The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle
Best for: People looking for a quick read and a couple of helpful tips.
In a nutshell: Mr. Coyle provides 52 tips to help you get better at something. Anything.
Line that sticks with me: “But in the talent hotbeds I visited, practice was the big game, the center of their world, the main focus of their daily lives.” (p 39)
Why I chose it: As part of that whole summer reading BINGO thing our public library is doing, one square is ‘recommended by an independent bookseller.’ Also, I like to learn things.
Review: Hmm. There are 52 tips, which I suppose is meant to correlate to weeks in the year, but the book isn’t laid out like that. Instead, each tip ranges from a paragraph to a few pages, grouped by getting started, getting better, and keeping it up.
Some of the tips were helpful and familiar. The one I mention above, about practice, reminds me of the book by Commander Hayden (astronaut). Since they might never go to space, they have to treat preparation as the real thing. That’s what matters.
Other tips run contrary to ones I’ve learned before, especially about writing. One is to “never mistake activity for accomplishment.” Which, yikes. Like, the fact that I write every single day — haven’t missed a day since March (that includes when I had food poisoning), when I started that — is a fucking accomplishment. That activity is making me a better writer.
The tips are meant to be universal but, as mentioned above, I don’t think they are always applicable. And while the title is certainly true — this is a little book — I think it could have been a series of blog posts, or perhaps included in some sort of habit app. Not sure it warranted this fancy binding and shiny cover.