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Malcolm Gladwell Box Set
The Tipping Point

by Malcolm Gladwell, read by the author


Have you ever just looked at something strange and known in an instant whether it was good for you (or for your business or ideas or whatever) or not? Malcolm Gladwell has written Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking with that premise. The book lets you know that you have more ability in that first glance or first smell, or intuition (some call it that) about whatever you are seeing than you may realize. It also goes into the study of how you can develop surprisingly accurate intuitive comprehensive thoughts about whatever the situation or object is, based on that first glance.

I have always cultivated this instant device for my own usage and found it most rewarding much of the time. This power has saved me many hours and countless blunders without my even knowing that it happened or why. If you study the way you perceive things and act without reason on some occasions, you may be reacting to that Blink process and not even know it. It is a very interesting phenomenon that we all carry around with and inside of us, so use it very well. Others completely ignore this power, and many who do that pay for it always.

Some use it wrongly, as when Warren Harding ran for President and everyone thought that he looked Presidential. He fooled most everyone. Those people all went by looks, but didn’t look deeply enough. Some people, or companies, like the Getty Museum when purchasing a very rare statue, had one of the notables in the field come in, and her first gut reaction-honed feeling was that it was a fake. She was right; however, she couldn’t explain to anyone why she felt that way, especially when everyone else thought the statue was real. She just knew that it was not a "right" statue. There are instances all around us to prove that this Blink thing exists and that we should cultivate it for more, stronger usage.

Maybe this book will give people the courage to use Blink more in their daily lives and get by without examining everything and everyone to death while killing those reactions that we all hold inside us. Malcolm Gladwell has developed a study called "thin slicing" that takes a minute look, a facial message, a tick of the eyebrow, a quick shot at listening to the way a word is spoken, and that is the basis for Blink. It is a bunch of quick studies that has taken generations and years to develop, but once developed in anyone, things move rather quickly when we understand how to go for quick responses and conclusions based on perceptions that only last a second.

A very interesting book, that is well thought out and inviting to the psyche to really dive into, because we all want to have those instantly perceptive moments, make them greater and last longer, and be more useful for us in everyday life. Get the book, read it, understand the process behind it, and start utilizing the processes in your life. Blink and you will find yourself knowing more instantly without spending hours of constantly chasing the shadow for wanting more output or production or insight, or whatever it is you are seeking to have more power over. (Claudia)


Just what is an outlier? In terms of human achievement, an outler is someone who does something extraordinary, something he seems unqualified to accomplish. It all began when Dr. Stuart Wolfe from the University of Oklahoma learned that one town in Pennsylvania had no one under the age of sixty with heart disease of any kind. Dr. Wolfe immediately went to study this phenomenon.

When he arrived, Dr. Wolfe and his team first scoured the medical records of everyone in town. There was no pattern of relationships which couldn't be found in any other town in America. Then, he studied their diet, the most obvious culprit, but without finding anything spectacularly different. The team studied the environmental conditions. Again, there was no advantage in one town over the others in the same area. Frustrated, the team checked the medical records again. There was no unusual pattern of health issues. There were just as many obese people as other towns, no large number of people who did harder work than in other town, no fewer smokers or drinkers. These were ordinary people doing something extraordinary. They stayed free from heart disease longer than anyone else in the country. Wolfe had to find out why.

The exhaustive study showed that the difference was in the cooperative spirit of the town. All citizens, regardless of age, wealth or health, worked together for the good of all. The lack of conflict dramatically reduced stress.

The book is well written, and quite interesting. I was amazed at the small things that could spell the difference between success and mediocrity, if not outright failure. Is it possible to overcome the handicaps of being born on the wrong date or in the wrong year? Only if you are an outlier or have what it takes to become one.

Do you want to be successful? Read Outliers, and get a step closer. (Jo)


The Tipping Point

This audio version of the bestselling book is read with unpretentious aplomb by author Malcolm Gladwell, who explains his theory of the critical mass—the "tipping point"—of social contagion. Drawing from a broad range of psychological and social experiments, Gladwell relates a fascinating and riveting tale of seemingly inexplicable successes, from the resurgence in popularity of Hush Puppies® shoes to the counterintuitive format of the children’s program Blue’s Clues.

Gladwell, a writer for The New Yorker and a former business and science reporter for the Washington Post, traces the roots and branches of a number of such social epidemics in order to make sense of how and why the contagions spread. According to tipping point theory, a number of factors must come together in just the right time and context. Among the most important factors are the key people involved in starting, spreading, and advertising the epidemic. Gladwell refers to these key people as Connectors (extroverts with large circles of acquaintances); Mavens (collectors and disseminators of information); and Salesmen (charismatic personalities who persuade others to embrace the innovation or idea).

In the course of this audiobook, Gladwell provides satisfying examples from a variety of fields, including anecdotes about the importance of the number 150, a highly successful diabetes awareness project, the cause of a drastic decrease in crime in New York City, the history of Paul Revere’s midnight ride, a new version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, the rash of teen suicide on one particular island, and the success of the novel Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.

Whether you want insight into promoting your new product, improving the efficiency of your business, or just a better understanding of group dynamics and social change, The Tipping Point will almost certainly provide you with a few "Ah ha!" moments. Informative, entertaining, and often enlightening, this audio book kept me riveted for over eight hours, and is a sure bet to fascinate others as well. (Deborah)

The Book

Hachette Audio
May 4, 2010
Audiobook / 22 CDs
Psychology / business
More at

The Reviewer

Claudia Turner VanLydegraf / Jo Rogers / Deborah Adams
Reviewed 2010
© 2010