Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

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This is my first Malcolm Gladwell book,Outliers: The Story of Success, and I can definitely say, that it will not be my last. In sticking with my idea to listen to nonfiction, this book was first on my list. We (my husband, daughter, and I) listened to this book during our holiday travels. It held all of us captive.

The book looks at why some people succeed, living remarkable lives, while others never reach their potential. We’ve all been told, with lots of hard work, you will be successful. Gladwell feels that while hard work is important, what is also important are extraordinary opportunities and advantages that present themselves at the right time and the right place to the right person. It’s fascinating. He covers everything from Canadian junior hockey players, to Bill Gates, to The Beatles. This is not a self-help book, it’s more, here is what I found, what do you think of it?

This book was so good, that I promptly went around telling everyone I knew to read it, so that I could have other people to discuss it with. I was really interested in the stories that related to education. It also raises the question as to why, even though my husband was born in the banner year for computer billionaires, we are living in Soddy Daisy, TN and I’m a middle school special ed teacher. I think I was supposed to have been a billionaires wife.


Thanks to Rachel and Angie’s Sister for showing me how to create those stars!! Even though, the idea of taking any computer advice from someone who shares Angie’s gene pool is kind of scary.

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  1. says

    Sounds like a good book (tape)! I keep thinking about listening to books on tape. To be honest, I’ve really only done that with my kids books years ago. The idea really, really appeals to me now for a more grown up version! :-)

  2. says

    Oh my goodness, I don’t think I can handle yet another book to read. Although this book sounds good…I am in the process of reading “one month to live” by Kerry & Chris Shook, not to mention A book by Max Lucado and another by Lee Strobel… AND I’m working on another knitting project and…. GOSH! Thanks for the encouraging words over my less than wonderful knitting project! =-}

  3. says

    Just had to let you know this: yesterday I added a gadget to my blog called ‘Quote of the Day’. A new quote automatically pops up every day.
    Just read your post on the book and would you believe that the new quote of the day says: Every man is the architect of his own fortune, by Sallust.
    Anyway, coincidence?

  4. says

    if you like that one..grab Blink and The Tipping Point..you’ll gobble them down in no time flat and be left with thought provoking questions..enjoy

  5. Pam says

    Terri – it’s some kind of number (it’s on the comments on my last book review)

    Shabby – I think it was a pretty short listen, about 7 hours.

    Paula – I listen on my MP3 player, I also listen while cleaning house.

    Andrea – Let me know if you like it!

    Joan – I can only have 2 books going at once, so I admire your talent!

    Eatingclub – I’m going to listen to the other two also.

    Booklogged – Let me know if you like it!

    Carolina – Wow, that’s funny!

    Sandra – they are next on my list.

    Jeff – be sure and let me know what you think.

    Pam – let me know what you think about it!

    Natashya – my husband is a champion snorer!

  6. says

    I keep looking at the book, debating whether I should buy it. I’m going to wait until the softcover is available. I’ve read his two previous books and really enjoyed them. Looking forward to this one too.

  7. says

    I finished it on a plane today! Of his three books, this one was by far my favorite b/c for me it’s easiest to read. In the first section I thought Gladwell did a seamless job connecting all the dots. In the second section (Legacy) there was a bit more work involved remembering his main points and tying them back to the overall concept. This second section reminded me of the reasons why I struggled more with The Tipping Point and Blink (though conceptually I was as fascinated with those books, too).

    There is a theme that keeps popping up in my life this last year about how luck surrounds all of us, but it’s only through preparation and hard work that we are able to (1) recognize the luck all around and (2) know how to take advantage of the opportunities that luck presents. This is also explored in The Creative Habit, one of my fave nonfiction reads in the last 10 years. Gladwell’s final chapter on his own heritage really drove home for me that there are happy accidents all the time. Can we see them? Are we ready to do something with them?

    Blah blah — hope that wasn’t too much rambling… :)

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