Sunday, October 24, 2010

Book Reviews: Blink by Gladwell, and Predictably Irrational by Ariely

At least one good consequence of my harrowing journey through the bookstore was that I got to enjoy two books i've been meaning to read for a while.

(BTW, I actually had to go back to the bookstore for an even more harrowing journey, looking for a book for a friend of mine. Went through 3 bookstores downtown before I found something half-decent. But that's another story altogether, and not a particularly interesting at that. )

I eagerly started reading Predictably Irrational, as I knew it to be full of all kinds of interesting info.

Well, long story short, it was pretty disappointing.

See, Dan Ariely, the author, has some bits up on his website, and the bits are pretty interesting. The downside, of course, is that these bits are probably the only interesting parts of the book.

The first chapter was pretty good, and offered an unconventional look into people's behavior. There were some great insights into how we're being subconsciously manipulated by marketing and stuff that's not even related to marketing.

The book is pretty good until chapter 3, after which it gets really boring.

You know, when you're writing essays for school, the teacher always said Put the weak stuff in the middle? Well, it's the case here. Great start, dismal middle, and I didn't even finish the book yet, i was so bored.

Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, on the other hand, is a great book, and I loved every word of it. He's got some excerpts up on his site.

Gladwell's writing is a delightful mix of storytelling and journalism, and invites you along a journey through our subconscious minds.

I like this book because it's unpretentious. It tells a story without trying to artificially impose some kind of point. There's some charm to that. At the end of the journey, you feel like you know so much more, and you also feel like you have all the freedom to be able to do something with what you know. At the same time, if you decide to not do anything, that's perfectly fine too.

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