A spirited journey into the lost value of daydream and ease, and the primacy of imagination Modern life only seems to become increasingly hectic and stressful, as we try to cram more into each day. In her sparkling new book, acclaimed author Patricia Hampl argues for the necessity of daydreaming and leisure in our over-amped lives. Written out of a lifelong fascination with contemplation, solitude, and silence, The Art of the Wasted Day is a picturesque travelogue of leisure. Hampl visits to the homes of several exemplars of leisure from the past, who made repose and seclusion their goal, indeed their art form. She braids her own life stories into these pilgrimages: lazing her days away as a young girl, daydreaming under a beechnut tree; undertaking a retreat at a Benedictine monastery; floating down the Mississippi River in an old cabin cruiser boat, a "sheer, dreamy waste of time" that turns out, after all of her international questing, to be the greatest travel experience of her life. The job of being human, Hampl suggests, is getting lost in thought, and only leisure can safeguard reflection. The Art of the Wasted Day is a timely, compelling, beautifully written celebration of the purpose and appeal of letting go.