Sunday, December 26, 2010

What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell

This book, like Gladwell's Outliers, is provocative and thoughtful. Unlike Outliers, however, it's a collection of articles that Gladwell wrote, so each chapter is its own independent unit. This is probably, at least in part, why it took me several months to read. I'd read a chapter or two while I was between books. The good news about that is that I didn't need to remember what I had previously read, I could just pick it up a week later and start a new chapter.

Like Outliers, Gladwell picks a topic and makes you think about it in a completely new way. You'll learn a lot about ketchup, for instance, and why there aren't more varieties of it (and what the hell umami is). One of my favorite chapters explores the issue of homelessness and whether or not cities should provide free housing to the most chronically homeless. Other topics include things like hair dye, birth control, and even Caesar Milan.

Overall, I recommend the book. But it goes in the think-y category, which I know isn't for everyone. But then again, maybe it should be...? I guess if you're reading anything, you're ahead of the game.

Reviewed by Cathy

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