While reading is always stimulating, sometimes we want to go for a pure intellectual power-up. Here are some books that make you smarter selections we’ve found that are guaranteed to expand your mind and world view.
10 . The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes
While Ralph Keyes’ conversational guide is an invaluable tool for those of us whoaspire to a profession in writing, it is equally eye-opening for those who simply enjoy readingthe fruits of their labor.
Keyes’ insight comes from over three decades of teaching writing, and is engaging for writers of all levels. Comments from successful authors are sprinkled throughout, illustrating how they overcame roadblocks in their creative processes.
Originally published in 1995, The Courage To Write has become a standard volume for aspiring writers and is a fascinating read for anyone.
9. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Author Bill Bryson made his name with colorful first-person accounts of stays in some prettychallenging environments, like the Appalachian Trail and the Australian Outback.
With A Short History of Everything, Bryson challenges himself and the reader- to comprehend the works of some of science’s greatest minds, in an effort to understand… well, everything.
From the Big Bang to the advent of civilization to our modern day, Bryson’s work is entertaining, informative and meditative in equal measure a trek through the history of the world through the eyes a someone very much like us.
8. At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
This 2011 work has, on the surface, a narrower focus but becomes just as involved and in-depthas the previous entry. Bryson is the only repeat author on our list for good reason; his work will engage you, and show you new frames of reference for the common place.
This book is hands-down the single best book. I have read in years. If you only buy one book on this list, this is the one. Since I first read it, I have bought extra copies every year to give away as gifts.
7. Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared M. Diamond
The book won the 1998 Pulitzer for General Non fiction, among other awards, and has received excellent academic reviews as well. It’s a worldview-challenging work that deserves a read.
6. Cosmos by Carl Sagan
15 billion years of cosmic evolution are covered in a light, inclusive tone that makes Cosmosas easy to read as it is intellectually stimulating. It became the best selling nonfiction science book of all time upon publication, and isresponsible for the higher visibility of science-based publication and programming that continuesto this day.
5. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
The basic concept- that we make completely irrational choices a great deal of the time, yet do so in ways that are easy to predict is elaborated on in ways that will make you question the very motives behind the choices you make, from the trivial to the life-altering. A provocative and stimulating read.
4. The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot
An impressive amount of science supports Talbot’s theory, which touches on everything from dejavu and “meaningful coincidences” to the holographic nature of dreams.
It’s a cohesive theory, convincingly and thoroughly explained, that will give you adifferent view of the world around you- perhaps a radically different one.
3. Contrary Notions by Michael Parenti
Political analyst Michael Parenti has a long history of calling into question the established histories and conventions that drive our society.
This collection of short works is perhaps the purest distillation of his revolutionaryworldview, and the most varied of all his works.
2. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
Zinn’s remarkably cohesive, conversational and controversial work is as vital as whenit was published, and offers a historical perspective on America that many of us havenever considered.
1. Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee
The most reflective and abstract entry on book that will make you smarter list, Tao of Jeet Kune Do is a fascinatingand stimulating read for literally anyone, the thoughts and meditations of one of thegreat humanist minds of our time.