Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wading through the waffle... and Book #50: Blink

Book number 50 for the year! I decided I needed to mark this milestone with a good read, or one that would stand out from the crowd at least. So I chose Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell.

Reading, for me, is usually my opportunity to disappear from the world, into another where I can completely ignore all that is going on around me, so Blink  was out of the ordinary. Despite it's cover description "The Power of Thinking Without Thinking", it's a book that makes you think about everyday life, encouraging some element of self-reflection.

Now that's perhaps not a bad thing, and after making my way though the pages of this book, I have added confidence in responding to my first impression of things, but the waffle - oh the waffle that one had to wade through to get to the point of every chapter!

Each chapter in Blink refers to a particular case study that helps to illustrate that first impression we get of things and situations. From a marriage counselling session to a replica of an ancient statue, music auditions to a house fire. They're all interesting case studies in their own right and reveal an insight into how - and why - individuals respond the way they do.

My gripe is that each of the points Gladwell wanted to make, he did so in the first third of each chapter, but rather than ending there, the remainder of  each chapter was made up of waffle in an attempt to reiterate the point that had been quite clearly made in the first instance!

Blink does make for an interesting read, but the interesting parts can be found in a few sentences at the start of each chapter. There's no need to wade through the waffle!

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