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Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

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What ultimately makes a person successful? Are people successful purely through their own merit, or are there other factors in play? This book by Malcolm Gladwell explores these ideas through statistics and analysis.

The book proves it’s point by showing that seemingly insignificant factors can actually play a huge role in someone’s life. Gladwell explains why most of the successful hockey players are born in January, and he explains the surprising factors that made people such as Bill Gates successful.
I really enjoyed this book. The way Gladwell writes is makes the book fairly accessible, but despite that he goes into detail on some very interesting subjects. At times the book has a dry sense of humor which makes it even more enjoyable to read.
Despite it technically being categorized as a self-help book, thankfully it isn’t. It’s more about sociology and statistics than telling people how to improve their lives. I’m not a fan of the “10 Ways to Improve Your Life!” style of books, so it’s good to see a book about that kind of topic avoid this pitfall.
One thing I did dislike about the book is that when it seemed to hit its stride and explained one of its main points it ended. Don’t get me wrong, one of the best things about the book is that manages to brief yet detailed, but I would have liked to see some more information at the end.
Despite that, I heartily recommend reading this book. I would also recommend checking out some of his other work, as it all is very well done. 

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