Weekly Meeting: Blink

Blink
Blink

As I listened to this audiobook for Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,  I had a terrible case of deja vu.  I was so positive I have read it before  Yet, it wasn’t marked so on my GoodReads list.  Turns out, I was right.  I HAD read it, but years and years ago.  How do I know?  I have this little notebook with the title of every book I have read in the last 10+years.  The problem, I don’t have any dates next to books.  That’s why I have GoodReads.  By the time I realized this, I was on the last hour of the audiobook and I was still enjoying it.  Plus, I listed it as a book to read this month so I decided “fuck it” and finished the book.

Challenges:

  • None

What You Should Know:

  • Gladwell has a way of telling a story that drops a point and then comes back to it after.  It typically works well.
  • You may disagree with some of his points, but it doesn’t change how interesting it all is.
  • This is not psychology, but it is about how we think and act.  Gladwell is just a journalist.  He probably got a few things wrong as he tried to make them easier to understand.

Discussion:

I hummed and hawed about using the discussion questions.  Then I wanted to talk about Blink related to reading.  For me, picking books to read is almost instantaneous.  A lot of it has to do with 2 things: title and book cover.  Forget that adage to never judge a book by its cover.  The cover says so much about the book.  For example, pink covers on books for adult women typically indicate chick lit.

I sat in a lot of sessions during my recent weekend at the American Library Association’s mid-winter conference.  About 1/4 were related to upcoming book releases.  Publishers were feeding us for free and the lure of free food and free books was powerful.  In each one we were handed a packets with lists of upcoming releases beyond those that would be given away and discussed.  Each book included a bunch of information and showed the book cover.

As I chatted with the woman next to me at a brunch event, we started discussing our increasing frustration with books anchoring on the World War 2 crutch.  I told her I couldn’t take another that took place just before, during, or just after World War 2.  She said the same about the 1920s.   As we looked through out packet we each let our sighs.  There were plenty on the list from each time period.  We started playing a game of looking at all the covers and seeing if we could place their time period.  We saw a few about World War 1 (coming off the popularity of Downton Abbey) and others about the 1960s.

How could we tell from just covers?  Most covers are designed to lure you in to the book by showing you what its about.  A book taking place in the 20s will show flapper clothes, art deco design elements, and a color palette with hues that suggest the period (I often see brighter clothes on people with darker backgrounds).  As they talked about each book, my neighbor and I grinned at each other.  We got them right… that is, until I had to leave.

For me, I have rarely been wrong about a cover.  I tend to struggle when its poorly designed.  In those cases, I often ignore a book I might enjoy.  The cover design of a book should not be taken lightly.

I tend to question my decisions when I have too much information about the book.

Who Will Like This Book:

  • People who like books like, what I am calling, Pop Business Psych.  These are books like The Tipping Point and Quiet.  Both of these are very good within the genre.  I am going to talk about Quiet on Wednesday.
  • People who enjoy Gladwell in general

Other Books I Read This Week:

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