On Looking

Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes

By Alexandra Horowitz
(Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781439191255, 308pp.)

Publication Date: January 8, 2013

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Description
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
Janine M. Benyus is the author of "A Field Guide to Wildlife: Habitats of the Eastern United States" and "A Field Guide to Wildlife: Habitats of the Western United States" as well as "Northwoods Wildlife: A Watcher's Guide to Habitats". An educator at heart, she believes that the better people understand the genius of the natural world, the more likely they are to love and protect it.
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