Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool. HMH/Dolan, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-544-45623-5
Psychologist Ericsson (The Road to Excellence) and science writer Pool (Beyond Engineering) skillfully examine the eternal debate of nature vs. nurture with this thoughtful treatise supporting the latter. The authors posit that deliberate, focused practice is the key to learning and mastering any new skill, whether or not an underlying natural talent is present. “Generally the solution is not ‘try harder,’ but ‘try differently,’ ” they explain. Using such diverse examples as the prodigal young Mozart and a neophyte golfer hoping to make the PGA Tour, the authors explain the importance of “purposeful practice,” adaptability, and mental representations—defined as structures that organize one’s remembered information about an object or idea. For the truly motivated, a chapter entitled “The Road to Extraordinary” offers a step-by-step guide to acquiring new skills and “reach[ing] the frontier of human capabilities.” Throughout, the authors encourage dreaming big, even when conventional wisdom might dictate otherwise. This is an empowering, encouraging work that will challenge readers to reach for excellence. Agent: Elyse Cheney, Elyse Cheney Literary Associates. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/22/2016
Release date: 04/05/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-544-45625-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-6488-0
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-544-94722-1
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