Book Recollection: Outliers – The Story of Success

It should be no surprise if you noticed the foreshadowing in the previous book recollection that another one was coming on its heels. Today’s post is on a book that took me awhile to get through. It was not a difficult read, but I was about halfway through the book last year when I put it down and didn’t pick it up until a few weeks ago. It has been so long now that it is hard to say with any confidence the reason for this delay. My guess at this point is it was a victim of redundancy. In the midst of the first read, my in car audio book selection was SuperFreakonomics by Levitt and Dubner. AS it turns out, that audio book and today’s recollection have an overlap in their topics and discussion. So, my advice to you is if you have read or plan to read the SuperFreakonomics book, put some time between that and book Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. This is actually the third book I have read from Malcolm having previously completed The Tipping Point and Blink. If I had to put them in rank of preference I would go with Blink first, followed by Tipping and lastly, this particular effort. Again, this might be an unfair assessment due to the previously mentioned overlap, but this book felt incomplete to me. In credit to Malcolm’s other books, those kept my attention through just about every chapter. I can not say the same about this particular book. In fact, it was definitely one chapter too long (10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back).

So in summary, I thought the book had some interesting points and definitely had some takeaways (see below). However, I thought it was a letdown from his two other works. On the topic of becoming an expert through hard work and practice as opposed to talent and luck was addressed much more succinctly by Levitt and Dubner. The good news is I can simply blame my lack of desire to become a lawyer or doctor on the fact my parents were not Jewish immigrants. Thanks to Malcolm’s other two excellent books, he still has my interest. In fact, Linda got me his latest (What the Dog Saw) for my birthday. I have absolutely no idea what the topic is in that book, but I promise not to co-read it with any other economics books. On a side note, while getting the Amazon links for the books I noticed my favorite book of his (Blink) actually has a lower rating than this book and Tipping Point. Not sure what to think about that other than raters are obviously wrong .. hehehe.

Hit the jump to read some of the takeaways from from Outliers

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