David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling GiantsDavid and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
on October 1st 2013
Pages: 305
My Rating: four-stars

In his #1 bestselling books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell has explored the ways we understand and change our world. Now he looks at the complex and surprising ways the weak can defeat the strong, the small can match up against the giant, and how our goals (often culturally determined) can make a huge difference in our ultimate sense of success. Drawing upon examples from the world of business, sports, culture, cutting-edge psychology, and an array of unforgettable characters around the world, David and Goliath is in many ways the most practical and provocative book Malcolm Gladwell has ever written.

I’ve already talked about a Gladwell book, Outliers, so read that to hear what I think about his books and his podcast.

The book starts with a description of the biblical battle of David and Goliath that I had never heard before even after being a weekly church-goer for over 20 years. Funny enough, I heard the same description in a sermon a few months after reading this book!

This book is more of the same and is enjoyable if you enjoy this style.

This was book number 22 of 52 for 2017.

Outliers: The Story of Success

Outliers: The Story of SuccessOutliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
on November 18th 2008
Pages: 309
My Rating: five-stars

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?
His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

I’ve read several of Malcolm Gladwell’s books. I know that he gets blasted for writing “pseudo science”, connecting unrelated dots, and publishing in a different way than scholarly articles. But these books aren’t meant to be scholarly articles. They are interesting stories and he’s a great storyteller. I listened to the first season of Gladwell’s podcast Revisionist History and listened to this book on audio so have his voice echoing in my brain.

The story about the Beatles was really interesting. Our kids started learning musical instruments last year and that story helped me encourage them in their practice time letting them know to enjoy it, but also to know that it’s a marathon not a sprint.

Give this a read to enjoy the stories and how Gladwell weaves together stories and uncovers connections that you may not have heard before.

This was book number 8 of 52 for 2017.