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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Book Review: What the Dog Saw (Malcom Gladwell)

This year I want to read 25 books and I'm sharing each one here! I'm moving along slow and steady, so here's #2! You can follow along with my progress on Goodreads.

Malcom Gladwell was a staff writer for the New Yorker; What the Dog Saw is a collection of his most popular essays. I read the entirety of this collection while taking the subway to and from school, and it was perfect.

Reading these essays is kind of a trip. You begin believing that you are reading about one thing, then Gladwell introduces another subject/perspective/detail, and you come away from the essay with a different understanding than the one that you expected. Take his essay on Hair Dye. He intermixes hair dye development and marketing strategies with the history of American woman and beauty. While it might seem expected, the way that he takes the audience through the story is utterly refreshing. 

Gladwell also has an uncanny ability to make really mundane topics into very interesting subjects. One essay set out to answer why there is only one type of ketchup but so much variety in mustard. He is literally discussing condiments. And, it was one of my favorite essays in the collection. 

Honestly, the best way for me to review this book is to tell you that as soon as I finished it, I set it down and told my boyfriend that I thought he would like it. I honestly can't think of a single person that I wouldn't recommend it to. Not because it's a perfect literary piece, but rather because it was engaging, informative, and overall really pleasing to read. It covers such a wide variety of subjects that I am sure that anyone could find something that they really enjoy, while also finding something that they didn't know that they could enjoy.

What should I read next?

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