One of my goals for this new year is to focus more on reading consistently. Each month I want to make an effort to read at least two books, which doesn’t seem like a hard task but I have the tendency to stop just before I reach the end. I consider myself to have very diverse taste in genres, but I find myself gravitating more toward nonfiction, autobiographies, self-help and mysteries the most. To start off the year I have chosen two books that I have have heard great reviews about.
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About The People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell
We think we can understand people. We think that by meeting someone, shaking their hand, looking into their eyes, we can get a grasp on who they are, how they feel, and what their motives or intentions are. We think that a little bit of personal knowledge gives us a big insight into their character – a job interviews shows us if they’ll be a good employee, a first date can indicate the likelihood of compatibility.
We’re wrong. Strangers are complex.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s brand new book, he highlights just a few of the things that make strangers particularly hard to understand: Truth Default Theory, Transparency, Coupling.
The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne
The Broken Ladder explores such issues as why women in poor societies often have more children, and have them younger; why there is little trust among the working class that investing for the future will pay off; why people’s perception of their relative social status affects their political beliefs, and why growing inequality leads to greater political divisions; how poverty raises stress levels in the same way as a physical threat; inequality in the workplace, and how it affects performance; why unequal societies become more religious; and finally offers measures people can take to lessen the harm done by inequality in their own lives and the lives of their children.
At the end of the month i’ll be back with my reviews for these books but in the meantime, have a happy new year!