Pay Attention to These Books!

If you can pay attention long enough to read this, you may just learn the secret of happiness. Turns out focusing on little details makes life a whole lot better. In Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life, Winifred Gallagher describes how she focused only on positive things during her battle with cancer. Instead of letting her illness monopolize her attention, Gallagher thought only about “meaningful, productive, or energizing” things—and her world was transformed as a result. In another book, Seven Pleasures, Willard Spiegelman looks at everything around him with the eye of a discerning reader, and says that the secret to happiness is “slowing down enough to pay attention to what you might call the grammar of experience.”