Smarter, Faster, Better (Charles Duhigg)

3 out of 5 stars
The short version:
This felt like a second-rate rehashing of The Power of Habit. Even though the stories are different and *some* of the points are different, you could have probably whittled this down to 2-3 chapters and stuck it onto the back of The Power of Habit and called it a day…

Longer version:
Let me preface this by saying I loved both his original How Target Knows Your Secrets article as well as his first book, the Power of Habit. Though the latter dragged on a little, I felt like it was largely a well-written, enjoyable read with memorable stories and a nice overall lesson/message. Most of this felt like that… only Part II.Further, there was more of the “wait for it” type of writing, where we would go really, really deep into one anecdote and then pivot and have to wait and wade through a second, completely separate anecdote, before finding out what happened and/or how it related to the main message/lesson.

That said, parts of this were quite good — the beginning chapters feel strong and cohesive (he gives examples such as the Marine Training program and decision making, a man who suddenly suffered an illessness and seemed incapable of making, or even caring to make, decisions). It’s only as the book drags on that it starts to, well, drag on.

It’s a fine book that I don’t regret reading, but it feels a bit like the sequel that doesn’t quite live up to expectations set up by the first iteration.

Posted in Nonfiction

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