Search Results for "how-the-universe-got-its-spots-diary-of-a-finite-time-in-a-finite-space"

How the Universe Got Its Spots

How the Universe Got Its Spots

Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space

  • Author: Janna Levin
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • ISBN: 1400032725
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 225
  • View: 325
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A physicist describes what we know about the shape, extent, origins, and evolution of the universe, the complexities of space and time, and the secrets of black holes, time warps, and other phenomena.

How the Universe Got Its Spots

How the Universe Got Its Spots

Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space

  • Author: Janna Levin
  • Publisher: N.A
  • ISBN: 9780753813768
  • Category: Cosmography
  • Page: 240
  • View: 9179
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Conventional wisdom says the universe is infinite. But could it be finite, merely giving the illusion of infinity? Modern science is beginning to drag this abstract issue into the realm of the real, the tangible and the observable. HOW THE UNIVERSE GOT ITS SPOTS looks at how science is coming up sharp against the mind-boggling idea that the universe may be finite. Through a decade of observation and thought-experiment, we have started to chart out the universe in which we live, just as we have mapped the oceans and continents of our planet. Through a kind of cosmic archaeology and without leaving Earth, we can look at the pattern of hot spots left over from the big bang and begin to trace the 'shape of space'. Beautifully written in a colloquial style by a world authority, Janna Levin explores our aspirations to observe our universe and contemplate our deep connection with it.

How the Universe Got Its Spots

How the Universe Got Its Spots

Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space

  • Author: Janna Levin
  • Publisher: N.A
  • ISBN: 9780691096575
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 208
  • View: 4881
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In a popular introduction to the mysteries of the universe, a physicist describes what we know about the shape, extent, origins, and evolution of the universe, the vast complexities of space and time, the efforts of science to explain the universe, and the secrets of black holes, time warps, and other phenomena.

A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines

A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines

  • Author: Janna Levin
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • ISBN: 0307538036
  • Category: Fiction
  • Page: 240
  • View: 1882
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Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems sent shivers through Vienna’s intellectual circles and directly challenged Ludwig Wittgenstein’s dominant philosophy. Alan Turing’s mathematical genius helped him break the Nazi Enigma Code during WWII. Though they never met, their lives strangely mirrored one another—both were brilliant, and both met with tragic ends. Here, a mysterious narrator intertwines these parallel lives into a double helix of genius and anguish, wonderfully capturing not only two radiant, fragile minds but also the zeitgeist of the era. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space

Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space

  • Author: Janna Levin
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • ISBN: 0307958205
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 256
  • View: 9520
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The authoritative story of the headline-making discovery of gravitational waves—by an eminent theoretical astrophysicist and award-winning writer. From the author of How the Universe Got Its Spots and A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, the epic story of the scientific campaign to record the soundtrack of our universe. Black holes are dark. That is their essence. When black holes collide, they will do so unilluminated. Yet the black hole collision is an event more powerful than any since the origin of the universe. The profusion of energy will emanate as waves in the shape of spacetime: gravitational waves. No telescope will ever record the event; instead, the only evidence would be the sound of spacetime ringing. In 1916, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, his top priority after he proposed his theory of curved spacetime. One century later, we are recording the first sounds from space, the soundtrack to accompany astronomy’s silent movie. In Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space, Janna Levin recounts the fascinating story of the obsessions, the aspirations, and the trials of the scientists who embarked on an arduous, fifty-year endeavor to capture these elusive waves. An experimental ambition that began as an amusing thought experiment, a mad idea, became the object of fixation for the original architects—Rai Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Ron Drever. Striving to make the ambition a reality, the original three gradually accumulated an international team of hundreds. As this book was written, two massive instruments of remarkably delicate sensitivity were brought to advanced capability. As the book draws to a close, five decades after the experimental ambition began, the team races to intercept a wisp of a sound with two colossal machines, hoping to succeed in time for the centenary of Einstein’s most radical idea. Janna Levin’s absorbing account of the surprises, disappointments, achievements, and risks in this unfolding story offers a portrait of modern science that is unlike anything we’ve seen before. From the Hardcover edition.

