Malcolm Gladwell talks books and more books

Malcolm Gladwell (The Outliers, The Tipping Point, David and Goliath) is an author who has achieved fame — and a good bit of success — by examining parts of society that don’t often get attention or by casting a new light on things we thought were familiar.

He’s just published a new book titled Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know. It’s about why we go wrong when we interact with strangers and is described as a “classically Gladwellian intellectual adventure.” Gladwell always seems to be attacking the common wisdom about things and revealing a new way of looking at them.

The Guardian has a brief but wide-ranging Q and A with Gladwell in which he talks about the books he has read. Here’s one part of it:

The book that changed my life:

Oh man, where to start? There are probably 100 titles that I could mention here. But how about an early one: Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I was 12 or so when I read it. I will never forget the sheer delicious shock of that ending, and realising – maybe for the first time – that it was possible to tell a story in a way that made the reader gasp. I’ve been chasing that same result (not nearly as successfully) ever since. Source: Malcolm Gladwell: ‘A book that changed my life? Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ | Books | The Guardian

The article isn’t that long, but it’s insightful and fun.

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