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
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.
It is broken down into small nuggets of Interesting, sometimes trivial, facets of many artists routines and rituals. Very entertaining and grounding.
This book is just short descriptions one after another of some of the daily rituals well known artists and authors had. You'll not find inspiration or enlightenment by listening to this book unless you wanted to know how much alcohol and drugs a specific person consumed while writing a particular book.
Can't think of any. It's just a boring book.
Superb work on a collection of the daily rituals of famous artists intended to boost creativity and efficiency. The book serves to confirm how divergent are the motivators and biorhythms for each of them: some apparently environmental and others seemingly innate, but all of them with a mystifying combination unique to that human being at that place and time.
Enjoyable for a change of pace.
BUT, I give this 3 stars overall on Audible because it doesn't transition over to an audible book too well. It's more of a book to peruse at will than one that you can follow as each chapter goes from author to author, lasting 2-5 minutes each.
I recommend buying this book in print or electronic form.
im a painter, I wish they had more diverse artists and painters. the book should be tilted how
Unusual, I don't think there is another book like it. There is around 160 artist; poets, writers, painters, etc. Mason Currey writes only 1 to 2 paragraphs giving a quick explanation of who they are, what they are known for and how they accomplished there works of art. If you are looking for something in depth, this is not the book. But it will allow you to understand there is no set rule to making it; but persistence is key and to beware of the sirens that will call you away from your work.
While the premise of the story is a good one -- daily rituals from creative spirits across time and space -- it probably is one of those books that's meant to be read more than it is heard. The deliverance is dry and even though it's not necessarily a self-help book, can carry the tone of desperation when hearing it on end. A great story is one that you wish the chapter would end and another would immediately resume -- this just doesn't happen to be one of them and can aptly be summarized as short anecdotes worth choosing to read at will rather than sitting through a 6.5 hour rendition.
Make it less dr -- for a daily ritual book, listening was more like a ritual for sleep
Maybe a short documentary
I love seeing the humanity in the life of those who we admire. It helps us emulate their lives and recognize that we can be someone else's hero.
Interesting details regarding the great artists but as many have noted there is no analysis, merely 30 second to two minute snippets that surely do not cover all aspects of the artist. You're telling me you could only find two minutes of Mozart or Beethoven !?
The narration is smooth and excellent.
I thought this was immensely interesting. I wish there was more instruction for developing a ritual of my own. Also, I'd like to learn the benefits of having a daily ritual.
"Is there an editor in the house?"
The premise of this book is great. It is however not very consistent in its research. The publishers should have considered the subject matter more before they chose the narrator. It clearly called for someone who can pronounce French words... And don't get me started on some of the British names that were absolutely slaughtered. Still, this is a little light listening gem.
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.
"A remarkable to help make sense of my own brain"
Amazing to hear the variations and similarities in people's work habits, which gives me faith to continue on the journey to my ideal, offbeat routine.
"A coffee table audio book."
Really nice to have in the background while doing errands. However I wouldn't list it as a favourite. Didn't have me riveted but it made for some interesting conversation starters around friends.
"Eek! Quality check please!"
Great collection of the quirky behaviours and habits of our heroes and heroines spanning many centuries. Only problem being the DIRE pronunciation throughout! Audible: please get a good quality checker! Ruins an otherwise perfectly good, informative listen.
"Excellent insight to the "creative class""
Definitly in the top two.
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.
Beethovans habits made me Laugh!
Any creative person or curisous person wanting to know what the "greats" did? Buy this audiobook.
"Difficult to take away from"
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.
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.
I found his voice quite hard to follow, but i think this could be due to the repetitive layout of the artist profiles.
"A peek into the mystery of creative lives"
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.
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.
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.
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