The God Problem

The God Problem

How a Godless Cosmos Creates

  • Author: Howard Bloom
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • ISBN: 1616145528
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 708
  • View: 5976
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God’s war crimes, Aristotle’s sneaky tricks, Einstein’s pajamas, information theory’s blind spot, Stephen Wolfram’s new kind of science, and six monkeys at six typewriters getting it wrong. What do these have to do with the birth of a universe and with your need for meaning? Everything, as you’re about to see. How does the cosmos do something it has long been thought only gods could achieve? How does an inanimate universe generate stunning new forms and unbelievable new powers without a creator? How does the cosmos create? That’s the central question of this book, which finds clues in strange places. Why A does not equal A. Why one plus one does not equal two. How the Greeks used kickballs to reinvent the universe. And the reason that Polish-born Benoît Mandelbrot—the father of fractal geometry—rebelled against his uncle. You’ll take a scientific expedition into the secret heart of a cosmos you’ve never seen. Not just any cosmos. An electrifyingly inventive cosmos. An obsessive-compulsive cosmos. A driven, ambitious cosmos. A cosmos of colossal shocks. A cosmos of screaming, stunning surprise. A cosmos that breaks five of science’s most sacred laws. Yes, five. And you’ll be rewarded with author Howard Bloom’s provocative new theory of the beginning, middle, and end of the universe—the Bloom toroidal model, also known as the big bagel theory—which explains two of the biggest mysteries in physics: dark energy and why, if antimatter and matter are created in equal amounts, there is so little antimatter in this universe. Called "truly awesome" by Nobel Prize–winner Dudley Herschbach, The God Problem will pull you in with the irresistible attraction of a black hole and spit you out again enlightened with the force of a big bang. Be prepared to have your mind blown. From the Hardcover edition.

The Five Ages of the Universe

The Five Ages of the Universe

Inside the Physics of Eternity

  • Author: Fred C. Adams,Greg Laughlin
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  • ISBN: 143911868X
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 288
  • View: 6279
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As the twentieth century closed, Fred Adams and Greg Laughlin captured the attention of the world by identifying the five ages of time. In The Five Ages of the Universe, Adams and Laughlin demonstrate that we can now understand the complete life story of the cosmos from beginning to end. Adams and Laughlin have been hailed as the creators of the definitive long-term projection of the evolution of the universe. Their achievement is awesome in its scale and profound in its scientific breadth. But The Five Ages of the Universe is more than a handbook of the physical processes that guided our past and will shape our future; it is a truly epic story. Without leaving earth, here is a fantastic voyage to the physics of eternity. It is the only biography of the universe you will ever need.

At Home in the Universe

At Home in the Universe

The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity

  • Author: Stuart Kauffman
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 019976185X
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 336
  • View: 471
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A major scientific revolution has begun, a new paradigm that rivals Darwin's theory in importance. At its heart is the discovery of the order that lies deep within the most complex of systems, from the origin of life, to the workings of giant corporations, to the rise and fall of great civilizations. And more than anyone else, this revolution is the work of one man, Stuart Kauffman, a MacArthur Fellow and visionary pioneer of the new science of complexity. Now, in At Home in the Universe, Kauffman brilliantly weaves together the excitement of intellectual discovery and a fertile mix of insights to give the general reader a fascinating look at this new science--and at the forces for order that lie at the edge of chaos. We all know of instances of spontaneous order in nature--an oil droplet in water forms a sphere, snowflakes have a six-fold symmetry. What we are only now discovering, Kauffman says, is that the range of spontaneous order is enormously greater than we had supposed. Indeed, self-organization is a great undiscovered principle of nature. But how does this spontaneous order arise? Kauffman contends that complexity itself triggers self-organization, or what he calls "order for free," that if enough different molecules pass a certain threshold of complexity, they begin to self-organize into a new entity--a living cell. Kauffman uses the analogy of a thousand buttons on a rug--join two buttons randomly with thread, then another two, and so on. At first, you have isolated pairs; later, small clusters; but suddenly at around the 500th repetition, a remarkable transformation occurs--much like the phase transition when water abruptly turns to ice--and the buttons link up in one giant network. Likewise, life may have originated when the mix of different molecules in the primordial soup passed a certain level of complexity and self-organized into living entities (if so, then life is not a highly improbable chance event, but almost inevitable). Kauffman uses the basic insight of "order for free" to illuminate a staggering range of phenomena. We see how a single-celled embryo can grow to a highly complex organism with over two hundred different cell types. We learn how the science of complexity extends Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection: that self-organization, selection, and chance are the engines of the biosphere. And we gain insights into biotechnology, the stunning magic of the new frontier of genetic engineering--generating trillions of novel molecules to find new drugs, vaccines, enzymes, biosensors, and more. Indeed, Kauffman shows that ecosystems, economic systems, and even cultural systems may all evolve according to similar general laws, that tissues and terra cotta evolve in similar ways. And finally, there is a profoundly spiritual element to Kauffman's thought. If, as he argues, life were bound to arise, not as an incalculably improbable accident, but as an expected fulfillment of the natural order, then we truly are at home in the universe. Kauffman's earlier volume, The Origins of Order, written for specialists, received lavish praise. Stephen Jay Gould called it "a landmark and a classic." And Nobel Laureate Philip Anderson wrote that "there are few people in this world who ever ask the right questions of science, and they are the ones who affect its future most profoundly. Stuart Kauffman is one of these." In At Home in the Universe, this visionary thinker takes you along as he explores new insights into the nature of life.

