Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise” as Want to Read:
Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  7,746 ratings  ·  776 reviews
From the world’s reigning expert on expertise comes a powerful new approach to mastering almost any skill.

Have you ever wanted to learn a language or pick up an instrument, only to become too daunted by the task at hand? Expert performance guru Anders Ericsson has made a career studying chess champions, violin virtuosos, star athletes, and memory mavens. Peak condenses th
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,746 ratings  ·  776 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Phil Sykora
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want to get better at anything, this book is your starting point.

As a sophomore in high school, I remember asking my favorite English teacher if he would sign off on my application to an advanced writing class. The look on his face was shock: mouth open, eyebrows raised. I felt stupid for even asking.

Needless to say, I took a general English class my junior year.

But I decided I didn't want the other kids to get ahead of me academically. I didn't have that elusive, all-important trait that
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
K. Anders Ericsson writes a good book with lots of practical applications that falls victim to the classic type 2 statistical error (false negative). Let's start with the good stuff. Ericsson tells a lot of cool anecdotes about the utility of deliberate practice. He never really defines deliberate practice. But basically it means getting a coach and performing focused exercises to get better while analyzing results. Easy enough. There is also some cool material about improving mental representat ...more
Pouting Always
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't think this had to be a whole book but that said I do think the idea behind the book is a meaningful one. I know I personally spend a lot of time practicing things without getting better because I don't actively engage in what I'm doing and try to improve on whatever part of the skill I struggle with most. I also thought the writing was really good and appreciate that it was based on so much research evidence. Definitely was something new that I hadn't really thought of before.

Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Anders Ericsson reasons that expertise is best developed by deliberate practice and the existence of innate talent is an unconfirmed hypothesis.
Deliberate practice means doing - knowledge by itself is not indicative of expertise.

This is a positive book as its message is that the power to become great in any area is in everyone's hands.

Here are the insights.

Gaining expertise is largely a matter of improving one’s mental processes.

If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will nev

Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Talent is made, not born. Specifically, according to Ericsson & Pool, it's made through years and years of deliberate practice: the process of learning to recognize and emulate existing models of elite performance, through active trial-and-error, regular expert feedback, and self-motivated resilience. Deliberate practice is necessarily painful, but rewarding for those who keep at it.

Key implications: There's no "genius" gene, and in any case it doesn't take genius to become an expert or eli
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everest! There is no vantage point higher on the subject of expert performance than Anders Ericsson’s lifetime achievement in sharing this book. Through years of deliberate practice in observing what truly sets apart the best from the rest, Ericsson has guided many to new heights of accomplishment through his insights that sparked a paradigm shift of our understanding of “experts”. The ideas shared in these pages will no doubt help propel countless others for decades to come as they make even gr ...more
Zac Scy
Before I say anything else, this is the single most rewarding book I've read this year. I recommend anyone and everyone to read it. It's one of those books that busts the myths that have been floating around about "natural talent" being something that only a select few possess.

Back in 2008 Malcolm Gladwell introduced K. Anders Ericssons research on expertise to the masses. Those who read up on the research understood that there was more to it than the version presented in Gladwell's book. Unfort
Kieran Seán Fitzpatrick
Great book.

Note to self. Create mental model to remember to figure out how to create mental models.
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book relates the research that Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers was based on and referenced inaccurately. Ericsson is a passionate advocate of deliberate practice, which is NOT the ten thousand hours that Gladwell popularized, but rather a lot -- a lot more than you think -- of practice, but practice focused on specific goals, measurements, and development of mental schemas that help you become a more expert chess player, or high jumper, or physicist. Ericsson's great insight is that there ...more
Doug Roberts
I'm still slogging through the book but it's the same formula over and over and over. The secret to peak performance was revealed in the first chapters, now the author simply insists on telling anecdotal story after story to support the theory. I imagine if you're an athlete or a musician it must be wonderful to read about your peers but for someone interested in other areas, the book peaks in the early chapters and plateaus after.
Seth Braun
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book answer the question: How do we develop expertise?

The premise is: We develop excellence through deliberate practice.

Context: This is Anders Ericsson and Robert Pools' mainstream distillation of The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, which was made famous through Gladwell's reference of the "10,000 Hour Rule" in Outliers.

