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Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work Hardcover – 24 Oct 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Main Market Ed. edition (24 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330512498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330512497
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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 absolutely no pattern emerges. The great writers wrote, the thinkers thought, the artists created art. All the in-between drinks, meals, chats, walks and afternoon snoozes were as commonplace as 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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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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Documenting the daily lives of great people, a huge number of whom are dead, this is a good read although not spellbinding. What it is is something that's good considering the low quality of culture that comes out now.
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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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