Books to Make You Think

By Laura Beth Wenger

By Laura Beth Wenger

These are my favorite non-fiction books of the past few years. Topics vary, but I'm especially interested right now in books about how our brains and bodies work. 

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

David Epstein

$28.00 $25.20

In Range, David Epstein explains that generalizing-- being a jack-of-all-trades-- is exactly what's needed for greater creativity and accomplishments. Applicable to all fields, it challenges the fashionable idea that one should specialize early, and instead encourages dabbling broadly in many areas. Epstein is an entertaining writer and easy to read. My copy is full of notes.

The Oxygen Advantage: Simple, Scientifically Proven Breathing Techniques to Help You Become Healthier, Slimmer, Faster, and Fitter

Patrick McKeown

$15.99 $14.71

The Oxygen Advantage explains the science and how-to of Buteyko Breathing; that many of us are actually over-breathing, and that one should breathe only through the nose for greater health and physiological efficiency. He also includes exercises to train nose-breathing for those of us who are challenged. A great introduction to the topic. I followed this with sessions with a Buteyko Educator, Jennifer Snowdon, who I also recommend thoroughly :)

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Yuval Noah Harari

$24.99 $22.49

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman

$18.00 $16.56

This is a fascinating book, packed with information on how our brains work. Kahneman uses years of research to explain that our thinking is the result of two systems-- one is fast, intuitive, and emotional; the other is slower and rational. Understanding these two basic systems gave me insight into why human beings make the decisions they do, and how we can use these two systems to support better decision-making.