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The Intellectual Devotional: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  1,881 Ratings  ·  234 Reviews
This daily digest of intellectual challenge and learning will arouse curiosity, refresh knowledge, expand horizons, and keep the mind sharp

Millions of Americans keep bedside books of prayer and meditative reflection—collections of daily passages to stimulate spiritual thought and advancement. The Intellectual Devotional is a secular version of the same—a collection of 365
Hardcover, 377 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Rodale Books
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Jun 26, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
This book was great fun, and I went through it in a very particular way that I would highly suggest for anyone looking for a good time. I read it through with a friend of mine, and we made a pact to each try and comment via email on each day’s reading. That means we had 730+ emails exchanged by the time we were finished. Some topics of discussion grew into debates which lasted for a week or two (my friend and I are somewhat opinionated…but VERY brilliant). Throughout the year of this, we learned ...more
Jan 13, 2008 Brenda rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Trivia buffs
When I bought this book, I intended to set it by my nightstand and treat it like a devotional and read one page per day. However, I read it cover to cover, which really suited me at this time.

Kidder and Oppenheim delivered exactly what was promised. Little vignettes of information on seven subjects: science, literature, philosophy, music, history, religion, and the visual arts. I learned a little about some subjects and recalled some information I had deliberately forgotten (Categorical Imperati
Oct 27, 2008 Craig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: trivia
I gotta say, I really love this book. Small and easy to keep on the night stand it is a great way to end the day. I wrote my starting date on the first page and worked my way though a page a night. Some of the content was so interesting that it was hard to not peek ahead to the upcoming pages.

Occasionally I had to skip a night because of a late poker night, being sick, or some other odd reason but always made up for the lost night when I returned a day or two later. Very fun and highly recommen
Jan 09, 2012 Eric rated it liked it
Recommends it for: History buffs
Recommended to Eric by: Daily Lit
I got daily snippets of this book emailed to me from DailyLit. It was a double-edged sword -- I loved that I was able to read them in the time it takes to read an email, but hated how they only scratched the surface of some really interesting topics. Of course, the topics were also hit and miss.
Steven Peterson
Apr 09, 2011 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it
An interesting underlying concept. . . . The Introduction says that "Daily devotionals have long been a favored tool of those looking for a regular dose of spiritual growth." This volume? "'The Intellectual Devotional' is a secular compendium in the same tradition. It is one year's worth of daily readings that will refresh your spirit, stimulate your mind, and help complete your education." There is also a pattern: Monday's readings focus on history; Tuesday is literature day; Wednesday-visual a ...more
Sep 19, 2016 Dana rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2008, own
I usually review every book I read on my on book blog, but I didn't get around to it with this book.

I read this book over the course of a year. It's designed to be a daily reading in the sense that Biblical devotionals are, hence the title.

I learned a great deal I didn't know, remembered some things I had forgotten, and really enjoyed this book. I took off a star because I did find some grammar/usage errors. The most common was using "lead" as the past tense form of the verb "to lead," which sh
Jul 14, 2007 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: the would be intellectual and anyone striving to learn
I LOVE this book. Each page represents a day of the week and each day of the week is a different intellectual topic: History, Literature, Science, Music, Philosophy, Religion and Visual Arts. One page is dedicated to a subject under one of the aforementioned headings. So, It takes maybe, five minutes to learn something completely new. Or if you already know a little bit about the topic the book will often bear details that most would not have in the knowledge of the subject.
Christina Wilder
Oct 04, 2012 Christina Wilder rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
The Intellectual Devotional by David S. Kidder & Noah D. Oppenheim is a collection has a page for each day, loaded with information about influential authors, books, works of art, artists, religion, math, and science.

Even the educated can learn something in this handy tome, such as the true story of the strange circumstances leading to Mozart's death, what makes Ulysses such a special book, why religions treasure certain places and things, and what lead to now-common mathematical equations
Leonardo Navarro
Aug 08, 2013 Leonardo Navarro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
Acabo de terminarlo y tengo el deseo de volverlo a leer. Muy pocos libros logran eso. Me gustó bastante su desarrollo: Una lección al día, 365 lecciones al año... En realidad empieza con temas muy interesantes y no decae, empieza en lo básico (si así se le quiere llamar) y después se va adentrando en cosas cada vez más complicadas pero igualmente leíbles.

Debo admitir que no pude —o no supe— experimentar el libro como se debía, más bien para mí fue un poco más que 365 días para ser más culto, a v
Mar 16, 2009 Michelle rated it liked it
Despite its painfully pretentious subtitle ("Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class"), The Intellectual Devotional is not so bad. At least, it's not as bad as the title makes it sound, which is pretty bad.

