REVIEW: Originals by Adam Grant

Hola! I haven’t been very much present lately, I’m sorry. I know I’ve promised you a blog but eeeh, I guess that’s what happens when you’ve got a messy personal/school life and when you’re not very organized. Let’s say I’m trying to keep up. I’ll be posting some reviews for the books that I’ve read during November soon enough. This is the last book I’ve finished “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move The World” by Adam Grant, one that I’ve mentionned in my article about the last 10 books that were added to my TBR and that I’m interested in reading. I think I’ve only finished two of the books mentionned in the list. I am not good with planning on reading specific books. I just read the books I feel like reading in the moment. This month, I’ve had two moments where I’ve felt like reading Non Fiction which is quite surprising for someone who normally hates it. The second book is “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman which I’ll also be reviewing. Anyways, let’s go straight to business!


Published February 2nd 2016 by Viking

SYNOPSIS: In Originals, Adam Grant addresses the challenge of improving the world from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can build cultures that welcome dissent. Learn from an entrepreneur who pitches his start-ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees for failing to criticize him, and a TV executive who didn’t even work in comedy but saved Seinfeld from the cutting-room floor. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo. (from Goodreads)

THOUGHTS: Maybe Non Fiction is just not my thing right now but still, I’ve managed to quite like this one since, as you may have noticed, I’ve given it three stars. My expectations were very low and I’ve started it thinking that I’ll probably DNF it but *drum rolls*, I did finish it! Definitely much better than what I was expecting. I liked the anecdotes/lots of inspiring stories and thought provoking ideas and the fact that it was all well-researched and pretty dense made it even better. I always like when you feel that there’s lots of research behind a book, may it be fiction or non fiction (which is maybe the reason why I like historical fiction, you know, with history in it and everything haha).

At some point, you may have wondered about what made something or someone more original. This book, in a way, answers this by studying and analyzing many traits and characteristics that could make an “Original”. It is a bit motivating in a way so as to go against the grain and not to conform to the status quo. It is well worth your time if you want to see things a bit differently and perhaps try to change some of your habits so as to look more at facts than pervasive beliefs. One of my favorite parts was when the author was trying to tell us that the main problem about what we see as lack of originality isn’t the absence of new ideas or the absence of idea generation as Adam Grant called it but it’s idea selection because “even geniuses have trouble recognizing when they have a hit on their hands” and so even if we generate lots of ideas, we could still be ignoring the ones that could be a “hit”. Another one of my favorite parts was this chart about the odds for Nobel Prize winners to be involved in specific artistic hobbies (check table).

The book is overall nice but we find that the author tends to talk too much about one idea or keeps giving few examples over and over again or examples that were a bit outdated which tends to be pretty… meh? For a book that talks about creativity and about being original, well… Not so much original! It is not very captivating or something that I would look forward to re-readind but it still is a “Not-so-bad” book because it lacks cohesion but in the same time is very informative and has lots of history/research into it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article! If you’ve read this book or one that you feel might be similar, feel free to share your thoughts! Write to you soon, ba-bye!


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