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Daily Rituals: How Artists Work | [Mason Currey]

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

Kafka is one of 161 inspired-and inspiring-minds, among them, novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, who describe how they subtly maneuver the many (self-inflicted) obstacles and (self-imposed) daily rituals to get done the work they love to do, whether by waking early or staying up late; whether by self-medicating with doughnuts or bathing, drinking vast quantities of coffee, or taking long daily walks.
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Publisher's Summary

Franz Kafka, frustrated with his living quarters and day job, wrote in a letter to Felice Bauer in 1912, "time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers."

Kafka is one of 161 inspired - and inspiring - minds, among them, novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, who describe how they subtly maneuver the many (self-inflicted) obstacles and (self-imposed) daily rituals to get done the work they love to do, whether by waking early or staying up late; whether by self-medicating with doughnuts or bathing, drinking vast quantities of coffee, or taking long daily walks.

Thomas Wolfe wrote standing up in the kitchen, the top of the refrigerator as his desk, dreamily fondling his "male configurations..."

Jean-Paul Sartre chewed on Corydrane tablets (a mix of amphetamine and aspirin), ingesting ten times the recommended dose each day...

Descartes liked to linger in bed, his mind wandering in sleep through woods, gardens, and enchanted palaces where he experienced "every pleasure imaginable."

Here are: Anthony Trollope, who demanded of himself that each morning he write three thousand words (250 words every fifteen minutes for three hours) before going off to his job at the postal service, which he kept for thirty-three years during the writing of more than two dozen books...Karl Marx...Woody Allen...Agatha Christie...George Balanchine, who did most of his work while ironing...Leo Tolstoy...Charles Dickens...Pablo Picasso...George Gershwin, who, said his brother Ira, worked for twelve hours a day from late morning to midnight, composing at the piano in pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers...

Here also are the daily rituals of Charles Darwin, Andy Warhol, John Updike, Twyla Tharp, Benjamin Franklin, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, Anne Rice, and Igor Stravinsky (he was never able to compose unless he was sure no one could hear him and, when blocked, stood on his head to "clear the brain").

Brilliantly compiled and edited, and filled with detail and anecdote, Daily Rituals is irresistible, addictive, and magically inspiring.

©2013 Mason Currey (P)2013 Timothy Ferriss

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (302 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Miami, Florida, United States 03-04-14
    Amazon Customer Miami, Florida, United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book, Bad narrator"
    Where does Daily Rituals rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I liked the insight and while it wasn't really descriptive it was interesting enough to see patterns and know I am not alone in some rituals.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narrator put me to sleep several times, I've never fallen asleep reading a book, or watching a movie, but oh boy this was just awful.


    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Beverly Hills, CA, United States 03-10-14
    Mark Beverly Hills, CA, United States 03-10-14 Member Since 2013

    Designer, Director, Author, Millionaire In Training, Muslim, RE Investor, Vegan, Fan of NY Knicks and Syracuse Orange

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "Master your schedule."
    If you could sum up Daily Rituals in three words, what would they be?

    Master your schedule.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Daily Rituals?

    Good reference to see what others do and have done.


    Which character – as performed by Adam Verner – was your favorite?

    Thomas Jefferson


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Seeing how meticulous people are about getting things DONE.


    Any additional comments?

    Should help out or give you additional ideas.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Dillon Milwaukee, WI United States 05-29-14
    Michael Dillon Milwaukee, WI United States 05-29-14 Member Since 2014

    nearlydowntown

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    "Doesn't really tell you much"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If you think you will gain any insight that may be of help in your own life don't look here. It's not uninteresting but it's certainly not helpful. Just a litany of the lives of some creative people without insight.


    What was most disappointing about Mason Currey’s story?

    Lack of insight.


    What aspect of Adam Verner’s performance would you have changed?

    His performance was fine.


    Any additional comments?

    I stopped listening.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 12-19-13
    james LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 12-19-13
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    "Nice Job!!!"
    Any additional comments?

    Excellent job.... very impressive on the number of artists that were covered... wasn't sure what to expect, but really enjoyed it...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra B 10-23-14
    Debra B 10-23-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nothing else like this one"

    Dozens and dozens of daily rituals. I listened to most of them; some I skimmed over. And, I listened over a number of weeks. I think that is probably the best way to read this book, otherwise it could get monotonous. (But don't skip over Buckminster Fuller.) It was fun to come upon famous people who have working habits similar to your own, and I would think most of us have a twin somewhere in this book, habits-wise. Personally, I found it very helpful to have so many distinct working habtts laid out, because it made me see that these daily rituals are probably hard-wired, and that it's probably better to work with them rather than against them. I found some new insights, too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Francisco G. 05-02-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Insightful and Entertaining"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It is broken down into small nuggets of Interesting, sometimes trivial, facets of many artists routines and rituals. Very entertaining and grounding.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Crawford Berkeley CA USA 06-15-14
    Pamela Crawford Berkeley CA USA 06-15-14 Member Since 2013
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    "The narrator detracts"
    Would you try another book from Mason Currey and/or Adam Verner?

