Reading List

Thinking, Fast and SlowThere are now so many great books available that shed light on how the brain—in relation to the mind—actually works, and what a revelation they are!

Below, in no particular order, is a list of the 30+ books that have influenced me in one way or another. Among the authors are psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists, neurologists, Pulitzer Prize winning writers, a Nobel Prize winning psychologist, behavioral economists, a cognitive scientist, a social psychologist, a mathematician and engineer, a Professor of English, a philosopher, and a literary scholar.

Some of the books are more challenging than others, some more interesting and engaging than others, and some more practically useful than others. Several of the books cover similar ground but from different perspectives and with additional information. All of them have been well worth reading.

We tend to trust the things we feel most confident about. But my primary take-away is that there is absolutely no correlation between the high level of confidence we have in our memories, our judgments, our thought processes—even our ongoing experiences—and the accuracy of our perceptions. As Daniel Kahneman puts it:

Confidence is a feeling, which reflects the coherence
of the information and the cognitive ease of processing it.

The Books

The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg)
Redirect (Timothy D. Wilson)
What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite (David DiSalvo)
Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman)
Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind (Guy Claxton)
The Storytelling Animal (Jonathan Gottschall)
The Hidden Brain (Shankar Vedantam)
Incognito (David Eagleman)

Subliminal (Leonard Mlodinow)
The Biology of Belief (Joseph Giovannoli)
The Drunkard’s Walk (Leonard Mlodinow)
The Black Swan (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
The Paradox of Choice (Barry Schwartz)
Why We Make Mistakes (Joseph T. Hallinan)
Stumbling on Happiness (Daniel Gilbert)
Descartes’ Error (Antonio R. Damasio)

Strangers to Ourselves (Timothy D. Wilson)
Synaptic Self (Joseph LeDeux)
The Reflexive Universe (Arthur M. Young)
On the Origin of Stories (Brian Boyd)
Making Up The Mind (Chris Frith)
Man’s Search for Meaning (Viktor Frankl)
Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life (Winifred Gallagher)
Your Brain Has a Mind of Its Own (Richard Restak)

Making Habits, Breaking Habits (Jeremy Dean)
A Mind of Its Own (Cordelia Fine)
Brain Changer (David DiSalvo)
Predictably Irrational (Dan Ariely)
Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Antonio Damasio)
Meet Your Happy Chemicals (Loretta Graziano Breuning)
Uncertainty (Jonathan Fields)
The Critical Thinker’s Dictionary (Robert Todd Carroll)

You Are Not so Smart (David McRaney)
Sex, Murder and the Meaning of Life (Douglas T. Kenrick)
I, Mammal (Loretta Graziano Breuning)
Wired for Story (Lisa Cron)
The Ego Trick (Julian Baggini)
The Believing Brain (Michael Shermer)
The Eureka Factor: Aha Moments, Creative Insight, and the Brain (John Kounios and Mark Beeman)
Smarter Faster Better (Charles Duhigg)

On Being Certain (Robert A. Burton)
A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind (Robert A. Burton)
The Aesthetic Brain (Anjan Chaterjee)

On the Waiting List

The Upward Spiral (Alex Korb)
The Seven Sins of Memory (Daniel L. Schacter)
A More Beautiful Question (Warren Berger)
The Upright Thinkers (Leonard Mlodinow)

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