Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Malcolm Gladwell

OK, so this isn't about a book I've read; it's about an author I want to read.

I've resisted picking up The Tipping Point or Freakonomics by Malcolm Gladwell because I figured they were both probably filled with dry statistic and economic lessons. I don't know why I thought that given the books' popularity with people who have read them. One friend, a freelance business writer, raved about both to me. But I tend to be stubborn and not do things lots of people tell me to do. I still haven't seen Ghost or Indecent Proposal or The English Patient precisely because I had too many people tell me they were the BEST MOVIES EVER!

But I think I'm about to reverse my position on Gladwell. He has an essay in The New Kings of Nonfiction about the six-degrees-of-separation phenomenon that was completely entertaining and fascinating. When I was finished I actually understood the principle.

And then I just saw a repeat of The Colbert Report with Malcolm Gladwell and I loved it. First, he's not the stereotypical dry economist or academic. He's youngish, with wild fuzzy hair. The show ended with Gladwell, former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, a gospel choir and Colbert singing "Let My People Go." It was great. Enough to make me want to buy and read his books.


Epiphany said...

The Tipping Point kicks ass. Not dry and boring at all! Highly recommended.

BTW, we are only two degrees of separation via the Drunken Housewife, but we both live in Austin. (And I trust the DH's judgment implicitly.) Since you seem to have a great reverence for words printed on paper and bound in book form, I'd be happy to lend you my copy of the Tipping Point. :)

hokgardner said...

Thank you so much for your offer. As a book lover who hates to lend books, I really appreciate your trust in me.

However, I've already borrowed Tipping Point from my neighbor with a solemn promise to return it. I'm almost finished and have loved it so far.

And you're the second person in Austin I've "met" through a blogger across the country.

Epiphany said...

Ha! Wouldn't it be strange if we actually new each other in real life? I have no chilluns, but some of our good friends do, and we often meet other parents and families through them!

What part of town do you live in? I'm on the East side, south of Cesar Chavez (love it!). Do you do late-night swimming at Barton Springs during the summer?