Dear Malcolm Gladwell,
I truly never thought I'd be in this position - shouting from the rooftops about works of nonfiction. For most of my life, I've only read fiction. Not even just contemporary fiction, but the most escapist fiction of all - fantasy. I read because the real world often seems dark and heavy, and, if only for a few hours, I like to relax by entering a completely different world.
When I was in college, I earned two Bachelor's degrees - one in English literature, the other in Psychology. In almost every single psychology class I took, someone would inevitably end up talking about one of your books, be it a classmate or a professor adding a title onto their recommended reading list. As a die-hard fiction reader, these recommendations often just went over my head.
Then, one day as I was driving to work, you were featured on a podcast I often listen to, and I was instantly fascinated by your ability to tell true stories and make them as engaging and captivating as if they were entirely fictional. That day I picked up David & Goliath. That day I was hooked.
I sped through David & Goliath in a matter of days, faster than I've read many fantasy books. Reading that book gave me more context for the world than any psychology class I ever took. Learning about the effect of being a little fish in a big pond, the parabolic nature of class size and parental wealth, the paradoxical effects of trauma, and everything else in that book, was truly a great experience. So much so that, after I finished it, I immediately picked up The Tipping Point and sped through that one as well. I'd be shocked if I make it to the end of this year without reading every single one of your books.
You have done me a great service, Malcolm Gladwell. You've reminded me that even the theories we learn about in Psych 1001 are not as black and white as they seem. That there are not enough psychology classes in the world to cover the massive expanse of nuance that is the human experience.
Thank you so much, not only for compiling such amazing stories, but for proving to me that truth is often much stranger than fiction.
All the best,