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Reveals that all of us can excel at our chosen activities and offers a guide to unlocking our potential

You don't have to be a genius to achieve extraordinary things.
In this fascinating book, Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool explain that learning new skills doesn't need to be daunting. Musical prodigies, sports stars and leading scientists acquire their special abilities through training – and all of us can do the same.

Based on thirty years of pioneering research, Peak shows that success simply requires the right kind of practice and offers essential advice on setting goals, receiving guidance and motivating ourselves. The astonishing stories prove that whether we're at work or at school, in the music room or on the sports field, we can master almost anything.

'Remarkable...who among us doesn't want to learn how to get better at life?'
Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics
'This book...could truly change the world'
Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein

'Groundbreaking...brilliantly useful'
Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code


Most “important” books aren’t much fun to read. Most fun books aren’t very important. But with Peak, Anders Ericsson (with great work from Robert Pool) has hit the daily double. After all, who among us doesn’t want to learn how to get better at life? A remarkable distillation of a remarkable lifetime of work

Stephen J. Dubner, bestselling author of FREAKONOMICS

Offer[s] an optimistic anti-determinism that ought to influence how people educate children, manage employees and spend their time.

The Economist

This book is a breakthrough, a lyrical, powerful, science-based narrative that actually shows us how to get better (much better) at the things we care about.

Seth Godin, author of LINCHPIN

The science of excellence can be divided into two eras: before Ericsson and after Ericsson. His groundbreaking work, captured in this brilliantly useful book, provides us with a blueprint for achieving the most important and life-changing work a person can achieve: to become a little bit better each day.

Daniel Coyle, bestselling author of THE TALENT CODE

Ericsson's research has revolutionized how we think about human achievement. He has found that what separates the best of us from the rest is not innate talent but simply the right kind of training and practice. If everyone would take the lessons of this book to heart, it could truly change the world.

Joshua Foer, bestselling author of MOONWALKING WITH EINSTEIN

An invaluable exploration into the details of what makes the difference between simply going through the motions (for 10,000 hours!) and practising to reap significant improvement. A thought-provoking and extremely useful book.

Harriet Beveridge, author of WILL IT MAKE THE BOAT GO FASTER?

His ultimate message is an uplifting, optimistic one and should be applauded.

Nick Rennison, Daily Mail


David Didau, Learning Spy

The work of the academic psychologist Anders Ericsson has inspired half a dozen popular accounts of the relationship between talent and effort. This year, with the science writer Robert Pool, he produced a book of his own, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise (Bodley Head), which may be the liveliest and clearest of the lot.

Leo Robson, Books of the Year, New Statesman

The clear style helps cast new light on a subject I thought I understood. I found his discussion of mental representations and the distinction between purposeful and deliberate practice especially illuminating

Leaning Spy, Book of the Year

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Formats & editions

  • EBook


    April 21, 2016

    Vintage Digital

    336 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ


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