Malcolm Gladwell audiobooks

The first book from Malcolm Gladwell I read was The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference back in 2007. I continued to read Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking in 2008. And then it seems I’ve weaned off Gladwell, with the exception of his pieces in magazines like The New Yorker. 

I’ve started listening to audiobooks again, most of last year, because I find that when I go to the gym, its much better than listening to music on repeat. So I listened to Blink again which further cemented ideas in my head. Then I thought I needed to listen to a new book — Outliers: The Story of Success

This is his famous book that suggests you have to get some kind of “luck” to practice 10,000 hours to get proficient in things (known as the 10,000 hour rule). Examples include the fact that Bill Gates got access to a computer terminal when he was in high school; something that doesn’t happen for many people during that time. Opportunities can equate to luck

Some choice quotes:

  1. Achievement is talent plus preparation. The problem with this view is that the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger the role preparation seems to play.
  2. Those three things—autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward—are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether our work fulfills us.

I think its worth reading or listening to these books. I know I’m behind on Gladwell’s stuff – I hear David and Goliath is a good read, and I guess that’s next on my to-read list from him. As for the audiobook format, I think its worth picking books carefully as I like the idea of highlighting on the Kindle (and before that, dog-earing pages and writing copious quotes/notes). It’s quite hard to do when you’re driving and listen to a great point — wait for my thoughts on Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle which after listening to the audiobook, I also grabbed the Kindle edition (and for what it’s worth, I happen to have the dead-tree edition as well — go figure).


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