Monday, June 11, 2007
I was a little concerned about The Tipping Point. I am not always a fan of what I consider to be dry academic non-fiction. This, however, was not that. Gladwell used lots to accessible examples to pinpoint how an idea or trend is adopted by widespread strata of society. (Wow, what a dull description!) As dull as I insist on making it it was really interesting. It explained why people buy really expensive shoes, why my kids got hooked on television, why teenagers still smoke and why sometimes people can do nothing in the face of evil.
Sometimes I like a book that attempts to explain everything in the world. My two favorites are Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs which is the perfect book to keep in the car in case you are ever stuck in a drive-thru line behind someone who has never actually ordered an iced coffee in their life and is taking for-EVER to decide between toasted almond and hazelnut. It is the story of a guy who decided to read all 32 volumes of the Encyclopedia Brittanica and then writes what he learned. Again, I am taking a hilarious book and making it sound dull. What on earth is wrong with me? As for A Short History - you will fall down laughing. Bryson is the sort of writer who can make anything funny.