Seven: The Number for Happiness, Love, and Success [NOOK Book]


What is it about the number seven that has such a hold on us? Why are there seven deadly sins? Seven days of the week? Seven wonders of the world, seven colors of the spectrum, seven ages of man, and seven sister colleges? Why can we hold seven numbers or words in our working memory--but no more? Author Jackie Leo explores everything about this mystical, magical, useful, and ...
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Seven: The Number for Happiness, Love, and Success

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What is it about the number seven that has such a hold on us? Why are there seven deadly sins? Seven days of the week? Seven wonders of the world, seven colors of the spectrum, seven ages of man, and seven sister colleges? Why can we hold seven numbers or words in our working memory--but no more? Author Jackie Leo explores everything about this mystical, magical, useful, and fun number in her new book.


1. SEVEN is a tool to improve the quality of your life.
It is a way to define time, synthesize ideas, and keep your mind performing at top speed in an era of distractions.

2. SEVEN is culturally significant. It pops up everywhere, structuring our world in ways so fundamental, we notice them only when we pause to look. Across the ages and across cultures, the number has acquired a huge scientific, psychological, and religious significance.

3. SEVEN is intriguing. Why, out of hundreds of recipes in a cookbook, do people return to the same seven, over and over? Why, when asked to choose a number between one and ten, does such a large majority of people choose seven? Why does it take seven rounds of shuffling to obtain a fully mixed deck of cards?

4. SEVEN is influential. You'll learn how the number seven shapes our thinking, our choices, and even our relationships.

5. SEVEN is practical. Throughout this book are Top Seven lists covering the best ways to get someone's attention, to build your personal brand, and to put yourself in the path of prosperity and good luck.

6. SEVEN is fun. You'll encounter surprising facts, intriguing puzzles, and hilarious anecdotes.

7. SEVEN is wise. You'll hear stories about the meaning of seven from Mehmet Oz, Sally Quinn, Liz Smith, Christina Ricci, and many others.
Artfully designed and full of enough insights to keep you engaged in conversation at the water cooler for years, SEVEN will provoke, enlighten, and amuse.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A better, more enriching life is as easy as 1, 2, 3... 4, 5, 6, 7, according to Leo's first foray into authorhood after a long career as editor-in-chief and editorial director of such publications as Child magazine and Reader's Digest. Leo presents a laundry list of arguments, expert opinions and historical factoids for her theory that the number seven is an organizing principle because, as research shows, the brain can only handle seven pieces of information (such as digits) at one time. Seven, she says, can improve productivity, memory, love, learning and life in general by simplifying the overwhelming modern world. She lists seven behaviors for emotional intelligence, education expert Howard Gardner's seven types of intelligence, the seven things that made her friend Ed happy and so on, ad nauseam. Leo's background in short-feature editorial is tightly woven into her narrative structure, and the invasion of mindless tidbits, graphics and number seven sidebars busy up the pages, creating the kind of overstimulation it vows to cure. Advice seekers ought to consider the classic 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for a recipe for success. (Dec.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446552202
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/7/2009
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Media guru JACQUELINE LEO has held a number of high-level positions in publishing and television. She founded and launched Child magazine in 1986, and went on to be editor in chief of Family Circle magazine and editorial director of the New York Times Women's Magazine Group, where she launched Fitness magazine. She was senior producer and editorial director of Good Morning America, editorial director for Consumer Reports, and vice president and editor in chief of Reader's Digest. She is currently director of digital operations for the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. She lives in New York City.

— Mehmet Oz: "I decided to be a heart surgeon at age seven."
— Christina Ricci: "Every seven years, everything changes: your physical being, your emotional being, the way other people look at you. Everything."
— Sally Quinn: "I have always had a thing about birthdays with a seven in my age: seven and seventeen and twenty-seven, thirty-seven, etc. I can't wait to be seventy-seven."
— Liz Smith: "Like Sophie Tucker, I've been rich and I've been poor and believe me, rich is better. It is, as long as you know the difference. And the difference for me was seven years."
— Jeff Greenfield: "I always thought Mantle would forever be the most memorable 'seven' of my baseball fandom-alas, that was not to be the case."
— Danny Meyer: "When I opened my second restaurant, Gramercy Tavern, I knew we'd make it. Why? Because we were given the following phone number: GR 7-0777."
— Jacqueline Novogratz: "Seven was the organizing principle for our wedding, a reference to the wisdom of many religions, our way of bowing to those who came before us."

