I love to read! I have been reading since… Well, since I could read, it started off with children’s urdu magazines then I moved to sweet Valley (nostalgia!!) then I went through an R. L Stine’s phase after that I couldn’t stop talking about Mary Kate and Ashley!! Then I moved on to reading Sidney Sheldon… After I read all of his books, a friend of mine gave me Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Azkaban and I was hooked… After that I read any fictional book I could get my hands on and I still do now that I have kindle dearest it’s all the more accessible.
But after reading so many fiction novels.. It starts to get a little monotonous… Sometimes I felt bored too… So I thought of spicing up my TBR list with some non-fictions too…. So after a lot of research on Pinterest and youtube I decided that my first non fiction book will be….. *drumroll* Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell!! Yay!!
I wanted to spread out my reading horizon so I really wanted to get hooked to the non-fiction genre that is why it was important for me to start with a mind blowing book and Outliers was just that…. Mind blowing…. I used to shy away from non-fiction thinking them to be too boring… But Malcolm Gladwell has done such an astounding job…. It balances perfectly between providing new insights and keeping the reader interested.
In the foreword of the book the writer promises the readers that after reading this book they will look upon success and successful people in a whole new light and I was like “Okay dude, challenge accepted!” but let me tell you, the writer kept his word throughout the book. Every chapter, every new idea and argument not only awed me it made me want to read more but it was so interesting that I want to savor it so I went extra slow (and also the month of ramadan started and so my priorities shifted).
The book mainly discusses successful people in terms of how they got to be where they are now, the factors and the circumstances that made them successful.. The writer strongly defies the common opinion that successful people are self made and they have reached the pinnacle of glory all by themselves. He demonstrates and explains the various determinants, opportunities and events that some smart people used for their own advantage and became successful. However, In some chapters the writer even argues that after reaching a certain point just being intelligent doesn’t help, rather it becomes a sort of constant and other traits such as confidence, creativity, the ability to think out of the box, perseverance and hard work comes into play. Malcolm also thinks that a person’s legacy plays a huge part in determining whether he’ll be successful in a certain field or not. This book includes the success stories of people like Bill Gates, Joe Flom and also The Beatles!! It’s such an interesting read I bet you’ll be ooh-ing and aah-ing all the way 🙂
Usually with books or lets say writers who are very well informed, they have a tendency to drone on while the listener or reader gets bored or zones out. But you know when you’re watching your favourite show and you have no idea where the hour flew by until the credits starts rolling… the exact thing happened to me while I reached the last page and I was like is it finished already? (I was reading on my kindle so I had no idea I’m not that dumb :p) I think that’s a very rare skill among writers: keeping the reader interested and wanting more. I mean sure when it’s a fiction book it’s easy to read chapter after chapter but it gets a bit difficult when it comes to non-fiction…. Anyways, that’s just my opinion after reading my first non-fiction… Let me know and comment if u agree or disagree or simply want to discuss the book.. Below are some quotes that I really liked of the book… It might give some insight of the what the book is all about to anyone who is interested in reading the book.
Biologists often talk about the “ecology” of an organism: the tallest oak in the forest is the tallest not just because it grew from the hardiest acord; it is the tallest also because no other trees blocked its sunlight, the soil around it was deep and rich, no rabbit chewed through its bark as a sapling, and no lumberjack cut it down before it matured. We all know that successful people come from hardy seeds. But do we know enough about the sunlight that warmed them, the soil in which they put down the roots, and the rabbits and lumberjacks they were lucky enough to avoid?”
“The sense of possibility so necessary for success comes not just from inside us or from our parents. it comes from our time: from the particular opportunities that our particular place in history presents us with. For a young would-be lawyer, being born in the early 1930s was a magic time, just as being born in 1955 was for a software programmer, or being born in 1835 was for an entrepreneur.”
“The conventional explanation for Jewish success, of course, is that jews come from a literate, intellectual culture. they are famously ‘ the people of the book’. There is surely something to that. But it wasn’t just the children of rabbis who went to law school. It was the children of garment workers. And their critical advantage in climbing the professional ladder wasn’t the intellectual rigor you get from studying the Talmud. It was the practical intelligence and savvy you get from watching your father sell aprons on Hester Street.”
Who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from–and when we ignore that fact, planes crash.”
- “We sometimes think of being good at mathematics as an innate ability. You either have “it” or you don’t. But to Shoenfeld, it’s not so much ability as attitude. You master mathematics if you are willing to try. That’s what Schoenfeld attempts to teach his students. Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds. -246
“The lesson here is very simple. But it is striking how often it is overlooked. We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally form the earth. We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that thirteen-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur. But that’s teh wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one thirteen-year-old unlimited access to a time-sharing terminal in 1968. If a million teenagers had been given teh same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today? To build a better world we need to replace the patch work of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success– the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history–with a society that provides opportunities for all. If Canada had a second hocky league for those children born in teh last half of the year, it would today have twice as many adult hockey stars. Now multiply that sudden flowering of talent by every field and profession. The world could be so much richer than the world we have settled for.”