Sunday, January 6, 2008

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Title: Blink
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
# pages: 276
Date published: 2005
Genre: nonfiction (psychology)
Challenge(s): Winter Reading Challenge, A Novel Challenge Yahoo group’s mini challenge – group read

Reason for Reading: St. Pete Book Club pick for January

First Sentence: In September of 1983, an art dealer by the name of Gianfranco Becchina approached the J. Paul Getty Museum in California.

Cover Blurb: Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology to reveal that the difference between good decision making and bad has less to do with how much information we process than with our ability to focus on a few, particular details, Gladwell shows how we all can become better decision makers—in our homes, in our offices, and in everyday life.

Random Thoughts: Blink is nonfiction at its best. Told in a series of anecdotes to illustrate rapid decision-making, the first two seconds when you first meet someone or you walk into a house you’re planning to buy for the first time, for example, and you make a series of instantaneous assumptions. Blink is about those two seconds. It is a fascinating and entertaining read.

Favorite example: The outcome of the war games played by the Pentagon.

Favorite quotes:

“This is the critical lesson of improv, and it is also a key in understanding the puzzle of the Millenium Challenge: spontaneity isn’t random.” (p. 114)

“In life, most of us are highly skilled at suppressing action.” (p. 114)

“Van Riper carried this lesson with him when he took over the helm of Red Team. “The first thing I told our staff is that we would be in command and out of control,“ Van Riper says, echoing the words of the management guru Kevin Kelly.” (p. 118)

“The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.” (p. 265)

Interesting Tidbits: Gladwell's Web site with a Q & A and reading guide for Blink

Rating: B+ (Entertaining, happy I read it. I'd recommend it.)

Also reviewed by:
A Striped Armchair

1 comment:

Suey said...

Great review. I'll link to you. I always mean to do that, and pretty much forget everytime!