I am sold on the idea of deliberate practice and did not need to be convinced, however there is plenty here to persuade the reader to adopt the aut
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Important Book

I try to keep a running list of "important" books that I want my kids to read when they're older. I'm adding Peak and its story of deliberate practice to the list. The book makes the point that there is no such thing as innate talent (or if there is, it only helps one at the very beginning of learning a new skill). Deliberate practice and building mental models (referred to as mental representations) are the keys. This book reinforced to me that having my kids take music lessons is
Lance Willett
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My full review:

Thesis: there is no such thing as natural ability — anyone can become an expert by putting in the time (10K hour rule). Traits favorable to a task help at the beginning, but don't make a difference at high levels — it all comes down to effort.

Mastery is possible through deliberate practice, focused training with an expert who can push you to a higher understanding of the craft. A key ingredient is using mental representations, these help yo
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book challenges Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000-Hour Rule - that you need to have practised and to have apprenticed for 10,000 hours before you get good. Anders Ericsson argued that while practice is important, it's not the whole story. Besides the quantity of hours spent practising, there's also the quality of that practice, which allows us to learn more efficiently. The trick is what he coins as "Deliberate Practice":

1. Create a feedback loop - surround yourself with experts and get their feedb
Lily ☁️
DNF at 40%.

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise had good intentions, but ultimately lost me by frequently being too long-winded and digressive. Furthermore, as I was listening to the audiobook, I felt like I was hearing reiteration after reiteration of the same ascertainment. Such a pity, as I expected a lot from this book.
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone looking to improve on something in their lives. Really interesting information about human potential! Definitely a book I could see myself returning back to when I'm working on something! Well written and easy to follow even with the science-y stuff.
Probably my favorite book on this subject. Ericsson was the researcher that Gladwell referenced in his book "Outliers" with his famous 10,000 hour rule (the number of hours to become great at something). This book gives more detailed information and better explains his theory and research. The ideas and premise of this book kept popping up in discussions with my family, and especially children, and I was grateful for the hope and motivation it provides. Basically, besides body type and size, tal ...more
Matt Austin
I first heard about this book while listening to the Freakonomics podcast a few weeks ago when Anders Ericsson was featured on the podcast and spoke at great lengths about his theory of "deliberate practice." The podcast was very interesting, so I had to get my hands on a copy of the book. After reading glowing reviews, I had high hopes. Unfortunately, the book was subpar, in my opinion. There are moments when I am captivated, but the discussion quickly becomes drawn out, and I find myself waiti ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The research behind Tiger mom and outliers and all of those other pop theories on excellence. It's a very liberating and democratic thesis--you are not genetically restrained from being a master of anything. You just need to do deliberate practice.
Bijay Gurung
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The people at the peak? They are not there due to their "talent". They are there because they have put in hours and hours of purposeful practice into what they do, harnessing the adaptability of the human mind and body.

Among a myriad useful, insightful things-- the importance of mental representations in expert performance, naive vs purposeful vs deliberate practice, why skills trump knowledge--the core message of the book is an inspirational one: apart from a few areas (say swimming) you are n
Patrik Hallberg
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a great book, sometimes you stumble across a masterpiece like Mindset by Carol Dweck and this one is right up there. It explains the science behind how everybody can become better at almost anything. I have been discussing this topic for a long time with my children and focusing on growth mindset and grit. This book brings a new concept called deliberate practice and proves that "practice makes perfect" should be perfect practice makes perfect. In this book by the Swede Anders Ericsson he e ...more
د.أمجد الجنباز
بنظر المؤلف (وهو بروفيسور ولديه ابحاث كثيرة) ، الجينات والموهبة يمكن الحصول عليها من خلال التدريب المتعمد. وبنظره لا يوجد موهوببن بالفطرة في الرسم او الغناء او اي شيء آخر، فالجميع بامكانهم التدرب للوصول الى الاتقان في اي شيء يختارونه!!

