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Extended Audio Sample Exuberance: The Passion For Life, by Kay Redfield Jamison Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (383 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kay Redfield Jamison Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2004 ISBN: 9781415917534
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The author of the bestselling An Unquiet Mind–and internationally renowned authority on mood disorders–now gives us something wonderfully different: an exploration of exuberance and how it fuels our most important creative and scientific achievements.

John Muir’s lifelong passion to save America’s wild places, Wilson Bentley’s legendary obsession to record for posterity the beauty of individual snowflakes, the boundless scientific curiosity behind Watson and Crick’s discovery of DNA, sea lions that surf and porcupines that dance–Kay Redfield Jamison shows how these and many more examples both human and animal define the nature of exuberance, and how this exuberance relates to intellectual searching, risk-taking, creativity, and survival itself. She examines the hereditary predisposition to exuberance; the role of the brain chemical dopamine; the connection between positive moods and psychological resilience; and the differences between exuberance and mania. She delves into some of the phenomena of exuberance–the contagiousness of laughter, the giddiness of new love, the intoxicating effects of music and of religious ecstasy–while also addressing the dangerous desire to simulate exuberance by using drugs or alcohol. In a fascinating and intimate coda to the rest of the book, renowned scientists, writers, and politicians share their thoughts on the forms and role of exuberance in their own lives.

Original, inspiring, authoritative, Exuberance brims with the very energy and passion that it celebrates.

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Quotes & Awards

  • [Jamison is] that rare writer who can offer a kind of unified field theory of science and art. . . . The origins and mystery of creativity have long been her holy grail, and she argues — with her usual wit, ingenuity and panache — that exuberance is one of its wellsprings. The Washington Post Book World
  • Fascinating reading. . . . On a subject that invites inflates prose, Jamison maintains a deft but not showy eloquence. . . . Trenchant and entertaining. San Francisco Chronicle
  • Jamison brilliantly conjures up characters. . . . A book on exuberance ought to be a romp to read. The one is. Los Angeles Times
  • Jamison has a capacity for moving smoothly between tasty digressions, hard science and sweeping cultural analyses. . . . This reads like a book that was a long time in coming, written by one who came to appreciate the brightest sunlight only after becoming acquainted with the darkest nights. The Seattle Times

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Larry Bassett | 2/12/2014

    " Had to struggle to get through it. Just never captured my interest. Was that because my psychiatrist recommended it to me? I guess he thought I needed more passion in my life. But this book didn't do it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly Pivonski | 2/11/2014

    " too much negativity with mental illness. she was trying to talk about the positive part of mental illness but it was so scientific. it still seemed negative even when she talked about the positive parts of mania. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Calvin | 1/23/2014

    " What a breath of fresh and exhilerating air to read of a discussion and study of a positive psychological trait. The only problem is it gets a little too scholarly and wordy in places but very worthwhile especially where my heros like Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are discussed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kit | 1/21/2014

    " An interesting, but horribly frustrating, conversational exploration of the nature of exuberance. Worth reading if only for the collection of thoughts on the subject by people who are not Kay Redfield Jamison. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 1/20/2014

    " Excellent study of the rewards and challenges that having an exuberant personality can bring to your life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 M. | 1/6/2014

    " I've read a lot of books by Jamison, and she is quite an intelligent woman. I think this is my favorite one by her because it's uplifting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 12/30/2013

    " cool exploration of the emotion and concept of Exuberance, enthusiasm, passion... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan | 11/20/2013

    " Kay Jamison is a psychiatrist who has published a great deal , much of it on manic depression or bipolar disorder, which she struggles with herself. She is a wonderful advocate for mental illness. This book tells of the upside, the creativity and contributions of the controlled manic, or hypothymic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 11/12/2013

    " She had some interesting stories about famous "exuberant" people, some very disturbing stories about exuberant soldiers, and fascinating facts about how it shows up in the brain. I wished she had more about how to encourage/control what she called exuberance. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 10/25/2013

    " An excellent study of the value, virtue, and potential viciousness of exuberance in the human condition. The analysis of historical events, works of art, scientific breakthroughs, and the people behind them gives a special authenticity and weight to the subject matter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gregor | 9/13/2013

    " I think every human being has passion for doing something that he really likes. Find that and your life will turn upside down- in a good way of course. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dr. E | 2/19/2012

    " After reading An Unquiet Mind, Exuberance was a no-brainer to pick up. Glad I did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave Benson | 1/27/2012

    " It's hard to explain my deep feelings about this book. I've read it twice now. Once about four years ago and again just recently (2013) I find both comfort and discomfort in how it so accurately describes my crazy mixed up brain. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morris Morris | 12/10/2011

    " I consider this a profoundly rich book! Very substantive and thorough! Very easy to read and informative about the bright side of psychology! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gloriavirtutisumbra | 10/4/2011

    " I listened to this as an audiobook from the library, but may have to buy a copy of this just to mark up, highlight, and underline. There are more fantastic quotes in this book than i could have imagined. Actually will end up buying it because its really that good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denis | 6/27/2011

    " ...but still, if the subject fascinates you, there is enough here that make it worth a read "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Fatima | 6/9/2011

    " Not as good as "An Unquiet Mind" "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diana Michele | 6/3/2011

    " Having a hard time getting through it for some reason. I am not sure if it is me or the topic or her writing style. Will keep at it... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela | 3/28/2011

    " Amazing reminder to add play to the schedule and how much better life is for those that do. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dr. E | 2/27/2011

    " After reading An Unquiet Mind, Exuberance was a no-brainer to pick up. Glad I did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gloriavirtutisumbra | 10/29/2009

    " I listened to this as an audiobook from the library, but may have to buy a copy of this just to mark up, highlight, and underline. There are more fantastic quotes in this book than i could have imagined. Actually will end up buying it because its really that good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 5/15/2009

    " cool exploration of the emotion and concept of Exuberance, enthusiasm, passion... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pattie | 5/1/2009

    " Insightful.
    One of my favorite quotes, speaking about a well known exuberant
    individual, "Life for Theodore Roosevelt, said one friend, was the "unpacking of endless Christmas stockings." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Calvin | 1/28/2009

    " What a breath of fresh and exhilerating air to read of a discussion and study of a positive psychological trait. The only problem is it gets a little too scholarly and wordy in places but very worthwhile especially where my heros like Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are discussed. "

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