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Posts Tagged ‘outliers’

This month, I made it through Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I’m also working on rereading Contact by Carl Sagan and I just started reading The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson.

On a side note, Arielle finally caved in and began reading Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult last week. She’s nearing the end now, so last night I asked her what she thinks about it so far. She replied, “I don’t like it. I love it! Did you hear me? I love it!” She was initially reluctant to read the book because she didn’t think she would find a story about an Amish girl accused of killing her newborn baby to be her “thing”. But, as always, mother knows best.

Anyway, onto the things I’ve read. Eating Animals took me about five days to finish, but not for lack of interest. I’m just extremely busy working on my final draft and it’s hard to write while listening to an audiobook, so I usually only listen while driving.

I put off reading Eating Animals for a couple of months. I had been flirting with vegetarianism and veganism for over a year, after reading some literature on the “pus” content in dairy products. I was afraid that Eating Animals would be the nudge that sent me plummeting off a crowded cliff into the lonely valley of vegetarianism – and, I was right. I think the best review I can give this book is that it actually changed my life.

On Saturday, I finished Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, which I began reading on Friday. This book is at once motivational and discouraging, but also incredibly fascinating. Gladwell discusses the circumstances (birth date, birth place, cultural legacy, etc.) that create successful people. He challenges the notion that success is predicated solely by hard work and innate talent. Using Bill Gates and other successful people as examples, Gladwell shows us how much luck and timing play a role in our success.

Outliers was a compelling read and I cannot recommend it enough. I also highly recommend Eating Animals, though you should dive into this one with an open mind and an empty stomach.

I won’t review Contact since it’s a classic that needs no explanation. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, read the book first.

As for The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson…. I’m only about 40 pages in, but I’m not exactly entertained yet. I hate to criticize a dead guy, but I can’t get over Larsson’s overuse of adverbs and lack of metaphor. Don’t get me wrong, I dislike purple prose as much as the next gal, but I do crave metaphor for the emotional impact and the purpose of painting a mental picture. I also am finding myself highly peeved by his technique for description. He runs down a list of descriptive features every time he introduces a new person or setting. There are much better ways to work in description than lists and having your character look in a mirror.

It’s possible that consuming this in audiobook format is making it difficult to see past the quirks. I am going to attempt to force myself to make it halfway through the audiobook. If I still haven’t made a connection with the protagonist at that point I will give it up. More on this one later.

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