How often are you oblivious to the world around you? I admit to tuning my surroundings out, especially when I’m treading the same old path I walk every day. But Rob Walker, a journalist who has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic and other publications, challenges us to buck that habit in his recently released “The Art of Noticing.” He offers 131 experiments to help you take back your powers of observation, which can lead to a better, more interesting and well-lived life, he believes. Read historical plaques and monuments when you pass them, decide on an object (Walker searched for security cameras during a trip to San Francisco) and see how many you can find, or, one I particularly like, improve workplace conversations by asking more questions and giving more compliments. — Jennifer Mulson, The Gazette

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