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Solitude

A Singular Life in a Crowded World
Written by: Michael Harris
Narrated by: Kerry Shale
Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Governor General's Award-winner Michael Harris explores the profound emotional and intellectual benefits of solitude, and how we may achieve it in our fast-paced world.

The capacity to be alone - properly alone - is one of life's subtlest skills. Real solitude is a contented and productive state that garners tangible rewards: It allows us to reflect and recharge, improving our relationships with ourselves and, paradoxically, with others. Today, the zeitgeist embraces sharing like never before. Fueled by our dependence on online and social media, we have created an ecosystem of obsessive distraction that dangerously undervalues solitude. Many of us now lead lives of strangely crowded loneliness - we are ever-connected, but only shallowly so.     

Award-winning author Michael Harris examines why our experience of solitude has become so impoverished and how we may grow to love it again in the frenzy of our digital landscape. Solitude is an optimistic and encouraging story about discovering true quiet inside the city, inside the crowd, inside our busy and urbane lives. Harris guides listeners away from a life of ceaseless pings toward a state of measured connectivity, one that balances solitude and companionship.      

Rich with true stories about the life-changing power of solitude, and interwoven with reporting from the world's foremost brain researchers, psychologists, and tech entrepreneurs, Solitude is a beautiful and convincing statement on the benefits of being alone.

©2017 Michael Harris (P)2018 Doubleday Canada

What the critics say

"I came away from this book a better human being. Michael Harris's take on existence is calm, unique and makes one's soul feel good, yet never once does he rely on feel-good techniques." (Douglas Coupland)
" Solitude is well-researched, deftly reasoned and a wake-up call for a generation addicted to staying connected.... Harris is his generation's McLuhan - a media critic and philosopher whose discerning eye deconstructs its subject, looking well beyond the obvious message." ( The Province)
"An insightful, lively meditation on why this increasingly scarce component of our lives should be preserved." ( The Globe and Mail)

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A meditative listen. Made me consider how my time is spent while I'm on my own.

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inspiring, timely, effective

I loved this book. I loved the narrator. I described it to a friend, as I bought it for her as a gift:
" I finished it myself and cannot imagine a more timely and healing book. It's just enough storytelling intermingled with research, hope and a genuinely respectful writing style."