Close to the Knives

Close to the Knives

A Memoir of Disintegration

  • Author: David Wojnarowicz
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • ISBN: 1480489611
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Page: 279
  • View: 998
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The savage, beautiful, and unforgettable memoirs of an extraordinary artist, activist, and iconoclast who lit up the New York art scene in the late twentieth century David Wojnarowicz’s brief but eventful life was not easy. From a suburban adolescence marked by neglect, drugs, prostitution, and abuse to a squalid life on the streets of New York City, to fame—and infamy—as an activist and controversial visual artist whose work was lambasted in the halls of Congress, all before his early death from AIDS at age thirty-seven, Wojnarowicz seemed to be at war with a homophobic “establishment” and the world itself. Yet what emerged from the darkness was a truly extraordinary artist and human being—an angry young man of remarkable poetic sensibilities who was inordinately sympathetic to those who, like him, lived and struggled outside society’s boundaries. Close to the Knives is his searing yet strangely beautiful account told in a collection of powerful essays. An author whom reviewers have compared to Kerouac and Genet, David Wojnarowicz mesmerizes, horrifies, and delights in equal measure with his unabashed honesty. At once savage and funny, poignant and sexy, compassionate and unforgiving, his words and stories cut like knives, leaving indelible marks on all who read them.

Propellerhead

Propellerhead

  • Author: Antony Woodward
  • Publisher: HarperCollins UK
  • ISBN: 0007406959
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Page: 288
  • View: 2325
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Described by Pilot magazine in 2011 as ‘Inspirational ... one of the best books ever written about flying’. Join the real Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines as they compete in the Round Britain race. Woodward’s warm, wry account of learning to fly will lift hearts everywhere. BBC2 documentary based on the book – 23 January 2012.

The Red Limit

The Red Limit

The Search for the Edge of the Universe

  • Author: Timothy Ferris
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • ISBN: 0061856541
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 368
  • View: 2730
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For centuries, it was assumed that our universe was static. In the late 1920s, astronomers defeated this assumption with a startling new discovery. From Earth, the light of distant galaxies appeared to be red, meaning that those galaxies were receding from us. This led to the revolutionary realization that the universe is expanding. The Red Limit is the tale of this discovery, its ramifications, and the passionately competitive astronomers who charted the past, present, and future of the cosmos.

The Dialogues

The Dialogues

Conversations about the Nature of the Universe

  • Author: Clifford Victor Johnson,Frank Wilczek
  • Publisher: Mit Press
  • ISBN: 9780262037235
  • Category: SCIENCE
  • Page: 231
  • View: 2008
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"In this graphic book/novel, readers eavesdrop on conversations about contemporary science and learn about how scientists uncover the secrets of the universe. Topics in the book range from black holes, to the multiverse, to string theory, to food science. The book is structured as a set of 9 conversations in 11 chapters. The people in the conversations include non-experts and experts in physics, both adults and children, both male and female. These characters are fictional. The locations are in cities around the world, in cafes, train stations, on the street, buses, museums, libraries. The book is, uniquely for this subject matter, a fully graphic book. A graphic novel, but NOT science fiction. The science is real, and often concerns research topics that have been highlighted in general-interest media outlets"--

Cloud-hidden, Whereabouts Unknown

Cloud-hidden, Whereabouts Unknown

A Mountain Journal

  • Author: Alan W. Watts
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN: 030780786X
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 224
  • View: 8629
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Over the course of nineteen essays, Alan Watts ruminates on the philosophy of nature, ecology, aesthetics, religion, and metaphysics. Assembled in the form of a “mountain journal,” written during a retreat in the foothills of Mount Tamalpais, CA, Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown is Watts’s meditation on the art of feeling out and following the watercourse way of nature, known in Chinese as the Tao. Embracing a form of contemplative meditation that allows us to stop analyzing our experiences and start living in to them, the book explores themes such as the natural world, established religion, race relations, karma and reincarnation, astrology and tantric yoga, the nature of ecstasy, and much more. From the Paperback edition.

