I buy books. And sometimes I read them. This blog is for the times when I do more than just store shelf candy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

BLINK by Malcolm Gladwell

Blink is an easy, breezy, entertaining yet meaty read. To borrow a phrase from our book group, it's something to "cleanse the palate" after reading a lot of work-related books and novels with serious, heavy life themes. Gladwell sure knows how to present what could be boring research findings in a light, easy to digest manner devoid of pedantic verbiage.

Gladwell's writing strength lies in his ability to tell stories. He weaves about a dozen seemingly unrelated stories in seemingly random order to say the message: decision making need not always be over thought, over analyzed, over wrought. Sometimes all it takes is 2 seconds, a blink of an eye to arrive at an answer to a question, a solution to a dilemma.

Of course, it's not as simple as that. It does take a lifetime of skill and knowledge building for someone to get to that expert level where instinct is on the dot. We also have to watch out when initial impressions based on society's conditioning and stereotyping can cause us to judge people or circumstances erroneously.

I am not yet sure how I will use all the knowledge Gladwell poured into my head, but it was a fun way to learn about the world and "the power of thinking without thinking".

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