Malcolm Gladwell sees the world through the eyes of an objective observer. He takes nothing at face value and in this book, he takes us behind the scenes of some well known, and unknown underdog stories.
The fun thing about this book is that for most people the title would simply be a symbol of the little guy who doesn't stand a chance against some unbeatable giant, but Gladwell sees this classic story from an entirely different perspective. He shows us that *David* was clearly the superior fighter. He breaks it down so clearly that you see that Goliath simply didn't have a chance.
Once he establishes this fundamental shift in perspective, he then dives into a series of stories of people who succeed not in spite of their adversities... but because of them.
As always, Galdwell doesn't just base his positions on his own opinion, but based upon intensive research. For example, in a study of the greatest leaders of all time, he made a list of all of the people in the Encyclopedia Britannica who had more than two columns written about them. He then researched every name in the list to determine the percentage of them who lost a parent at a young age and was able to demonstrate that a disproportionate number of great leaders had indeed been from shattered families.
I was particularly interested in his research in education, where he demonstrated solid reasons why emphasis on smaller class sizes and affirmative action were off target, and why aiming for Ivy League schools isn't always in the best interest of the student.
Above all, Malcolm Gladwell has delivered another classic book that simply makes you think outside the box. In this particular book, he also makes it easier for you to look adversity in the eye and say... "thanks".
I loved the fact that there were not only interesting bits of trivia, but plenty of common facts that will actually make me a more savvy shopper at the supermarket.
There were quite a few things I've learned such as simply knowing the basics of salt...Sea Salt, Kosher, Table and sodium free salts.
I think this would be a great start for a series of similar practical science such as "What Einstein told his... Housekeeper, gardener, etc.
I'm open minded. It would depend on the book.
This is not a bad book, but the reason for the low score is because I feel that the author was trying too hard to degrade the classic book that inspired it, "Who Moved My Cheese?".
In "Who Moved my Cheese?", a group of mice in a maze become upset when the cheese they loved so much was no longer where they expected it. Some waited and waited for the cheese to come back... others quickly moved on to look for more... and another waited at first, but soon realized he should move on too.
The simple message in this fable is that life changes, the cheese will move, and you have to accept it and do something about it.
This book takes another approach... Why are you in the maze in the first place? Why not break through the maze... or climb out of it? It essentially extends the core message from a 2D universe to a 3D universe that extends above or outside the maze.
While these are good points, the book tries too hard to put down the original book for not spelling this out, meanwhile the point of the first book was not HOW the mice will find what they need, but WHY they should take action.
In the original, the bottom line was that they had to do something so they looked elsewhere in the maze. Because it's a simple fable, the message is very clear and they stay within the 2D maze.
Just because there exists an ability to break through the maze or look outside the maze doesn't change the core message of the original... if you can't find what you are looking for, be prepared to do something about it.
There is no reason to repeatedly point out that there were other things the mice in the original could do. The main message was to just do something and not sit there waiting for the cheese to come back.
If I took the same approach as this book does, I could write yet another fable where my mice do something new like ride around in roller skates or make their own cheese, but it would not improve on the original premise. Do something.
Yes. And I have, because it's full of great information.
"Delivering Happiness" from Tony Hsieh and "Good to Great" from Jim Collins.
While the book is full of time saving advice, the key takeaway for me is that the focus on company culture, because in spite of Paul's efforts to trim a 2 seconds here and there, he spends more than an hour each day NOT building products, but building better people, who in turn become more efficient at build better products.
His philosophy reminds me of the old story of the lumberjack who entered a contest to see how fast he could cut down a tree. Everyone was half way through before he even started, yet he won the race. He was sharpening his axe.
I have listened to over 450 audiobooks, including some that were way too long to get to the point. Paul delivers his message without wasting any words, so the book itself is a great example of efficiency.
Even though the chapters and the book itself are short, he makes it a point to summarize each chapter to make sure the key points stand out. This underscores the message and insures you absorbed it.
Lastly, this is not a Harvard Business School textbook on the merits of bean counting. Paul Akers lives and breathes this lifestyle and his magnetic personality comes through with flying colors.
If you've never seen or heard Paul Akers in action, check out some of his videos online. His energy is contagious.
Zig Ziglar is one of the all-time best motivational speakers because of his dynamic personality and his deep rooted values.
This particular audiobook is a great example of Zig in action. He doesn't focus on complicated "Get it Done" strategies or systems. Instead, he simply uses common sense ideas and he illustrates them with captivating stories and his one-of-a-kind delivery.
He reminds us to that the first step in getting things done is setting specific goals and for those who have a hard time doing that, perhaps your first goal is to give him a listen. Once you do, you'll want to explore some of his other books, such as "See You at the Top".
This book is a great introduction to science. It doesn't get too in depth into any one area, but it does touch on quite a few of the fundamental building blocks, such as astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology and biology.
It's not easy putting so many different subjects into one book, but the author does a great job of connecting everything together without seeming scattered.
I'm one of those people who forgets what he had for breakfast, so I thought this book might shed some light on how people with exceptional memories manage to remember thousands of numbers in sequence.
Joshua Foer had an average memory, just like the rest of us, until he decided to follow the "Memory Sport" circuit for a couple of years. He was just an observer, but soon became the national memory champion, proving that anyone can learn to improve their memory.
This book isn't a self-help book and it doesn't spent too much time on techniques or tricks to improve your memory. It's more about the journey itself and that makes it more... memorable.
I listened to this audiobook twice because I wanted to reinforce some of the underlying concepts. This book explores the underlying stories behind some serious hoarders, which gives non-hoarders a glimpse of some of their own tendencies.
You just might find that you share some of the same issues that are the root of a serious hoarder, and you can learn how to clear your mind as you clear your environment. If nothing else, you will be fascinated by the psychology behind the mess.
George Carlin was a national treasure and this book does a great job of putting his life in perspective. Even if you thought you knew everything there was to know about George Carlin, your understanding expands when you get to know the inner thoughts behind his public and private life.
His brother Patrick does an outstanding job with the narration largely because he shares a lot of George's phrasing and inflection.
I've had a computer since the 70s. That was way before the Internet, way before practical software such as word processors and spreadsheets. Back then, it was something for hobbyists called "Hackers" who loved to explore the possibilities of using devices that would one day change the world.
Because my history with computers ran parallel with Apple's history, I've always had a connection with Steve Jobs and Apple, so this book brought back a lot of memories.
I was hesitant at first to buy the book, because I always felt I knew all there was to know about Steve Jobs and Apple, because I followed his story most of my life, but I'm so glad that I did. Although I knew he was part of the "Hippie" movement, I had no idea the extent of his counter culture roots.
The bottom line is that the story of Steve Jobs is fascinating, even to those who have never felt a connection to technology. He had a famously unique rough exterior, but deep down there was a pure passion for greatness at the core every outburst that drove those whom he lashed out at to achieve bigger and better goals.
One last comment regarding the narration by Dylan Baker. I've listened to over 200 audiobooks, and I consider his narration to be one of the best I've heard so far, so I can't figure out why there have been so many negative comments about the narration. I kept reading people say he sounds nothing like Steve Jobs and knows nothing about his speaking style. It seems to me that some people think this was an "Autobiography", so it should be told in Steve's own voice. This is a biography, so it's not meant to sound like Steve. It's Walter Isaacson's story of Steve Jobs, so there is no reason for him to try to sound like anyone but himself. If they want to hear a more realistic voice, look for his speeches on YouTube or wait for Hollywood to make a movie.
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