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

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  2,695 ratings  ·  323 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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Siena Mirabella
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've got a few more pages of this left but I'm marking it as read for the year so i don't forget.

I highly recommend this for anyone who loves learning & wants to incorporate it into their daily lives. I've kept up with this every day for the past year and have loved it! Best new year's habit I ever started. Can't wait to read the next edition in the new year! :)
Renee Amberg
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a wonderful concept and makes for a great coffee table book.

I’m going to break up the the book by the fields of knowledge:

Monday’s were history lessons:
I give these a 5/5 because they were very interesting
Tuesday’s were literature:
I give these a 2/5 just because the literature lessons were mainly about classics and I would’ve liked to hear about modern pieces
Wednesday’s were visual arts:
1/5 just because the arts were mainly about the history and the person who created them and I woul
Chris Shank
Jun 22, 2013 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
Dec 16, 2007 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
Dec 08, 2011 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. ...more
Oct 21, 2008 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
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: educational
One page snippets on history, literature, visual arts, science, music, philosophy, and religion. Great way to refresh what we might already know. I read 1-2 pages a day.
Steven Peterson
Apr 09, 2011 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 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2008
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 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.
Jan 24, 2017 is currently reading it
I'm reading The Intellectual Devotional over the course of 2017 (as a follow-up to reading Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac in 2016). I'm now three weeks in and have a few remarks about it.

The book is set up on a seven-day cycle, and it really works best to start the book on a Monday, rather than on the first of the year, because it labels its pages by day of the week running from Monday to Sunday. I am reading this book in a year that started on a Sunday, so I read the introduction that day and re
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Good book, covering main areas and gives you the knowledge, which you didn’t even realize, that you did not knew up until now.
But the only thing that i didn’t like the most is, there were barely any women mentioned. As i remember just one maybe 2 at maximum. And i hope they wrote about more women in those fields in their other books.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I literally carried this book around like the Bible in high school. It’s like highly curated elevator pitches of Wikipedia pages.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2018
I read this over the course of the year as it is designed to do. It covers a topic in a general category each day: Monday -history, Tuesday - literature, Wednesday -visual arts, Thursday - science, Friday - music, Saturday - philosophy, and Sunday - religion. The topics were an interesting and informative beginning to my day all year.

My only quibble is that the information is largely Western world focused. The history and literature topics cover almost entirely American or European events/peopl
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It took me five years to finish this book.

What did I learn? Lots of things, I'm sure, but the most apparent is that I can't keep myself accountable for reading 5 minutes a day.

Sep 04, 2008 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 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
Nov 05, 2007 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 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
Feb 23, 2008 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
Dan Gladwell
Feb 27, 2009 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
May 12, 2010 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
John Roche
Nov 12, 2010 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
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bought this book on a whim! Each day you read about something different. Just enough to explain with some trivia about it also, but not so much that it is boring. Small book like a devotional with one day on each page. Subjects come from history, literature, visual arts,science, music, philosophy, and religion. I learned a lot, remembered things I had forgotten, and solidified why when given the choice between a math course and a philosophy course, I chose math! A unique book that I Really enjoy ...more
Monkey Man
Apr 16, 2010 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
Aug 04, 2011 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
Kilian Metcalf
Jan 11, 2013 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
Kellyn Brooks
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hard-copy
This was fun! I love the idea of devotionals, but had never found one that suited my taste. The authors divide up the week by subject: Monday is history, Tuesday is literature, Wednesday is visual arts, and so on. The book also shows you what week of the year you are on, which is great to help you track your progress. I enjoyed certain subjects (history, philosophy, and religion) more than others (visual arts), but that is to be expected. I love learning, and this little book filled that sweet s ...more
Sep 14, 2007 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.)
Dec 05, 2008 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.
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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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