On Looking

On Looking Cover

On Looking

Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes

By Alexandra Horowitz

Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781439191255, 308pp.

Publication Date: January 8, 2013

Description
From the author of the #1 "New York Times" giant bestseller "Inside of a Dog" comes an equally smart, delightful, and startling exploration of how we perceive our surroundings.
From the author of the giant #1 "New York Times "bestseller "Inside of a Dog "comes an equally smart, delightful, and startling exploration of how we perceive and discover our world.
Alexandra Horowitz's brilliant "On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes "shows us how to see the spectacle of the ordinary to practice, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put it, the observation of trifles. "On Looking "is structured around a series of eleven walks the author takes, mostly in her Manhattan neighborhood, with experts on a diverse range of subjects, including an urban sociologist, the well-known artist Maira Kalman, a geologist, a physician, and a sound designer. She also walks with a child and a dog to see the world as they perceive it. "What "they see, "how "they see it, and why most of us do "not "see the same things reveal the startling power of human attention and the cognitive aspects of what it means to be an expert observer.
As the million-plus readers of "Inside of a Dog "have discovered, Alexandra Horowitz is charmingly adept at explaining the mysteries of human perception. Trained as a cognitive scientist, she discovers a feast of fascinating detail, all explained with her generous humor and self-deprecating tone. "On Looking "presents the same engaging combination, this time in service to understanding how human beings encounter their daily worlds and each other.
Page by page, Horowitz shows how much more there is to see if only we would really look. "On Looking "is nutrition for the considered life, serving as a provocative response to our relentlessly virtual consciousness. So turn off the phone and other electronic devices and "be "in the real world where strangers communicate by geometry as they walk toward one another, where sounds reveal shadows, where posture can display humility, and the underside of a leaf unveils a Lilliputian universe where, indeed, there are worlds within worlds within worlds.
Alexandra Horowitz's "On Looking "confirms her place as one of today's most illuminating observers of our infinitely complex world.


About the Author
Alexandra Horowitz is the author of the bestselling "Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know". She teaches psychology, animal behavior, and canine cognition at Barnard College, Columbia University. In New York City, Alexandra walks with her husband, the writer Ammon Shea, her son, and two large, non-heeling dogs.