Jan 2

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande | Book Review

the-checklist-manifesto-atul-gawande-book-reviewI’m a compulsive list maker. I make lists for everything, and anything. In-fact I am fast approaching the point where I might need a list to keep track of all my lists (not kidding). Which is to say that, at-least as far as I am concerned, Mr. Gawande was preaching to the choir with this one.

Nonetheless, it was still a pretty interesting read. For one, it’s always gratifying to find out scientific backing for your natural inclinations. It almost makes you feel like you are in Santa’s nice list for doing absolutely nothing.

But more importantly, Atul Gawande (much like Malcolm Gladwell) has the ability to share relatively dull content (not that lists are dull to me, I personally find them quite fascinating) in a way that is engaging, and thought provoking, while also managing to challenge the status quo, without ever being condescending.

And that is exactly what he did in this book as well.  Mr. Gawande, in his trademark style, judiciously used facts, research, and anecdotal evidence, to prove his point on the relevance and importance of using checklists. I especially loved all the examples he chose to emphasize how critical checklists can be across any field, be it medicine, construction or even aviation.

Now I have to admit that I could have lived without the blow-by-blow description of the complicated surgeries, as they made me more than a little queasy.  But then I can’t really complain about that, because well he is a doctor, and it is natural to draw examples from his field of work.

Anyway, towards the end, there is a section where he shares his thoughts on what one must watch out for, to ensure that lists stay important & relevant, and don’t end up being counter-productive. This was especially interesting to me, as like I mentioned earlier, I have the tendency to go overboard with them, and so this gave me some food for thought.

All in All

Whether you love your lists or cannot be bothered with them, I feel like this book has something for everyone. Especially for the ones in the latter category, I think this will give some much needed insight on how list making when done right, can be more than an odd quirk. In-fact, as Mr. Gawande details in the many examples that he shares, effective checklists not only improve efficiency, but also have the ability to save time, money, and even lives.

You can get this book here – The Checklist Manifesto

That’s all from my end, folks. I would love to hear from you. Have you read this book? How did you find it? If you haven’t read it yet, and are looking to read books on productivity, you have to check this one out.

Also, these days I have been reading a lot of non-fiction books on certain topics, and so of-course I’ll be reviewing them on the blog in the coming months. However, I was thinking that instead of doing standalone book reviews, I’d bunch them together, based on topic.

For instance, the first post in this series, which will come out around the 15th of Jan, will feature 3 books on productivity. So this way, if you are interested to read books on a particular topic, you will get a chance to compare & contrast a few options.

Let me know what you think of this kind of post (as opposed to standalone book reviews – especially when it comes to non-fiction), and if you have recommendations of topics that you would like me to read and review books on.

– Shantala

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  1. Shantala, I aint much of a non-fiction person. Probably thats one the reasons why I havent picked up this book. but I think being on an experimentative mood this year, I should try out this genre. Will keep a watch on your blog and follow on your non-fiction reviews!!

  2. I have not read any book of Gawande but reading your review, I will pick this up. And yes, Happy New Year 🙂
    Coming back to your question, I think it would be good to organize the reviews in genres like you are planning. In 2018 – I also want to organize my writing and blogging schedules.
    Parul Thakur recently posted…Goodbye 2017My Profile

  3. I’m an obsessive list maker so I guess I should read this books now! 😀

    Happy New Year, Shantala. Wishing you a lot more reading and a lot more time for the food blog 🙂
    Soumya recently posted…Survive #WOTY2018My Profile

  4. Uff another one on the TBR list.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Health and fitness goalsMy Profile

  5. I need this book, fellow list lover 🙂

    Plus I like Gawande too so I am sure I’d like it. Adding to my purchase list on Kindle. I have a couple of books to finish this month so will buy after that.

    Ooh I look forward to the productivity book reviews! Another favourite topic! You know me well 🙂
    Shailaja recently posted…Just Desserts- Flash FictionMy Profile

  6. I love lists and ticking off to -do lists, except for the fact that I get too involved in making these lists but by the time I get to work on the goals, I would get distracted 🙁

    It ahs been so long since I read a non fiction, I should say completed a non fiction book. I promised myself I would get back to it this year. So this book may be it. I will check this out.
    Gayathri recently posted…My top favorite Sidekicks who need a shoutoutMy Profile

  7. I’m all about checklists and all other kinds of lists.

    Thanks for sharing this, Shantala, and all the best wishes for a beautiful new year!

  8. I am a checklist-maniac as I keep making checklists for everything and ticking them. Adding this book to my TBR.

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