The Power of Habit

This fascinating book about habits is definitely worth a look. | A book review from Newbery and Beyond

I enjoyed this book a lot.  In fact, I would have read it if it were twice as long–I wanted more!  The Power of Habit is a cross between Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Benedict Carey’s How We Learn, and Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before (review coming soon, yay!).  It focuses on how habits are formed, how we can change them, and how much control we have over our actions once they become habitual.  So fascinating!  The book is interspersed with stories, as all good pop psychology should be, on how habits affect people’s lives and the workings of corporations, sometimes to the extreme.  It tells how habits affect everyone from Michael Phelps to Starbucks to the compulsive gambler to Tony Dungy to AA attendees.

The basic pattern of habits as described in the book is Cue–Routine–Reward.  The easiest way to change a habit is to figure out what these three things are (It’s 3:30–Get a cookie from the cafeteria–Have a short chat with a friend, to use an example from the author himself) and then replace the routine with something that gives you the same reward (It’s 3:30–Walk to a friend’s cubicle–Have a short chat with a friend).

I’m a big fan of neuroscience and scientific studies presented in an engaging way, and this book has that in spades.  The stories used to illustrate the science were interesting and illuminating.  You’re sure to learn a lot and be entertained when you pick up Duhigg’s book.

Rating: Pretty Darn Good

About Monica

I am obsessed with all things books. I'm a music teacher by day and a freelance editor by night.

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