Book Club: A Conversation With Alexandra And Maria

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 27 2014 @ 8:25pm

Maria Popova, the host of our second Book Club, recently sat down with Alexandra Horowitz for a wide-ranging discussion of her latest book, On Looking:


 
Maria introduces it:

For the inaugural Dish Book Club podcast, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Alexandra to discuss her wonderful tapestry of perspectives on everyday life, On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes. Our conversation, itself a winding walk through psychology, literature, and the perplexities of modern life, ranges from Alice in Wonderland to dog cognition. At the heart of the discussion lies an exploration of how to end the tyranny of productivity (“I don’t mean to be testifying against productivity per se,” says Horowitz, “but I do see that it’s certainly mindless, the way that we approach there being only one route to living one’s life.”) and learn to live with presence (“I value the moments in my life that are productive, certainly, but only the ones that are productive and also present.”) Please enjoy.

If you don’t have time to listen to the whole 40-minute recording, we will be sampling the best parts throughout the weekend. In this clip, Maria and Alexandra discuss how the book might help counteract the perils of a mind too focused on productivity:


 
If you enjoyed any part of the conversation, send us your thoughts at bookclub@andrewsullivan.com. Follow the whole Book Club discussion here. And don’t forget to check out Brain Pickings, Maria’s fantastic blog, and subscribe to it here if you like what you read. We sure do.