Have you ever really thought about how your palms start to sweat during a round of cards, the way something doesn’t look just right, or why you get that funny tugging feeling at the bottom of your stomach when you meet someone new?

For Malcolm Gladwell, the focus of his New York Times Best-Seller Blink is just that. Gladwell delves into the unfamiliar territory of the subconscious in context to our ability to make snap judgments and relates them in such a profound way, that we reconsider our own gut instincts and begin to understand some of our mysterious inner workings.

Blink is described by Gladwell as an “intellectual adventure story” where he covers everything from New Jersey’s best car dealer to medical malpractice, code breakers and back again, all in relation to the power of rapid cognition and its psychology. Intimidating as the subject matter may sound, Gladwell uses numerous examples in short sub-chapter formats to keep things interesting to the reader as he ties in his universal themes. His other best-seller, The Tipping Point, is another example of this non-fiction style where the author uses varied subjects and examples to relate grander concepts to unique audiences. Gladwell recognizes that the learning process is an individual’s own style, and thus covers much as much ground as possible as he relates his main points.

In Blink, he demonstrates the importance of snap judgment through the stories of ancient Greek statues, modern office chair designs, war games, speed dating, and couples counseling – among other things. As an author, he appeals to a person’s specific interests to drive his point home. Readers will get a glimpse into how we not only relate to others, but how others relate to ourselves, and that even first impressions can speak volumes.

When asked what he wants readers to take away from Blink, Gladwell replied on his website gladwell.com:

“I think its time we paid more attention to those fleeting moments. I think that if we did, it would change the way wars are fought, the kind of products we see on the shelves, the kinds of movies that get made, the way police officers are trained, the way couples are counseled, the way job interviews are conducted and on and on–and if you combine all those little changes together you end up with a different and happier world.”

Indeed, Malcolm. Indeed.

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