    The narrator detracts consistently throughout this book with mispronunciations of authors' and other names and places. If you have a lot of foreign (especially French) words, hire someone who can pronounce them or at least take the trouble to learn how to say them for the duration of the book.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Mason Currey? Why or why not?

    It was an easy listen, er, "read"


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Consistent mispronunciations (try Sho-pan, not Sho-PON for Chopin, for instance...it grates on the ear, causes listener to not pay attention to the subject, just the delivery). Narrator sounds like an ignoramus or arrogant American who can't be bothered to learn how to say foreign words properly. It's not rocket science, just educated. Oh, and respectful. The narrator sounds like a fool.


    Do you think Daily Rituals needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    no, it's just a compendium of factoids, pretty well put together, but more in depth or anecdotal stories of various authors would have been appreciated.


    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna Chicago, IL, United States 06-16-14
    Joanna Chicago, IL, United States 06-16-14 Member Since 2011

    Traveler. Artist. Dreamer.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bite-sized glimpses into artist's lives"

    Don't expect analysis on the best way to create art & don't expect a story of an artist's life. This is simply a glimpse into many artist's work habits. Whenever an artist that I admire was announced I became so excited because I got to enter their life for just a moment. I felt as if I was able to know them just a little bit better. How many people get to see your daily rituals? I think the point of this book is to make your own decision on what is best for you and that there are many roads to creation.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Knight Brian Head, Utah United States 12-16-14
    George Knight Brian Head, Utah United States 12-16-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a book"

    This is not a book; it is a list. Lists have their place, but they don't tell a story. Nor do they go into much depth. I get it that there are "list people" out there. If you are one, buy this book. If you want something with depth, look elsewhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ariadne 11-14-14
    Ariadne 11-14-14
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    "Delightful"
    Any additional comments?

    This was an absolutely delightful book easily read in short chapters, ideal for the daily commute. It's very encouraging and inspiring to learn about other people's creative habits, comparing them to my own. The narrator had a pleasant voice and at the 1 1/4 speed (on Android app) kept me engaged. However, the pronunciation of certain foreign names and nouns was atrocious. In the age of Wikipedia where you can look up the basic pronunciation of everything, it is inexcusable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Blindboymurray
    11/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent insight to the "creative class""
    Where does Daily Rituals rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Definitly in the top two.


    Would you recommend Daily Rituals to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes. This audiobook cmae just at the right time. I was just going part time and freaking out a bit about not having a stable routine. I learned fom rthis book an idea of how to set out on a day of writing.


    Which character – as performed by Adam Verner – was your favourite?

    Twyla Tharp


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Beethovans habits made me Laugh!


    Any additional comments?

    Any creative person or curisous person wanting to know what the "greats" did? Buy this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • joseph
    HEXHAM, United Kingdom
    6/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disjointed bombardment"

    This book will document a famous creative person by choosing there quirky traits, they would only write standing up/lying down or something, and then writing maybe a page or half a page about them, and then moving on. It was like top trumps for artists. There was absolutely no structure/curation that I could comprehend. Imagine it takes 2 mins to cover one persons quirks. Now imagine the length of the book decided by 2mins and thats how the book is structured. Its torture. I think you buy this book in its paperback copy for your daughter who is studying art and like a magazine they can flick through and find interesting facts but reading from start to finish is unpleasant. so it doesn't work on audio. Even then you think they would put sections of writers, sections of musicians or categorise it creatively. but its just hours and hours of disjointed un related bombardment. The author has no function. They don't even introduce or draw out lessons, or themes, or contextualise anything. They just report the stats exactly as they researched them and move on the next. Avoid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daisy
    London, United Kingdom
    3/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Difficult to take away from"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this to a friend who struggles with finding the time to write. It provides a lot of reassurance to the aspiring writer that successful writers throughout history have struggled with, and worked around the same difficulties.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Mason Currey? Why or why not?

    Its hard to take away from this book any great observations about the writer, beyond my feeling that this is a lovely theme upon which to base a book.
    I would have liked the book to go into more depth on certain writers and artists, to give more psychological analysis, to work out the deep reasons behind their work methods.

    However I wouldn't have thought this was an inadequacy of the writer, but more a lack of available evidence about each author.

    I think he could have tried to organize the writer profiles into his own themed chapters as it was difficult to identify any particular themes, as there was no coherent order to the way in which the book way laid out.


    What does Adam Verner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I found his voice quite hard to follow, but i think this could be due to the repetitive layout of the artist profiles.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • d
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    2/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A peek into the mystery of creative lives"
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The book gives a fascinating snap shot of the lives of diverse creative people. It feels a bit like a cut and paste job but nonetheless interesting and at times, inspiring.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    There are many howlers in terms of the pronunciation and French words are read like a caricature. I'm not sure why they can't have some quality control there.


    Was Daily Rituals worth the listening time?

    Each piece can be brief and they fly by when you listen so as an audiobook it doesn't entirely work. It's a book which would be good to browse now and then.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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