Review of When Strangers Meet, by Kio Stark

When Strangers Meet

How People You Don’t Know Can Transform You

by Kio Stark

TED Books, Simon & Schuster, 2016. 107 pages.

This is a short little book, based on this TED Talk, “Why You Should Talk to Strangers.”

She didn’t actually convince me. I’m an introvert; I’m not going to do her exercises.

However, she said things that were fun to think about. Connection is good for us. I was happy I read this before I went to ALA Midwinter Meeting and planned to ask strangers to vote for me to be on the 2019 Newbery committee. Those encounters were all very positive. I do think it helped to think about the dynamics of talking to strangers first.

For that matter, my job at the library involves talking with strangers — and helping them — every single day. So to think a little more deeply about what’s going on when that happens was good.

From the Introduction:

In these pages we’ll explore why talking to strangers is good for you. We’ll investigate how it’s possible for people to open themselves to even the briefest conversations with strangers and the fascinating dynamics of how they do it. What does it take to say a simple hello to a stranger you pass on the street? How might that interaction continue? What are the places in which you are more likely to interact with people you don’t know? How do you get out of a conversation? These sound like easy questions. As you’ll see, they are not….

This is a book about talking, and it’s also a book about seeing, listening, and being alert to the world. I want to show you how lyrical and profound our most momentary connections can be, to broaden your understanding and deepen your perception of people who are strangers to you. I want you to see the invisible mechanics and meanings of street interactions. I want to give you a new way to be in love with the world.

This book is fun reading, and a great option for those who prefer books to video (like me).

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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