September 2019: Talking to Strangers

Title: Talking to Strangers
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Genre: Social Psychology

Book Jacket Summary:
Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the number one New York Times best seller Outliers, reinvents the audiobook in this immersive production of TALKING TO STRANGERS, a powerful examination of our interactions with people we don’t know.  How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn’t true? While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers, you’ll hear the voices of people he interviewed – scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There’s even a theme song – Janelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout”. Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world. 

Why I Chose This Book:
Beginning a new job is challenging, lately I feel like all I do is talk to strangers! Currently, I am working to find myself as a nurse, test out how I interact with patients, figure out my coworkers/managers/preceptors… Communication is key! & totally unavoidable… so I turned to this book to try to figure out what might work or how communication has worked over time… I’m fascinated to learn more about something I do day in and day out.

My Review:
I thought this book brought up really good points about the commonality of miscommunication & the risks/liabilities involved. It also proved a good point- that it can happen to anyone, anytime… I’m usually a very fast reader, but this time it took me a long time to finish, this book made me very sleepy?!

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