Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What I’m Reading Wednesday: Outliers: the Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

In the book Outliers by Malcom Gladwell, the traits and circumstances that contribute to extreme success in life are defined and explored.  Is it luck of the draw or are there hidden factors that help to create successful people?  Can we apply those factors to our own lives?  And what is the legacy of our success?  Outliers explores what it means to be extremely successful and what hidden circumstances make it likely for you to succeed. 
Gladwell translates scientific data and research into easy to understand examples in everyday life.  In the first example of the book, Gladwell questions why most Canadian superstar hockey players are born in January, February and March? The answer - the age cutoff for hockey teams is January 1.  This means a child born in January will have almost a full year of maturity, physical growth in size and brain power over a child born in December.  Yet both children will be eligible to play on the same team or in the same league.  The older child will likely succeed because he plays against a less experienced and less physically mature child.  The older child is then rewarded by praise and advancement because of that success. The child is likely to be moved to better and better teams or leagues.  A cycle that reinforces itself to produce the "best" players.  Gladwell calls this the "phenomenon of relative age".  This is just one of the many fascinating examples researched and explained in Outliers.
If you found the above example tweaking your interest, we suggest you check out Outliers and also Gladwell's other works.  He has written 4 other New York Times bestsellers; The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009), and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (2013).  We hope you will check out all his exciting, informative books.
If you are interested in checking out this great book for yourself, you can request this volume from the Ort Library catalog here:  Click on "Availability", then click on the yellow "Request" button, and log in using your last name and 14-digit Library barcode number on your ID. If you need assistance, please contact the Circulation Desk at 301-687-4395.  We hope to see you soon!

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