The idea of daily, one-page selections of information on various topics is neat, and would be neater if the publisher hadn't felt the need to put on airs. The back cover emphasis on impressing one's friends at cocktail parties is gag-worthy, and
Mar 27, 2011 Paul rated it liked it
I actually took a year to read this book one article at a time and in hindsight I believe that is probably the best way to do it. The individual articles are uneven - some are excellent, some are too short and of limited value - but overall it fulfilled its purpose. I enjoyed the variation between topics (each day of the week is a different topic, i.e. Monday = History, Tuesday = Literature, Wednesday = Visual Arts, Thursday = Science, Friday = Music, Saturday = Philosophy and Sunday = Religion) ...more
Heather Simons
Oct 20, 2010 Heather Simons rated it it was amazing
Here's the deal: I made a pact with a friend that we would read one page of this book every day for a year. We would start and stop at the same time, and at the end of 365 days, we would be intellectually richer and obviously more fun at dinner parties. It was a noble prospect, and it started off well. I read every day, I made notes, I even marked passages I liked with little colored flags. But now... Well, now I've really fallen off the wagon. (Sorry, Lauren...)

It's just a lot of pressure to re
Ozgur Baltat
Jun 17, 2014 Ozgur Baltat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kitap, tarih, edebiyat, görsel sanatlar, bilim, müzik, felsefe ve din ana başlıkları altında temel konularda çok çok özet bilgiler veriyor. Bilgi dağarcığını tazelemek için, derli toplu başlıkları bulabileceğiniz güzel bir çalışma. Okuma sırasında, internetten konularla ilgili hem daha derinlemesine araştırma yapıp, bir taraftan ilgili klasik müzik parçalarını dinleyip, adı geçen ressamların resimlerini inceleyerek, acele etmeden araştırmanın keyfini çıkararak okuyunca, kitap arkasında çok daha ...more
Nov 05, 2007 Kathy rated it it was amazing
This book has 365 daily lessons on seven different subjects (history, literature, visual arts, science, music, philosophy, and religion). I always read more than one per day and definately liked the history and literature the best. Philosophy was pretty boring after I got the Socrates - Plate - Aristotle - Alexander the Great connections. In the back I made notes of things (mostly books) that I wanted to check out. I actually bought my first book of poetry (besides Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein ...more
Stephanie Macdonald
Feb 13, 2015 Stephanie Macdonald rated it it was amazing
Well first let me say I bought this book years ago and tried the leaving it on my nightstand, coffee table, kitchen table, etc, and it ended up collecting dust... I just could never get motivated to read it daily no matter where I left it... UNTIL.... I let this become the one and only bathroom book! Every time you must sit *wink* read a page, each day. I am glad I read a page (or 3) a day, there are SO many awesome little tidbits of knowledge and information, such though that I have shared with ...more
May 29, 2010 J.C. rated it it was ok
Update 9/20/09: I just realized Rob and I have been "reading" this book for over a year and are barely half-way through it. We try to read one entry each night, but sometimes we take some time off from it. We can definitely tell a difference between the quality of some of the entries, like some of them were written by a great writer, and others by high school students. It's just not very enlightening, yet we keep plugging through it.
update 5/22/10: We finally finished it! Many of the topics (mus
Mar 02, 2011 Mike rated it liked it
It definitely expanded my knowledge on numerous subjects, but I felt there was something missing. I think they should have taken advantage of the internet and provided links for further exploration. A Youtube channel with links to all the music described in the book. I understand that this was an introductory book to the subjects, but it should have encouraged further exploration. Unfortunately, it didn't dawn on me until close to the end of the book that I should actually seek this stuff out, s ...more
Dan Gladwell
Feb 27, 2009 Dan Gladwell rated it it was amazing
Now, I'm not all the way through yet, but I cannot tell you how much this book is my cup of tea. I absolutely love it. It's all about the presentation. The way they group into seven fields of knowledge is brilliant and makes you interested in subjects you don't already know about. I look forward the most to the music days, just because I know the least amount about music. It's a wonderful way to wake myself up every morning reading the page of the day and then re-reading before I go to bed to ma ...more
John Roche
Dec 12, 2013 John Roche rated it liked it
The book is a great concept and an ambitious endeavor, but perhaps the authors were a little over their heads when they began writing this book. For instance, many intellectual fields are left out of the book, and the fields that are presented are so light that it is unlikely to complete anyone's education. Also, a few topics are horribly written --much like a college student's late night term paper. Moreover, I have found a few instances where the points made are incorrect. Granted these errors ...more
Billie Pangalos
Jan 02, 2016 Billie Pangalos rated it it was amazing
Vince and I read this together. We thought it was great fun!
May 03, 2012 Stasy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in history
Shelves: non-fiction, history
You're supposed to read a page a day throughout the course of a year; however, it was interesting enough that I read straight through. I did like that I could stop at the end of each page to attend to other things, though this did not keep me from continuing on.

