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Extended Audio Sample Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives Audiobook, by Tim Harford Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tim Harford Narrator: Nicholas Guy Smith Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2016 ISBN: 9781524702403
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From the award-winning columnist and author of the national bestseller The Undercover Economist comes a provocative big idea book about the genuine benefits of being messy: at home, at work, in the classroom, and beyond.

Messy celebrates the power and impact of messiness: why it’s important to all of us, why we resist it, and why we should embrace it. Drawing from new research in neuroscience, psychology, and social science, Tim Harford explains that the human qualities we value—creativity, responsiveness, resilience—are integral to the disorder, confusion, and disarray that produce them. From the music studio to the laboratory, from the boardroom to the classroom, messiness is at the core of how we innovate, how we achieve, and how we succeed.

In Messy, Harford lays out the unexpected connections between creativity and mess; investigates why unexpected changes of plans, unfamiliar people, and unforeseen events can help generate new ideas and opportunities while making us anxious and angry; and argues that our desire for tidiness—in our personal and professional lives, online, even in our children’s play—can mask deep and debilitating fragility. Stimulating and readable as it points a new way forward, Messy is a valuable and insightful examination of the real advantages of mess in our lives.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Utterly fascinating. Tim Harford shows that if you want to be creative and resilient, you need a little more disorder in your world.”

    Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Engrossing.”

    New York Times

  • “Harford, an acclaimed economics journalist, isn’t so much extolling squalor as questioning the notion that order is inherently preferable for creative endeavors.”


  • “Nicholas Guy Smith[’s]…reading is clear and engaging, with an understated suspense well suited to Harford’s tendency to leave a story hanging, relate other anecdotes and facts, and then pick the story back up again. Smith and Harford prove to be a good pairing. Together, they neatly disrupt our preconceptions of what really drives success.”


  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for October 2016
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About the Author
Author Tim Harford

Tim Harford is the author of The Undercover EconomistThe Logic of Life, and Adapt. He writes two columns for the Financial Times, and his work has appeared in the New York TimesForbesEsquireParadeNew York, and Wired. He lives with his family in Oxford.

About the Narrator

Nicholas Guy Smith, an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator, is a highly rated and diverse voice-over actor who has been heard in feature films, television commercials, and video games. He has voiced characters for Disney, Warner Brothers, Universal, and the Cartoon Network.