I’ve always been one of those folks who claims to never read non-fiction books, but, as I started thinking about what to write about and reviewed the list of books I’ve read in the past few months, I realized that I honestly cannot make that claim. I have read on average a nonfiction book a month this year. The one title that has resonated and remained with me the most is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
In this short, quick reading book (also available from the library as an eBook, which is actually how I read it), Gladwell examines why the outrageously successful, those that he calls outliers are so successful. As old adages say, success is due in part to passion, persistence and preparation. Bill Gates and the Beatles perfected their crafts with over 10,000 hours of practice. However, it is also due to a fair amount of luck, such as being born at the right time and in the right place. For example, he explains why many professional hockey players are born in January, February and March. He also uses generational legacies, such as those that benefited the Robber Barons or certain corporate lawyers in the 1950s.
The book is not the most academic, and I can see how many could argue against Gladwell’s claims. I found it to be an interesting and entertaining read, as well as one that continues to come up in conversations. Perhaps this is why I find myself reading nonfiction, despite my self-professed dislike for it; I often find it engaging and relevant in ways that linger.
So, dear readers, share! Are there genres or categories of books that you do not think you read, but you do? What are books that have continued to reappear in thoughts or dialogues?