I actually knew quite a bit of the historical facts, as well as about many of the world religions, but it was interesting to read about the history of art, music, philosophy and literature. I knew about some of these entries, but not near
Sep 03, 2011 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this was designed to be listened to once a day for 365 days, I am listening to multiple entries at one time. I like it so far as it suggests various books for my to-read list and impels me to do further research on various topics.
Update week four, still plugging away. Some of the entries are better than others, but it still gives you food for thought.
Finished. Liked it, and will look for more by the same authors.
If I had been reading the print version I don't think I would have stuck wi
Monkey Man
Apr 16, 2010 Monkey Man rated it did not like it
My wife bought this and it's been on the back of the toilet for those short-reading needs.

It's in the appropriate place.

For example, the entry on Charles Darwin was three paragraphs about how he tried quack remedies for his headaches, then a sentence on how he came up with "survival of the fittest." But that quote was some other guy, not Darwin.

It claims to cover the "Seven fields of knowledge." Just in case you were wondering how many there were. Sorry, engineers, doctors and lawyers, you ain't
Kilian Metcalf
Apr 15, 2013 Kilian Metcalf rated it liked it
I would put this in the category of a nonbook. It's a collection of small snippets of information about 7 subjects, each one designed to be read once a day. The categories in order are history, literature, visual arts, science, music, philosophy, and religion. I felt like a Jeopardy candidate cramming for an appearance. Not sure how much I have improved in my intellectual standing, but I did enjoy the little bits of knowledge. I listened to it as a recorded book, and each segment was just about ...more
Sep 22, 2015 Scribd rated it really liked it
Shelves: friday-reads
Once, someone asked me where I saw myself in ten years, and I said: I want to know everything. My rational brain knows it’s not actually possible to know everything, but between a questionably healthy obsession with Jeopardy and an insatiable lust for the memorization and recitation of facts, I figure I’ll make decent headway in this lifetime.

One of the best tools I’ve encountered in my quest for omniscience is The Intellectual Devotional. At 365 pages long, there’s a brief but comprehensive les
Apr 12, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it
For many years, my husband and I have shared books at breakfast. We began this practice as a part of dealing with our empty nest and in an attempt to grow together rather than apart.

At first the books were filled with 365 daily “something”, usually inspirational or self-help topics. Over the years, we’ve graduated to more interesting books, the most recent being The Intellectual Devotional. While continuing the 365 daily reading format, the book is filled with selections from seven fields of kno
Jan 12, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it
Read during 2011, finished 2012. 365 daily lessons from the seven fields of knowledge: Monday - History; Tuesday - Literature; Wednesday - Visual Arts; Thursday - Science; Friday - Music; Saturday - Philosophy; and Sunday - Religion. A one page lesson in each of the above area. Sometimes it was more than I wanted to know, but, usually it helped me to understand something that I had heard of but had never studied. I'll probably read in it again.
Dec 06, 2008 Serri rated it it was amazing
Great Christmas gift to give or put in as a stocking stuffer. Have received lots of positive feedback on it. Each day you get a one-day summary from each of the following catagories: History, Literature, Visual Arts, Science, Music, Philosophy, and Religion. They are good refreshers from what you learned in school as well as educating you on things you may have missed. If you are a Costco member, make sure you look for it there.
Sep 14, 2007 Ellie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Trivia lovers
The authors of this book took on WAY more than they could handle. Limiting oneself to just a page on topics like the French Revolution, genetics, and the Hebrew Bible is bound to leave giant holes in the information. And that's exactly what happened here. But it's still a nice reference and starting point. Except for the instances when they're just plain wrong. (But that's a minority of the time.)
Jul 27, 2009 Elyse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Each day you read a devotional in the seven different fields of knowledge: History, Literature, Visual Arts, Science, Music, Philosophy, and Religion. They are so much fun to read and I have already learned so much. Just the other day I read about a man named Eratosthenes who discovered a way to measure the earth's size in the 3rd century-how cool is that!
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less 4 6 Dec 23, 2013 02:54PM  
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Born in Upstate New York, David S. Kidder is a serial entrepreneur with a wide range of operational, technology, and marketing expertise focused on online product development and Internet advertising and marketing. He is currently co-Founder and serves as CEO of Clickable, an online advertising web service. Prior to Clickable, Kidder co-founded SmartRay Network, a mobile advertising delivery pione ...more
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