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Download Exuberance: The Passion for Life Audiobook

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: Anne Twomey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2004 ISBN: 9780739316825
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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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave Benson | 2/2/2014

    " 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 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 Jessica | 1/18/2014

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherry (sethurner) | 1/2/2014

    " Kay Redfield Jamison has written a book that was for me a joy to read. She looks at that champagne of emotions, exuberance. Joy, curiosity, playfulness, and love are all aspects of exuberance, and Jamison looks at how it is important to, even essential in the development of animals - including humans. Then she goes on and shows how it is manifested in people like Teddy Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, John Muir, PT Barnum, and Richard Feynman. She also looks at joyful exuberance in fictional characters (Snoopy, Peter Pan, Tigger, Mr. Toad, characters in O Pioneers! and Giants in the Earth). She acknowledges the dark side of this trait, and examines how exuberance can be an aspect of violent and destructive behavior (in soldiers for example), and how it can be paired with depression. I was fascinated. There is a lengthy section of notes, and the book has a good index. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denis | 12/16/2013

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morris Morris | 12/15/2013

    " 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 | 12/13/2013

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gregor | 12/8/2013

    " 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kit | 12/8/2013

    " 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diana Michele | 12/1/2013

    " 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 Kate | 11/28/2013

    " This is FABULOUS! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 7/8/2013

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 2/13/2013

    " 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. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Fatima | 1/23/2013

    " Not as good as "An Unquiet Mind" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Calvin | 10/23/2012

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan | 9/23/2012

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dr. E | 9/4/2012

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

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 8/4/2012

    " I wanted this book to be better. It had such potential, but it really was just 300+ pages of examples of the same thing over and over again. And unfortunately, it was very poorly edited, so it was difficult to read on top of having limited content. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Larry Bassett | 7/21/2012

    " 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 | 6/29/2012

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 M. | 11/13/2011

    " 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 Ilse | 5/21/2011

    " If you suffer from bipolar depression or is close to someone who does, you NEED to read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Epic.rdr | 5/15/2011

    " This book helped me come to grips with my mother's illness. It was a gift to learn more about the disease and that ourfamily was not alone in dealing with it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lana | 5/1/2011

    " Really fascinating to hear from a psychiatrist that has bipolar disorder. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicki | 4/30/2011

    " A bit dated, but a seminal work in its field. A must read for anyone interested in the topic. A grown-up version of Tabitha Suzuma's "A Note of Madness," but not as well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chamie | 4/29/2011

    " I read this a couple years ago and was shocked after looking at a friend on goodreads that this wasn't on mine but I did read it and enjoyed it quite a lot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanette | 4/16/2011

    " An easy read and informative but somewhat dated in the medical aspects (makes sense for an autobiography). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 4/14/2011

    " I never read biographies but somehow picked up this. Fascinating and powerful. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Traveller | 4/13/2011

    " The fact that Kay had suffered from this condition for so long, untreated, doesn't say much for modern psychology/psychiatry, does it? She also does not set a very good example as motivation for sufferers to take their medication. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corinne | 4/8/2011

    " Having had a father who suffered with bipolar disorder, this book truly helped me understand what he was going through. It was exactly what i needed to help the healing and grief process after he passed away. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela | 4/7/2011

    " Essential reading for anyone with a bipolaroid in his/her life. "

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