The Art of the Interesting

What We Miss in Our Pursuit of the Good Life and How to Cultivate It

Coming Soon


By Lorraine Besser, Ph.D

Read by Lauren Ezzo

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  1. Audiobook Download (Unabridged) $27.99
  2. ebook $14.99 $19.99 CAD
  3. Hardcover $30.00 $39.00 CAD

Philosopher and popular Middlebury professor Dr. Lorraine Besser reveals the missing third piece in our search for the Good Life—what she calls The Interesting—and teaches us how to cultivate it in our lives.

Do you know anyone who's truly living The Good Life? Traditionally, philosophers and psychologists have thought of the Good Life in terms of happiness or meaning, or some combination of both. But, if it’s really that simple, if all you need is more happiness or meaning to get to the Good Life, why aren’t more of us achieving that truly “good” life? You’ve hit all the traditional markers, jumped on the happiness train, committed to a gratitude practice, sought purpose in your work, and yet The Good Life you’re seeking, is still out of reach.
     Emerging research is revealing that there is, in fact, more to the good life than the current —and even ancient—conversation suggests. This has been identified as psychological richness. Dr. Lorraine Besser, a founding investigator in these studies, shows how psychological richness helps to make our Good Lives more interesting. Interesting experiences captivate our minds, engage our thoughts and emotions, and often change our perspective.   What’s interesting is different for everyone, and everyone can obtain and strengthen the skills necessary to access the interesting.
     In this illuminating book, you’ll take a deeper dive into the ways that you can cultivate the interesting in your everyday life, including:
  • How to develop an interesting mindset
  • How to harness the power of novelty
  • How to turn obstacles into adventures
Through delightful stories, powerful tools, and new mindsets, you’ll learn how to “keep it interesting.” Whether you feel like something is missing from your life, or you’re yearning for more, Besser's groundbreaking manifesto will guide you toward a fuller, more satisfying life.

  • “Lorraine Besser shines a light on this new and emerging science of psychological richness, what she calls the interesting. To now have this new piece of the puzzle illuminated and unlocked is invigorating and points the way to a lot fresh and energizing insight about how we can create out most successful and fulfilled lives.”
    Emma Seppälä, Author of Sovereign and The Happiness Track
  • “Lorraine Besser has done a remarkable job of integrating philosophy and psychology to suggest, for the first time, a crucial new element of the good life beyond the traditional philosophical ends of happiness and meaning— psychological richness."
    Alison Gopnik, author of The Scientist in the Crib, columnist WSJ and Prof. of Psychology and Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley
  • “In The Art of the Interesting, Lorraine Besser demonstrates that a critical component to a good life is what scientists refer to as the psychologically rich life. This integration of philosophy and psychologic science gives us a new perspective of the importance of 'interestingness' as a critical aspect of human fulfillment.”
    James R. Doty, M.D., author of the New York Times bestseller, Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart and Founder & Director of the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE)
  • The Art of the Interesting is a readable, thoroughly enjoyable book about a long-overlooked aspect of human happiness.”
    President Laurie L. Patton, Middlebury College
  • "A profoundly delightful read full of compelling real-life examples. The Art of the Interesting is a fantastic contribution to the literature on well-being and happiness.”
    Valerie Tiberius, Prof. Philosophy at The University of Minnesota and author of What Do You Want Out of Life?: A philosophical guide to figuring out what matters
  • The Art of the Interesting will capture your attention and invariably change your approach to your day-to-day life.”
    Jim Ralph, Dean of Faculty, Rehnquist Professor of American History and Culture at Middlebury College and author of Northern Protest
  • “Lorraine Besser has developed a novel and refreshing category for defining and finding our best lives. Seamlessly weaving together scientific research, philosophical theories, and illuminating stories, Besser contends that in addition to happiness and fulfillment, we need to consider the very 'richness' of a life. This interesting book lives up to its title, but more than that, it dispenses wisdom on cultivating the richness of life Besser so eloquently advocates.” 
    Gordon Marino, author of The Existentialist’s Survival Guide and Prof. of Philosophy at St. Olaf College
  • “It's difficult to imagine a more interesting topic than interestingness itself. Anyone who has a curious mind will be interested in this.”
    Gwen Bradford, Prof. of Philosophy at The University of Toronto and author of Achievement

On Sale
Sep 10, 2024
Hachette Audio

Lorraine Besser, Ph.D

About the Author

Lorraine Besser, PhD, is a professor of philosophy at Middlebury College, who specializes in the philosophy and psychology of the good life and teaches popular courses for undergraduates on happiness, well-being, and ethics. An internationally recognized scholar, she was a founding investigator on the research team studying psychological richness.  She is the author of two academic books (The Philosophy of Happiness: An Interdisciplinary Introduction and Eudaimonic Ethics: The Philosophy and Psychology of Living Well) and dozens of professional journal articles on moral psychology.

Learn more about this author