On Looking by Alexandra Horowitz - Reviews

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A D V A N C E   P R A I S E   F O R   O N  L O O K I N G

“Horowitz writes like a poet, thinks like a scientist, and ventures like an explorer. Her book will have you looking in a new way at the world around you, and make you glad you did.” - Susan Orlean, author of Rin Tin Tin 

"These eleven exquisite, clever and and tenderly recounted small adventures remind me of something I learned back when I lived in India: the need to perceive "the scent behind the smell." Alexandra Horowitz has attempted much the same thing with her eyes - much aided by the seeing of others - and has in consequence become increasingly successful in perceiving what one might call "the sight behind the scene." Her resulting epiphanies are available to us all, if we take care to learn from her, in this lovely book, just how it is done."
- Simon Winchester, author of The Map that Changed the World and Krakatoa

"Alexandra Horowitz's new book is as wonderful as her first. Inside of a Dog helped us to imagine the worlds of our beagles, collies, greyhounds and mutts. On Looking teaches us that the world is just as rich, strange and charmed when seen through the eyes of our local artists, doctors, architects and toddlers. On Looking also teaches us that Alexandra Horowitz is a writer to watch."
- Jonathan Weiner, author of The Beak of the Finch and Long for this World
  

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"Horowitz (Inside of a Dog) turns neighborhood walks into an exploration of how people interpret the world. Each walk pairs her with a different companion, each experience offering expertise in a wildly different arena, from the fractured geology of Horowitz's native Manhattan to a city block's surprisingly abundant insect life or how blind people experience the world....Even when Horowitz leaves her home turf to venture to Philadelphia and to Springfield, Mass., or consults such dubious "experts" as her dog, Finnegan, and toddler son, her writing remains insightful. The quirks in how each individual processes the same picture provide readers with their own eyes refreshed, ready to take a good look around them." - Publishers Weekly

"Round and round the blocks of New York City, Horowitz  takes readers on multiple walks, showing us what we fail to spot when we don't pay attention. Horowitz combines her minute observations with history and science, bringing new connections to the sometimes-mundane sights and sounds of a city. . . . each walk enabled Horowitz to perceive the same environment in a fresh, new way. Simply by paying attention, the author's senses were opened to experiences she would have otherwise completely missed. By reading her engaging stories, readers can learn to see their own environments, whether city or country, and open their minds to the exciting world that surrounds them." - Kirkus Reviews

"Charming....Engaging, amusing, and relatable, [Horowitz] guides readers through 11 urban walks in the company of various experts. Beyond simply looking, this is about what makes up the world around us and the foundations of human perception....You will look at the world with more attention after reading these fascinating essays." - Booklist

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   "[Horowitz], who proves to be a charming companion, takes the reader by the hand for a delightfully brisk and revealing set of walks with her experts: a geologist, a typographer, an illustrator, a naturalist, a wildlife researcher, an urban sociologist, a blind woman, a doctor, a sound designer and engineer, her toddler son, and her dog, Finn....The pages hum and shine as a result, warmly reflecting the author's genuine enthusiasm for her work and its revelations." - USA Today

 "An unexpected and soothing balm for our inflamed tempers over these issues. On Looking has nothing to do with politics, but it is about how we each view the world, and about how perspective is shaped by professions, passions, age, families and physical abilities. Mostly, On Looking is a refreshing celebration of the rewards of trying to see the world through the eyes of others." 
- Chicago Tribune

 "'The art of seeing has to be learned,'...and it can be learned, as cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz invites us to believe in her breathlessly wonderful On Looking...It is undoubtedly one of the most stimulating books of the year, if not the decade, and the most enchanting thing I've read in ages."
- Brain Pickings