Einstein's Clocks and Poincare's Maps: Empires of Time

Einstein's Clocks and Poincare's Maps: Empires of Time

Empires of Time

  • Author: Peter Galison
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • ISBN: 0393243869
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 400
  • View: 6554
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"More than a history of science; it is a tour de force in the genre."—New York Times Book Review A dramatic new account of the parallel quests to harness time that culminated in the revolutionary science of relativity, Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps is "part history, part science, part adventure, part biography, part meditation on the meaning of modernity....In Galison's telling of science, the meters and wires and epoxy and solder come alive as characters, along with physicists, engineers, technicians and others....Galison has unearthed fascinating material" (New York Times). Clocks and trains, telegraphs and colonial conquest: the challenges of the late nineteenth century were an indispensable real-world background to the enormous theoretical breakthrough of relativity. And two giants at the foundations of modern science were converging, step-by-step, on the answer: Albert Einstein, an young, obscure German physicist experimenting with measuring time using telegraph networks and with the coordination of clocks at train stations; and the renowned mathematician Henri Poincaré, president of the French Bureau of Longitude, mapping time coordinates across continents. Each found that to understand the newly global world, he had to determine whether there existed a pure time in which simultaneity was absolute or whether time was relative. Esteemed historian of science Peter Galison has culled new information from rarely seen photographs, forgotten patents, and unexplored archives to tell the fascinating story of two scientists whose concrete, professional preoccupations engaged them in a silent race toward a theory that would conquer the empire of time.

The Accidental Buddhist

The Accidental Buddhist

Mindfulness, Enlightenment, and Sitting Still

  • Author: Dinty W. Moore
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • ISBN: 1565128516
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 228
  • View: 7386
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A journey through the diverse landscape of American Buddhism, written with “a blessedly down-to-earth sense of humor” (Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew in the Lotus). In an era when many of us yearn for an escape from a culture of noise and narcissism, this book takes us into the physical and spiritual geography of Buddhism, American-style: from a weekend at a mountain retreat for corporate executives learning effective ways to cope with stress, to a visit with a Zen teacher holding classes in an old Quaker farmhouse, to a meeting with a Catholic priest who’s also a Zen master. Both a lively introduction to this Eastern spiritual tradition and a colorful portrait of American society, The Accidental Buddhist “makes the oftentimes impenetrable concepts of Buddhism accessible to the reader and contains striking, and important, parallels and contrasts between [the author’s] own Catholic upbringing and ancient Buddhist traditions” (Library Journal). “A travelogue detailing the tremendous diversity within American Buddhism. His anecdotes make it clear that the umbrella term ‘Buddhist’ encompasses strict Zen monks, laid-back Tibetan politicos, and beatnik holdover Allen Ginsberg. In his travels, Moore attends weekend retreats, chronicles the Dalai Lama’s 1996 visit to Indiana, and grooves to Change Your Mind Day, a meditative Buddha-fest in New York City’s Central Park. . . . He finds that his family is his sangha (monastery), and while he still feels he is ‘probably a fairly lousy Buddhist,’ he will eclectically combine his various forms of new knowledge to find a path that makes sense to him. Now that may be an authentic American Buddhism.” —Kirkus Reviews

The Life and Death of Planet Earth

The Life and Death of Planet Earth

How the New Science of Astrobiology Charts the Ultimate Fate of Our World

  • Author: Peter D. Ward,Donald Brownlee
  • Publisher: Macmillan
  • ISBN: 9780805075120
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 256
  • View: 3668
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Planet Earth is middle-aged. Science has worked hard to piece together the story of the evolution of our world up to this point, but only recently have we developed the understanding and the tools to describe the entire life cycle of a planet. Ward and Brownlee, a geologist and an astronomer respectively, combine their knowledge of how the critical sustaining systems of our planet evolve through time with their understanding of the life cycles of stars and solar systems, to tell the story of the second half of Earth's life. The process of evolution will essentially reverse itself: life as we know it will subside until only the simplest forms remain. Eventually, they too will disappear. The oceans will evaporate, the atmosphere will degrade, and, as the sun slowly expands, Earth itself will eventually meet a fiery end. --From publisher description.

