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The Intellectual Devotional    by David S. Kidder & Noah D. Oppenheim order for
Intellectual Devotional
by David S. Kidder
Order:  USA  Can
Rodale, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This beautifully bound volume comes with a built-in bookmark and offers '365 Daily Lessons from the Seven Fields of Knowledge', that is to say (from Monday to Sunday in order): History, Literature, Visual Arts, Science, Music, Philosopy, and Religion. Black and white photos and other images are scattered throughout.

The authors suggest to us that 'These readings offer the kind of regular exercise the brain requires to stay fresh, especially as we age. They represent an escape from the day-to-day grind into the rarefied realm of human wisdom. And, they will open new horizons of intellectual discovery.' Topics begin with The Alphabet on a Monday, and end with Zoroastrianism on a Sunday.

As I flipped through pages, I was intrigued by entries on Hagia Sophia (which I visited in Istanbul); Antonio Vivaldi (love his music!); the Milgram Studies that show the shocking manipulability of conscience; Japanese artist Hokusai; sculptor Auguste Rodin; Langston Hughes's poem I, Too, Sing America; and an explanation of a Black Hole.

The Intellectual Devotional makes a lovely gift (I'm giving mine to my pre-university son), or a volume to keep at your own bedside for a daily reading and mental enrichment.

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