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Table of Contents

Introduction: I've Got Your Number 1

I Simplicity: How to Prevent Brain Pollution 7

II Happiness: The Exquisite Moments of Focus When All Else Fades Away 37

III Love: Why Love and Passion Are a Numbers Game 67

IV Learning: Decoding or Deep Thinking? How Digital Noise Is Drowning Out Attention 105

V Winning: Beyond Lucky Number Seven 141

VI Life: Seven-Year Cycles and the Mystery of Life 163

VII Wonder: The Inexplicable, Awesome Sevens 187

Afterword: The Seven Manifesto 217

Acknowledgments 221

Notes 225

Credits 243

Index 245

Fourteen Fun Facts 255

About the Author 261

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2010

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    This is a clever and whimsical exploration of the role that the number 7 plays in our lives. As the dust jacket says, it is full of anecdotes and odd bits of information about 7 that will stand one in good stead for water cooler discussion.

    I found this wonderful book to be far more than a collage of information relating to 7. It is an optimistic, engrossing exploration of life, set forth in an interesting step-by-step order. The chapters denote the critical elements of happiness - simplicity, happiness, love, learning, winning, life, and wonder.

    7 begins, simply, by advising that our lives are the results of the choices that we make (actually, we are "prisoners" of those choices, for better or worse). We then learn that there are 7 character traits that define positiveness: optimism, kindness, curiosity, strong work ethic, empathy, self-awareness, and integrity. If we choose to be these things, the choice will define our life, as will the choice to not be any of these things (achieving negativeness).

    The remaining chapters contain similar types of information, anecdotes, homilies, and a continuously happy and optimistic view of life. Indeed, the whimsy of focusing on a number and centering a book around the role that it plays in our lives is a curiously cheerful way to communicate life skill advice.

    7 provides a veritable buffet of food for thought about life and happiness. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and thinking. This excellent book would make an ideal basis for discussing life in book club, church circle, or other group, male or female. The discussion would be every bit as entertaining and inspiring as is 7.

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  • Posted December 1, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Seven book is entertaining for all who adore the popular number 7

    Number seven has fascinated me for years. As a fellow author and septaphile, I am delighted about the publication of "7, the Number for Happiness, Love and Success," by Jackie Leo. I may be one of the first seven people in the world to comment publicly about Leo's seven book which is an intriguing and thought-provoking literary exploration of the wondrous world of seven.

    I applaud Leo and her publisher TWELVE for recognizing the cultural, mystical and scientific influence of the number 7, as I did in my book "7: The Magical, Amazing and Popular Number Seven," which Aventine Press published this past March.

    Here are my seven favorite things about Jackie Leo's collection of sevens: 1. "Seven Siblings" story about Kristin van Ogtrop's (editor of Real Simple) father as one of seven children 2. Striking book cover with a shiny gold image of my favorite number seven 3. Feast of the Seven Fishes celebrated in Southern Italy 4. "Odds on Seven" piece about dice rolls 5. Walter Anderson's "Seven Steps to Self-Fulfillment" 6. Delightful "Counting on Seven" piece by Washington Post writer Sally Quinn 7. "Seven on Seinfeld"-a 7 factoid which I also enjoyed including in my book about seven which describes Seinfeld's "The Seven" episode #123.

    I wish Jackie Leo huge success with the launch of her book on 7 December. I regard our two books as complementary because they each document and validate the significance of the number seven throughout recorded history. If you're a septaphile-a fan of the popular number seven-no book collection about the number 7 would be complete without buying both "7" by David Eastis ( ) and "Seven" by Jackie Leo ( ).

    Seven cheers to Jackie Leo from David Eastis, author of "7"-"7:The Magical, Amazing and Popular Number Seven" published by Aventine Press in March 2009.

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    Posted January 27, 2010

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    Posted March 5, 2010

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    Posted October 22, 2010

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