Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

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Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

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Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

Read Stuart Brown’s posts on the Penguin Blog.

From a leading expert, a groundbreaking book on the science of play, and its essential role in fueling our happiness and intelligence throughout our lives

We’ve all seen the happiness on the face of a child while playing in the school yard. Or the blissful abandon of a golden retriever racing across a lawn. This is the joy of play. By definition, play is purposeless, all-consuming, and fun. But as Dr. Stuart Brown illustrates, play

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Play: New Adult Sports Romance (Completion Book 1)

Play: New Adult Sports Romance (Completion Book 1)

A Completion Novel Sports Romance

When Killian MacGregor, the hottest quarterback in the NFL, eyes the perfect pair of female legs, he spends an hour tracking the gorgeous woman in a room filled with rowdy teammates until one gets out of line.

Rebecca Cavanaugh, a long distance runner for the state team, intimidates boys and men with her quick wit and majestic height. The pre-season jock party isn’t her scene, but she’s roped into attending to provide her sister a sober ri

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6 Comments

Y. Scott

May 5, 2016 at 11:37 pm
80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Play is the key to a successful life, March 5, 2009
By 
Y. Scott (Lexington, MA, United States) –
(VINE VOICE)
  

This is one of the best books I have read recently. If I could give more than 5 stars, I would!
I’ve always believed “play” is the key to a successful life. The successful people I know enjoy playing( including my husband who is “the Kinesthete”, “The Explorer”, “The Collector”, “The Artist/Creator”, and “The Storyteller” according to Dr. Brown’s play personality) even though they are busier than average Americans. On the other hand, the people who have rigid attitude towards “play” (they even make family members feel guilty about it!) are not as successful as above, even though they “earned highest grades at the best schools”. This contrast becomes even more prominent when we become middle age. People who enjoy playing are not only more successful, but also happier.

Dr. Brown explains why this “‘nonproductive activity can make one enormously more productive and invigorated in other aspects of life” with scientific evidence and full of interesting anecdotes. It will persuade you not to feel guilty pursuing your dream or enjoying your life because it will make you and your kids more successful and happier.

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Sandy Carlson

May 6, 2016 at 12:00 am
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Play Is the Key To Learning, Creativity–Thank Goodness!, August 5, 2009
By 
Sandy Carlson
(REAL NAME)
  

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There were days at the middle school where I teach when I just wanted to fold paper with my students to see them interact with me and each other. These are inner-city toughies who really don’t respond to much that passes for standard curriculum. They are angry and antsy and difficult and disrespectful. To watch them transform scraps of paper into sublime objects of beauty. To watch them as they reached outside their usual way of thinking to do something very different.

Most days, I just wanted to play. But how to justify this? I am expected to help kids read and write and do well on standardized tests. The kids very often hate me for my troubles. I don’t blame them. The dank workbooks of generations gone by are of no relevance to them. Or me.

At the end of the school year, I taught my kids origami as a break from the norm. They relaxed and loved it and were delighted with themselves that they could turn scrap paper into beautiful things. They helped each other by explaining–by taking the story–the instructions–and putting it in their own words to help a peer. And they were playing.

This experience brought me to Brown’s book. He talks about the importance of play in problem solving, social interaction, and, to use a broad brush, surviving this world in a healthy way.

Letting go and relaxing through play free the mind to reach beyond itself and thus find answers. Serendipity.

Brown’s book is full of examples of serendipity in action in the science lab, the corporate conference room, the home sweet home. Play unlocks the mind, lets it sample possibilities, lets it seek and find a new level of possibilities. Play makes dreams come true.

Brown makes the statement that we start dying when we stop playing. He’s right. His book makes the truth of the statement abundantly clear.

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Inon Zuckerman

May 6, 2016 at 12:04 am
79 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Very little new information for a popular science book., April 9, 2010
By 
Inon Zuckerman (Israel) –

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I’ve got some mixed feelings about this one. The basic premise of the book is a very interesting one, as the subtitle says it discusses “how play shapes the brain, open the imagination and invigorates the soul”. The author, Dr. Stuart Brown, is the founder of the National Institute for Play and seems like a prominent researcher in that field. The book is divided into two parts: part one “Why Play?” and part two “Living a Playful Life” and is well written, fluent, and easy to follow.

However, the main problem of the book, at least for me, is that most of the information in the book seems like typical common knowledge that I’ve already saw and read before in other places: newspapers, parenthood magazines, popular TV shows, etc. For example of so called common knowledge I can give the importance of cubs play in the animal kingdom to the development of hunting skills or social status. In addition, as the definition of “play” in the book is an extremely general one, basically almost every day activity, under some assumptions, can be classified as “play”. As such the author can interpret almost every behavior as play and arrive to various conclusions.

Another problem is that the book feels at times, especially while reading part two, as a regular “live better” or “personal enlightenment” type of reading which describes simplified insights like that it is better if your daily work resembles a play (with the typical examples such as a doctor who started to bake breads as an hobby to eventually quitting his job at the hospital to develop his bread business). I guess we all know it, but I expected the book to present a more scientific insights to that common knowledge, but couldn’t find any.

