rather than inspirational 25 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The subject sounded interesting; it gives lots of examples, but would be improved by some longer drawing together of conclusions.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Step 1) Drink Coffee. Step 2) Create Art. 7 May 2013
By takingadayoff TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
This small format book (about 4 inches by 6 inches) contains about 160 daily routines of creative thinkers, such as Woody Allen, Benjamin Franklin, David Lynch, Igor Stravinsky, Andy Warhol, Charles Schulz, P.G. Wodehouse, Pablo Picasso. The routines are short, from a single paragraph to as much as two pages, with photos throughout.

It's fun to read about the habits of your favorite artists, and I even found it strangely interesting to read about the routines of people I had never even heard of. But most intriguing for me were the unexpected connections. Sure, many of the artists were big drinkers, but I didn't realize how many routinely took amphetamines, popping them like so many caffeine pills.

This is a fun book to read all in one marathon sitting or in little bits before bed. This would be an especially good Kindle book, since it's the sort of book you can read on your iPhone while waiting in line for a minute or two.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More coffee table book than 'how to' manual 17 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Okay, I'll admit it. Over Christmas/New Year's just gone, I read a post by Sam Harris, who described this book as good for anyone looking to become more productive in the new year. I don't buy everything he recommends, but somehow the moment was right.

The book was certainly entertaining, but motivational? I wonder. As the pages go by and the habits of all the great artists, philosophers, writers and musicians register in the mind, the dots connect and a pattern emerges; the kind that suggests there is no pattern. Except habit itself.

All the great writers wrote, the thinkers thought, the artists made art. And the in-between drinks, meals, chats, walks and afternoon snoozes were as countless as the hairs on your head. My advice: leave it lying around, pick it up when you've got a moment, and don't look for anything in particular. The particulars are not, very.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly diverting 10 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Turns out the creative process, while occasionally eccentric, is not that interesting nor that diverse (apparently five more words needed).
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you want to understand whether the "Great Minds" drink coffee or tea, Vodka or Whiskey sleep late or soon etc, read this book. But if you are looking for something that really inspires yourself, this is not the right choice.
Moreover, the author's assumption is that the reader knows every "Great Mind" who is mentioned in the book, which is not a true assumption at least about me. This brings a sense of confusion: who is this person, what is especial about her/him?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting 21 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought this on a recommendation very good and entertaining, however you'll see most of these creative minds killed themselves in the process with intoxicants some good tips and a light read but don't take it to heart :)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It is what it says, I haven't got through ...
It is what it says, I haven't got through it yet as it's a dip in kind of book. Seems well researched
Published 20 days ago by AM
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Service smooth as silk...
Published 1 month ago by D TWIGGE-MOLECEY
3.0 out of 5 stars I liked the idea of it until I was a 1/4 ...
I liked the idea of it until I was a 1/4 of the way through. It is quite a tedious read. I didn't finish it.
Published 1 month ago by Ms. Kirsty M. Obrien
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and very interesting
This is one of the most original and interesting books I have ever read. The topic is amazing and the way to develop it is amazing. Read more
Published 3 months ago by JOSE MARIA SANTOS ROVIRA
4.0 out of 5 stars Clear graphic generalisation of some of the famous peoples daily...
Would have liked to know a bit more about each individual. However, a wonderfully interesting insight into the lives of the famous.
Published 3 months ago by Sparkest
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me feel that was a surprise!
What a fun book peering into the weirdness that seems to attach to all creative endeavours. Sometimes its good to read just for the sake of entertainment. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paul ODonnell
5.0 out of 5 stars daily rituals
fascinating book-makes you feel as though you follow a healthy (BUT NOT CREATIVE) lifestyle!!!!!!!!!maybe I should up the alcohol and other substances..?
Published 6 months ago by mr a l dodd
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating little book
This was like delving into the secret lives of great people. It's absolutely fascinating.
All the working practices and daily patterns of famous artists, writers and musicians... Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Harvey
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok
This book is about writers and artists daily routines from before 1950. Not super helpful given the Information Age we are in. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Chrissy
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into great minds
I found this book really interesting. Seeing how great individuals lived their lives helps you understand them as ordinary human beings, and appreciate the context in which they... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Daniel Dennis
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