I picked up Malcolm Gladwell’s OUTLIERS on the recommendation of an old friend of mine who told me that I should READ it. And I am happy that I took the recommendation and bought the book. I loved it – One of the most interesting books I have read in recent times..
So what did I really like about the book?
1) The way it is written. As a reader, most of us like to read “simple and easy to comprehend” writings. Though some of my friends claim that there is no fun in simple writing, I honestly think that writing in a “simple” fashion is actually very hard for any writer. Simply because you have to be extremely clear on what you want to convey; and need to have an excellent command on the language and understanding on a particular subject to articulate it well
2) As a person, a large part of me is really “left brained”. So I love books which have data, analysis and logical interpretation. And this book has it all! Along with some radical viewpoints which trigger your “right brain” as well. That’s a double BONUS!
3) The topics which are written about are less known to the most of us (At least to me!). And hence every single concept in the book will amaze you and compel you to think and wonder about the ways of the world, life, human behavior, evolution, etc etc etc
4) The way the book is structured makes it easy to read. Especially for someone like me who reads a in book in several sittings, I find it easy to read a few chapters and then pick up from where I left off, without really missing the “spirit and essence of the message”
Now, the reason why I am even posting this is because there were some interesting points made which I think are worth knowing. Sharing some excerpts from the book below which I really liked.
“Parents with a child born at the end of the academic year often think about holding their child back before the start of the kindergarten; it’s hard for a 5-year old to keep up with a child born many months earlier. But most parents, on suspects, think that whatever disadvantage a younger child faces in kindergarten eventually goes away. But it doesn’t. The small initial advantage that the child born in the early part of the year persists. It locks children into patterns of achievement and underachievement, encouragement and discouragement, that stretch on for years”
Wolf and Bruhn had to convince the medical establishment to think about health and heart attacks in an entirely new way: they had to get them to realize that they wouldn’t be be able to understand why some was healthy is all they did was think about an individual’s personal choices or actions in isolation. They had to look beyond the individual. They had to understand the culture he or she was a part of, and who their friends and families were, and what town their families came from. They had to appreciate the idea that the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are”
The idea that excellence at performing a complex task required a critical minimum level of practice surfaces again and again in studies of expertise. In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise : 10000 Hours
What your parents do for a living, and the assumptions that accompany the class your parents belong to, matter!
Intellect and Achievement are far from perfectly correlated
Cultural Legacies are powerful forces. They have deep roots and long lives. They persist, generation after generation, virtually intact, even as the economic and social and demographic conditions that spawned them have vanished, and they play a role in directing attitudes and behavior that cannot make sense of our world without them
No one who can rise before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich
The School year in the United States is, on average 180 days long. The South Korean school year is 220 days long. The Japanese school year in 243 days long.
Extraordinary success are products of history and community, of opportunities and legacy
These are some of my favorite pieces of the book. Have you read the book? Did you like it? Leave a comment to let me know
Nischala’s Overall Rating : A+ [And I’ve added all of Malcolm’s books to my Bookshelf for 2013 :) ]