In Lost In Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life I defend intellectual activity–reading, thinking, studying, pondering–as worthwhile for its own sake, and as a key part of human happiness. You can order the svelte paperback or the beautiful hardcover at the Press, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop, or find it at your preferred bookstore. It is also available as an audiobook through Audible. It is currently being translated into Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

“Lost in Thought is a moving declaration of faith in the intellectual act at a time when everything we do seems to conspire against it.”—Alberto Manguel, author of Packing My Library

“Read Zena Hitz’s honest, urgent Lost in Thought and recover clarity about why and how intellectual work and teaching should be forms of loving service—responses to the wonder and curiosity that all people bring into this world as they seek to understand. Hitz’s book should rally the spirits of everyone who is dedicated to learning to take up yet more energetically the question of how we can design colleges and universities that we can be proud of without reservation.”Danielle Allen, author of Our Declaration


I talk with the great Zohar Atkins on Meditations with Zohar.

Raucous podcast with Jonathan Marks and Roosevelt Montas, hosted by Flagg Taylor at Enduring Interest.

Can Our Campuses Be Reasonable? Review of Jonathan Marks, Let’s Be Reasonable, in Modern Age.

Podcast interview with Conner Habib on Against Everyone

Wat we nodig hebben in deze haastige wereld is een vrije innerlijke ruimte, review by critic Carel Peeters in Vrij Nederland (in Dutch)

Review by Roosevelt Montás in American Political Review

What is Thinking? Podcast with David McDonald at Books and a Balance

Conversation with Rabbi Ari Lamm on Good Faith Effort

Interview with Russ Roberts at EconTalk: AudioVideo

In-depth review by Derek van Zoonen at Nexus Instituut in the Netherlands.

Interview with Princeton economics major Tiger Gao at Policy Punchline


Minds stocked only with opinions, Charles McNamara, Commonweal.

Review by Roosevelt Montás in American Political Review

Splendid Uselessness, review by Thomas Albert Howard at Touchstones

In-depth review by Derek van Zoonen at Nexus Instituut in the Netherlands.

The Defence of Bookworms, review by Wu Wanwei for PUP China, reprinted in Aisixiang and Rujiawang (in Chinese)

The life of the mind, Jonathan Marks, Wall St Journal.

Stop and Think, review by John Warner at Chicago Tribune

Thinking About Thinking, review by Eric Springsted at Attention

Surviving solitude: Why is quarantine reading so difficult?, Elayne Allen, The American Interest.

Lost Together, review by Matt Dinan at The Hedgehog Review

The Beginning of Our Salvation, Aurelian Craiutu, Los Angeles Review of Books

Surface Tension, Jenna Storey, Real Clear Books.

Can A Healthy American Society Exist on the Internet? by Rachel K. Alexander at The Tablet (US)

In dispiriting times, it helps to get ‘Lost In Thought’, James Lang, Chronicle of Higher Education.

What Are The Pleasures and Dangers of the Intellectual Life?, Neil Dhingra, Living Church

Getting Lost In Thought, review by “Maximus Planudes” on Medium

Cultivating the inner life in the time of COVID, Flagg Taylor, National Review

A Trialogue at Public Discourse:

The decline of commitment to intellectual growth, John Hallwas, The McDonough County Voice

On Hitz’s Lost In Thought, Eric Schliesser at Digressions and Impressions.

Reader with a cause, Sophie Duncan, Literary Review.

The real value of an education, Jennifer Frey, Classical Learning Test.

Review by Matthew R. Crawford in Australian Book Review.

La trampa de les feines intellectuals o com tornar a pensar, by Joan Burdeos in Núvol (in Catalan)

Vidas occultas, Daniel Capó, The Objective (in Spanish / en Español)

Perdidos no Pensamento by Nelson Zagalo at Virtual Illusion (in Portuguese)

Review by Joseph Knippenburg at VoegelinView

The Serious Amateur, Pavlos Papadopoulos, Athwart.

Review by Timothy Burke on Substack

The intellectual vocation, Josh Hochschild, First Things.

The Life of the Mind, by John M. DeJak at Chronicles

Review by Henry Oliver at The Common Reader

Recovering the Questions of Ordinary Human Life, Nicholas A. Anderson, VoegelinView

Review by James E Hartley at Measuring Out My Life

Review by Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Review

Review at It’s Only Chemo

Review by Glenn Russell at Goodreads

Reflections on Lost In Thought by:

Joey Keegin, The Wisdom That Is Woe, The Point.

Luma Simms, Thinking is Self-Emptying, The Point.

Law & Liberty Symposium:

Lost in Thought recounts the thrilling story of how Zena Hitz overcame the anxiety of uselessness, the fear that immersion in the intellectual life cuts one off from what really matters. What she discovers, for herself and for us, is that what truly matters only emerges in the course of a commitment to think things through to the ground. Indeed, she concludes, ‘If intellectual life is not left to rest in its splendid uselessness, it will never bear its practical fruit.’ An old lesson, but one that must be relearned, especially at times like ours when a passion for social justice is the new idol to which disinterested contemplation is being sacrificed.”—Stanley Fish, author of Think Again

The best new Philosophy books

“A vivid mixture of memoir, philosophical reflection, and stories that range from Einstein to Dorothy Day, Lost in Thought is an inspiring, elegant, and original defense of the intrinsic value of intellectual life—and why it needs to be reclaimed in our colleges and universities.”—Kieran Setiya, author of Midlife: A Philosophical Guide

A short promo film was made for my book long ago. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.