Friday, February 13, 2009

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. A book review.

Last night I visited the Ward homestead in Belleville, ON. As usual, there were many new and interesting books around the house. Ching Bee had recently purchased some new cookbooks and I hadn't been by since well before Christmas, so all sorts of new things were around.

I found a book that I had been looking to read for awhileAnimal, Vegetable, Miracle A year of food life by Barbara Kingsolver. Kindly, the Wards told me to borrow it for as long as I would like. I took this book to bed with me in the pink and green room. However, before I got into bed I took a quick look at the bookshelf, one of my favourite in the household, in my room. I came across Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Before Christmas I was considering picking up his latest work, Outliers, but had passed on beginning a new book since I had so many on the go. Luckily, before I had left Guelph I had removed all of the hardcovers from my overnight bag since they were "too heavy". So, I decided to take a look at the first few sentences. I ended up reading the introduction and most of the first chapter before I fell asleep last night. I had to force myself to put the book down because I knew we had a big day ahead of ourselves on the road to Ottawa for vacation roadtrip.

Blink is a study of the most subtle, critical, infinitely small aspects of human judgement. Gladwell attempts to explain how we make split decisions and understand human intuition. I find these to be very fascinating concepts because so much of this relates to body language and the way we communicate with one another. This book describes Malcolm's journey to achieving greater understanding of these nuances that play such a vital role in every single choice we make. He interviews professionals, researchers, people who work with people and don't even realize that their everyday life relies on these facets of the human condition. I really enjoy nonfiction science-y type books that are written in such a way that the general public can easily understand the process of science. I'm only a short way into this book, but I am completely engaged and will be back with much more. Not only on this topic, but many other topics that Blink has inspired me to think about and consider.

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