Friday, November 28, 2008
I am off to Ohio and Kentucky for Thanksgiving festivities. I brought three books with me. The first, which I finished quickly, was the new book out by Malcolm Gladwell called Outliers. If you have read either of Mr. Gladwell's books then you will know his observations and essays on modern life and ways of thinking are fascinating. He knows how to tell a story.
Gladwell has a general theme--in the case of Outliers the theme is "what makes someone successful?"--then he he writes a series of stories and parables and case studies to illustrate his theme. Blink is about the power of intuition in making decisions. The Tipping Point is about how fads and ideas become popular.
Outliers, Gladwell's most personal book, keeps to the style of the previous two works. He writes about surprising ideas and interesting ways of looking at things. It will help you to understand the Beatles and Bill Gates and math in an entirely new way. I now know that the secret to success is 10,000 hours. I've only got about 9,000 more to go.
The second book I brought which I am halfway through is called "Soldiers Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point." by Elizabeth Samet. More on this later. I will review it as part of an agreement with an early reviewers program that I am a part of. (Free books in return for a review!)
The third book is a biography of the great etiquette expert Emily Post. I may not get to this in the wake of Black Friday shopping and a wedding later tonight.
But really, read Outliers. You'll be very happy you did. Then check out Gladwell's other two books. Available all over any bookstore and I am sure one can check them out after a short wait at the library.