One thing that was indeed interesting but not well developed is the part of “play personality”. That was a very interesting theory, even though the author itself say that it is just his theory and other researchers can preach to different classification. This part actually left me wanting more information and some further implications (e.g., what does it say about your personality in general? What kind of players each personality should be paired with?). I think that future research in that direction should be a very interesting one, and I will sure want to read a book that goes into depth in that direction.

To sum up, I would say that the author, probably as a consequence of trying to make the book very accessible, ended up with a kind of a story-telling, self-enlightening book instead of a “popular science” one. Most of the information is probably already known to most readers, while there are not allot of discussions about the science of play as one would expect from the title.

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hollieanne

May 6, 2016 at 12:49 am
48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
Lots of orgasms but not much else (and I’m a smut lover…..but this just didn’t work for me), May 12, 2014
By 

This review is from: Play: New Adult Sports Romance (Completion Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I’m surprised I finished this book, because after several cliché moments I wanted to discontinue reading, but figured at some point it had to get better, right? Wrong. The main reason this sucked for me was the lack of character depth and immaturity feel to this read. I have a hard time falling in love with a book where the heroine practically worships the hero, even though she really knows nothing about him aside from what she read online (of course he knows nothing about her either, purely physical). For instance, they meet; she can’t talk at all, stutters, the works. Then she immediately starts imagining their children (she does this several times throughout the read and referencing having his babies, it got to the point where I cringed each time). That’s a deal breaker for me, the whole hero worshipping syndrome. It makes the heroine come across as weak and naïve. It was infatuation overkill and an extreme case of insta-love although they really knew nothing about one another. I never once felt a connection to the characters or got a feel for their bond/relationship or their personalities. It just continuously had such a high school/juvenile vibe to it. The sex was pretty hot, but I felt like when they got it on, the first time they had never even had one single conversation. And after that it was just continuous sex and little to no conversation. Perhaps that’s why I felt the character depth lacking? They were practically strangers and I never felt any sort of understanding of them. Aside from him liking her long legs, what else did he like about her????? They just felt so fictitious and one dimensional to me. Other than that, the overly predictable and cookie cutter mold plot just fell flat.

Not one I would personally recommend – Maybe for some young adult fans, even though it had lots of sex??? It just felt as if it has the plot/characters/storyline of a young adult book, but the sexual scenes for a mature adult/new adult read. It didn’t work for me as either genre.

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Magritte

May 6, 2016 at 1:13 am
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Nice but not deep., April 6, 2014
By 
Magritte (Wien, Österreich) –

This review is from: Play: New Adult Sports Romance (Completion Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Rebecca Cavanaugh is a beautiful woman who lacks selfconfidence. She is a runner and a student whoses life is simple and nice. Until she meets Killian Mac Gregor! Killian is a hot quarterback who is fascinated by Rebeccas legs at first and then by everything else of Rebecca.

Here normally I would resume the plot of the story and this is where I mainly have a problem. There is not much plot other then Killian being a difficult man to live with when losing a game, but also on a simple gameday.
At the end we get to know the reason therefore. But that is mainly all that there is around the love / lust story between the two characters.
I don’t know much about them and did not really care about them.
There is a lot of sex happening, but it was simply not sexy enough for me to enjoy.

Reading the other reviews I have the feeling that I missed something.
This is the kind of book I read when I was 16, now at 37 I expect something deeper, better faster, stronger….

But that is maybe just me.

Enjoy the read and feel free to comment MBTM

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romance4ever

May 6, 2016 at 1:41 am
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
unlikable main characters, July 3, 2015
By 

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This review is from: Play: New Adult Sports Romance (Completion Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Both the hero Killian and Rebecca annoyed me greatly, not my normal reaction to hero and heroines. I usually like one if not both but these two main characters are one of the few exceptions. The a football star hero Killian even though he was around 25 years old, acted like he was 5 years old. He had actual temper tantrums when he lost a game and/or did not like the way he played. Also on game days he acted like a complete jackoff to everyone. He wanted Rebecca around all of the time included on game days yet treated her like crap including going to far one time and basically raping her mouth. Of course, being a doormat she easily forgave him. All it took was him sexing her. Rebecca was just as annoying. She cried. All. Of .The Time, for no good reason. Also after the first week she fell instantly in love with him. After being together around a week, she wanted to have his babies, which she told him. S She told him that her biological clock was going off and she wanted children as soon as possible. She is 21 years old. She admitted that her two other boyfriends broke up with her because she got too attached too easily and wanted too much. Psycho 5 stage clinger much? Instead of dumping her like a smart person, Killian stayed with the wanna be mother. She has very low self esteem which the reader heard about way too much. I am not pretty. I am too tall. I have no figure. I have no chest and on and on and on. It got worse when beautiful women were around Killian, which seemed to happen a lot due to his star status. Near the end of the story Killian got counseling. I felt like Rebecca needed it even more than him. There was a HEA ending which I did not find believable. I could not see them together in 10 years. She would smother him to death and he would finally get a clue and dump her.
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