You can never have too many books. Or can you?
I might not be as obsessed with books as Count Libri but I there is nothing like a good book.
Guglielmo Libri Carucci dalla Sommaja was. . .
“Admirable in the salons and incomparably friendly, flexible, with gentle epigrams of sweet humour, elegant flattery, a good writer in both French and Italian, a profound mathematician, geometer, physicist, knowing history through and through, a very analytic and comparative mind …; more expert than an auctioneer or a bookseller in the science of books, this man had only one misfortune: he was essentially a thief. “
He was a Book Thief. But not just the odd book here and there. He was caught with 30 000 books and manuscripts!
But before we start with the list of some great books. Perhaps we should stop and think for a moment about our reason for looking for books. Can you actually learn something useful from reading books about “How to improve your thinking?” or “Ways to get Innovative Ideas?” Most skills are not the result of reading a book. Or are there?
You can read a “boring and badly” written book and get the most brilliant idea. Trendy examples might provoke you to step out of your “ box”. The most brilliantly written book filled with great tips may not lead to any insights – you need to put in the hard work yourself. Reading is a conversation with yourself and a good book, just like a great conversation with another human begin, may more easily take your thinking to a higher level. Below is a list of some of Gijs and mine favourites.
“Creative Thinkering” and “Thinkertoys” by Michael Michalko are great books for generating ideas. Games, tactics and great tips for ways to generate ideas. You will gain insight into why these practical tips may work, and this may help to spark your own thinking.
“The Power of Thinking Differently” by Javy W. Galindo. A delight to read – humorous and filled with insights about creativity and thinking.
The ideas in “How to Have a Beautiful Mind” by Edward de Bono look deceptively easy. Yet like all great ideas there is a shift in the perception and this requires hard work. A lovely gift and good introduction to thinking. Go here, for a review.
“People spend a fortune on their bodies, their faces, their hair, their clothes. Cosmetics, plastic surgery, diets, gym membership – everyone’s trying to be more attractive. But there’s an easier way to become a beautiful person. It doesn’t have to be physical. No matter how you look, if you have a mind that’s fascinating, creative, exciting – if you’re a good thinker – you can be beautiful. And being attractive doesn’t necessarily come from being intelligent or highly-educated. It isn’t about having a great personality. It’s about using your imagination and expanding your creativity.”
For years Edge editor John Brockman has been asking the era’s greatest thinkers a single annual question, designed to illuminate some important aspect of how we understand the world. In 2012, he asked “What scientific concept will improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?” The result can be read in This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking , short essays on subjects ranging from the paradoxes of daydreaming, information flow, collective intelligence, and a dizzying, mind. This is a book that challenges your thinking about thinking – metacognition.
“The Art of War” by Sun Tzu is an ancient Chinese literary work that provides strategies and principles applicable to the present day. A good book for thinking bout how to achieve a goal.
The real progress in cognitive science has perhaps been made in developmental psychology. Childhood is often ignored and taken for granted. Yet it is “what makes all human begin humans” writes Alison Gopnik in the book “The Philosophical Baby”. A fascinating insight into what it means to be human.
More great books
Photo: “Tablet Computer And Books” by adamr