Becca's Reviews > The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
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's review
Apr 22, 12

bookshelves: ebook, non-fiction, social-science, psychology
Recommended to Becca by: Dov
Read in April, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

The entire first part of this book was completely fascinating. I was completely in love with the first significant chunk - about a man who loses his hippocampi in a traumatic accident, but still manages to go for walks around the block, make food and hold conversations about computers, all without being able to remember such details as where he lives or how old he is or what year it is. A Oliver Sacks-worthy story illustrating the power of habit in determining how we live.

Duhigg goes on from there to illustrate, using animal experiments in rodents and monkeys how habits are formed and how we can form good habits and extinguish bad ones. He perfectly balances practicality with intriguing science and anecdotes.

The latter two halves of the book spiral off in a multitude of directions. How is having willpower a habit? I'm not really sold. Some of his anecdotes read like they would belong better in Blink or the Tipping Point and it undermines the strong, consistent definition of a habit from the first third.

Also, some of my favorite parts of the book - the febreze model and the target/pregnancy story are available online on NPR & NYTimes magazine and excerpted on lifehacker. (I had read them prior to this and hoped that the rest of the book would be the same quality)

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