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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, methodical, invaluable
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...
Published 5 months ago by Labern

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Factual rather than inspirational
The subject sounded interesting; it gives lots of examples, but would be improved by some longer drawing together of conclusions.
Published 12 months ago by Mr. Ian Caldwell


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, methodical, invaluable, 6 July 2014
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This review is from: Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work (Hardcover)
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. Rather than the author attempting to sum up the wealth of information here, each reader is able to draw their own conclusions. For example, it is hard not to notice the amount of people who smoke and drink—and consider this essential to their creative output—whilst many of the subjects in this book (writers especially) have two clear blocks of work, separated by a walk or exercise.

It is only by reflecting on the wealth of data here that a reader can truly structure their own daily routine. If the author were to have drawn conclusions, this would have made this book a far lesser proposition. As it is, however, it is an incredible resource. It is the sort of book almost no one would want to write, but anyone who is remotely interested in living a creative life will be very thankful someone did.

As such, I am very thankful to the author. Ignore the negative reviews of this text—unless you are seeking instructions—and buy this book without hesitating if you a self-reflective, ambitious human seeking to make the most of your life by conquering the day.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Factual rather than inspirational, 25 Nov 2013
By 
Mr. Ian Caldwell "Ian in London" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work (Hardcover)
The subject sounded interesting; it gives lots of examples, but would be improved by some longer drawing together of conclusions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More coffee table book than 'how to' manual, 17 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work (Hardcover)
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, a pattern emerges, and guess what. There is no pattern.

The great writers wrote, the thinkers thought, the artists made art. And all the in-between drinks, meals, chats, walks and afternoon snoozes were as unremarkable as the nasal hair. 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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, 3 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work (Hardcover)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 6 Jan 2014
By 
Jacob Sam-La Rose "Jsamlarose" (London, England United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Daily Rituals (Kindle Edition)
It's an inspiring read. As a writer myself, I've experimented with a range of different schedules and routines to best support my productive output while managing the other demands of life: domestics, relationships and of course, all the other work that surrounds or supports the writing. It's been a joy to read about the schedules of other creative thinkers, and while some of those routines are less than desirable, or enabled by others in almost exploitative ways, the big takeaway for me is that each writer/artist/musician/thinker came to know what he or she needed in order to pursue his or her craft, however outlandish those needs might be.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Step 1) Drink Coffee. Step 2) Create Art., 7 May 2013
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takingadayoff "takingadayoff" (Las Vegas, Nevada) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly diverting, 10 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Daily Rituals (Kindle Edition)
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
3.0 out of 5 stars If you want to understand whether the "Great Minds" drink ..., 26 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work (Hardcover)
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
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This review is from: Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and very interesting, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work (Hardcover)
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. For sure, it is not the kind of book you want to read at once, but a few pages every day make you "find ispiration and get to work".
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