The Interpretation of Cultures

The Interpretation of Cultures

  • Author: Clifford Geertz
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • ISBN: 0465093566
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 576
  • View: 4650
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In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.

This I Believe

This I Believe

An A to Z of a Life

  • Author: Carlos Fuentes
  • Publisher: Random House
  • ISBN: 0307432793
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Page: 352
  • View: 2618
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In this masterly, deeply personal, and provocative book, the internationally renowned Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes, whose work has been called “a combination of Poe, Baudelaire, and Isak Dinesen” (Newsweek), steps back to survey the wellsprings of art and ideology, the events that have shaped our time, and his extraordinary life and fiercest passions. Arranged alphabetically from “Amore” to “Zurich,” This I Believe takes us on a marvelous inner journey with a great writer. Fuentes ranges wide, from contradictions inherent in Latin American culture and politics to his long friendship with director Luis Buñuel. Along the way, we find reflection on the mixed curse and blessing of globalization; memories of a sexual initiation in Zurich; a fond tracing of a family tree heavy with poets, dreamers, and diplomats; evocations of the streets, cafés, and bedrooms of Washington, Paris, Santiago de Chile, Cambridge, Oaxaca, and New York; and a celebration of literary heroes including Balzac, Cervantes, Faulkner, Kafka, and Shakespeare. Throughout, Fuentes captivates with the power of his intellect and his prose. Here, too, are vivid, often heartbreaking glimpses into his personal life. “Silvia” is a powerful love letter to his beloved wife. In “Children,” Fuentes recalls the births of his daughters and the tragic death of his son; in “Cinema” he relives the magic of films such as Citizen Kane and The Wizard of Oz. Further extending his reach, he examines the collision between history and contemporary life in “Civil Society,” “Left,” and “Revolution.” And he poignantly addresses the experiences we all hold in common as he grapples with beauty, death, freedom, God, and sex. By turns provocative and intimate, partisan and universal, this book is a brilliant summation of an international literary career. Revisiting the influences, commitments, readings, and insights of a lifetime, Fuentes has fashioned a magnificently coherent statement of his view of the world, reminding us once again why reading Fuentes is “like standing beneath the dome of the Sistine Chapel. . . . The breadth and enormity of this accomplishment is breathtaking” (The Denver Post). From the Hardcover edition.

A Short History of Nearly Everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • Author: Bill Bryson
  • Publisher: Anchor Canada
  • ISBN: 0385674503
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 560
  • View: 7673
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One of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers takes his ultimate journey -- into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer. In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail -- well, most of it. In In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand -- and, if possible, answer -- the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining. From the Hardcover edition.

A Short Guide to a Happy Life

A Short Guide to a Happy Life

  • Author: Anna Quindlen
  • Publisher: Random House
  • ISBN: 0375506470
  • Category: Self-Help
  • Page: 64
  • View: 1666
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From the author of Blessings and Still Life with Bread Crumbs, Anna Quindlen’s classic reflection on a meaningful life is the perfect gift for graduation, or any occasion. “Life is made of moments, small pieces of silver amidst long stretches of tedium. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves now to live, really live . . . to love the journey, not the destination.” In this treasure of a book, Anna Quindlen, the bestselling novelist and columnist, reflects on what it takes to “get a life”—to live deeply every day and from your own unique self, rather than merely to exist through your days. “Knowledge of our own mortality is the greatest gift God ever gives us,” Quindlen writes, “because unless you know the clock is ticking, it is so easy to waste our days, our lives.” Her mother died when Quindlen was nineteen: “It was the dividing line between seeing the world in black and white, and in Technicolor. The lights came on for the darkest possible reason. . . . I learned something enduring, in a very short period of time, about life. And that was that it was glorious, and that you had no business taking it for granted.” But how to live from that perspective, to fully engage in our days? In A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Quindlen guides us with an understanding that comes from knowing how to see the view, the richness in living. From the Hardcover edition.