لا يا شيخ؟

والكتاب عبارة عن قصص ودراسات تثبت ذلك، مهملا القصص والابحاث التي تنسف كلامه!!
والكتاب ملييييييء بالتكرار
Linda Vituma
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grāmata katram vecākam, katram skolotājam, katram cilvēkam. Precīzi doti vārdi, skaidri definēta doma, iedvesmojoši piemēri.
Grāmata par to, kā paņemt atbildību par savu varēšanu jebkurā sevis izvēlētā prasmē un jomā.
Grāmata, kuru fiziski nosūtot, esmu ieteikusi tik daudz cilvēkiem, kā vēl nekad līdz šim.
Pinar Gungor
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super kitap, beyin ve uzmanlik konulari hep yeni calisilan konular. Yetenek var midir? Dahilik nedir? Nasil calisilmali? Herkes piyanist olabilir mi ve ya fizik profesoru? Cevaplar evet ama yol zor ve uzun. Kitap yolu anlatiyor cok umut verici . Ama turkiye’nin bu egitim duzeni ile mumkun degil ve bu gidisle hic mumkun olmayacak.
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this read completely fascinating. I am interested in the study of expertise and how people become the best (or really, really good) at something. Not because I want to be the best, but because as a teacher, I want to understand how best to encourage students to become their best possible selves.

A few great takeaways from this book:

1. If you are unsure if this book is for you, read the introduction. I found it spellbinding (it deals with the idea of "perfect pitch" and questions whether a
CP (Wayne)
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
If I had to summarize this book in one sentence: A heavy read built around the ideas of deliberate practice and how anyone has the potential to obtain any skill they desire.

This book was well researched and used a lot of case studies to demonstrate its ideas. In my opinion, this book may get mixed reviews depending on the type of reader you are;

For those who are trying to find straightforward practical advice to help you obtain a skill. You might find this book a bit frustrating as you have to s
Corina Anghel
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book because it proves a truth we don't talk enough about: real performance takes practice. Not just any type of practice, but the one that requires conscientious reflection and hard work.

There are three types:
1. Naive practice: when you just spend time in the activity, in mindless repetition, without real focus on improvement
2. Purposeful practice: when you set an objective, you deconstruct, you reflect and integrate feedback
3. Deliberate practice: it's when you can follow a bench
Santhosh Guru
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is kind of a reality check for Malcolm Gladwell's Outlier. Gladwell's 10,000-hour rule sounded like an impossible thing to do, for you to become an expert in a topic because of the sheer number of hours you have to put in. This book gives you techniques, mental models to develop skills and improve in any particular area. The biggest takeaway for me is the deliberate practice as a lens to deconstruct any expert or superstar in a topic and understand them better.
inspiring, with no-nonsense argumentation, simply awesome
Trung Thieu
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book has taught/reaffirmed the following for me:
- Continual practices do not necessarily lead to improvment. So the rule of Malcomn Gladwell about 10,000 hours practice will make you an expert is not so correct. To be an expert, you need to follow the correct practice and the correct practice is either Purposeful Practice or the best is Deliberate Practice.
- Anyone can improve, but it requires the right approach. Refuse the following myths:
 o The first is our old friend, the belief that one’
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Elite Minds: Creating the Competitive Advantage
  • Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation
  • Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress and Lead by Example
  • Stick with It: The Science of Lasting Changes
  • The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence
  • The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress: Foreword by Cal Newport, Author of So Good They Can't Ignore You
  • The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills
  • Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning
  • The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning
  • The Stupidity Paradox: The Power and Pitfalls of Functional Stupidity at Work
  • Creating Flow with OmniFocus
  • Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity
  • The Art of Coaching Teams: Building Resilient Communities that Transform Schools
  • Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade
  • Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism
  • Diaminds: Decoding the Mental Habits of Successful Thinkers
  • Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman
  • Notes to a software team leader
See similar books…
“The reason that most people don’t possess these extraordinary physical capabilities isn’t because they don’t have the capacity for them, but rather because they’re satisfied to live in the comfortable rut of homeostasis and never do the work that is required to get out of it. They live in the world of “good enough.” The same thing is true for all the mental activities we engage in,” 13 likes
“you have to keep upping the ante: run farther, run faster, run uphill. If you don’t keep pushing and pushing and pushing some more, the body will settle into homeostasis, albeit at a different level than before, and you will stop improving. This” 8 likes
More quotes…