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68-Word Book Review: What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

Coming February 15-19: It's Book Week at my blog. I read a lot of books and try to review one each week. During that week, I'll be featuring a new book each day with a giveaway! Interested in participating? Send me an email and see if you can be featured!

Short version (68 words)

What the Dog Saw will make you smarter, if you're dumb enough to buy it. Malcolm Gladwell's essays are easily readable and he presents his conclusions in a very compelling way. But, they're all available on his Web site. For free. I'm smart enough to figure that out, but I still bought the book. And this paradox is just the kind of thing he'd write about. Go figure.

Long version (218 words)

Malcolm Gladwell tackles topics that we rarely think about, but that influence us all, nearly on a daily basis. The Tipping Point and Outliers are prime examples of his astute observational brilliance, and each essay in this volume – which ran at some point in The New Yorker – uncovers another topic that we weren't aware was all around us.

He talks about why criminal profilers are just like fortunetellers. He discusses what makes dog trainers so good. He details why genius seems to strike late in life for some. You'll learn why ketchup is not a diversified condiment. And you'll also see how we could end homelessness if we doled out aid unfairly.

Each essay is easily and quickly readable and deeply engaging, the kind of stuff you'll find yourself reading in the bathroom long after you're finished with your business there. You'll also want to sneak in as much of each chapter as you can during commercial breaks or while waiting in the doctor's office.

Ultimately, it's up to you if you want to save money by digging everything up online, or if you prefer to have them all bound in one volume. I chose the latter and then promptly passed it on to someone else who will no doubt be fascinated by Gladwell's look at the everyday.

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