I finished 10 books this week from a wide range of non-fiction. This week, I review books about psychology, data analysis, investing, and buying a home. I even read a pretty controversial book about free speech! Enjoy.
Each of the links to the books are affiliate links, so if you use my link to purchase any of these books, some comes back to support what I do (and it also helps fund my reading habit).
When I pick up a book about the free speech, I’m never sure what I’m going to get. I’ll either get well-thought arguments from authors like Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff or books with weak arguments that seem like a cash grab from authors like Dave Rubin and Gad Saad. So, when I read this new book from Andrew Doyle, I was pleasantly surprised in the best way. By far, this is one of the better books on the subject, and I really enjoyed it. It’s a short read, but it packs a lot of power.
In 2019, I was cancelled and had hundreds of thousands of strangers on the internet coming after me, so this is a topic that I’m interested in. I’m often conflicted because I’m quite liberal, and free speech is typically associated with the Right. When an author like Andrew Doyle comes around and is able to maturely discuss how there are awful people out there like Nazi’s, but we need better conversations around free speech, I respect it. If you’re interested in this subject as well, you should really grab a copy of this book.
The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff
Giving the Devil his Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist by Michael Shermer
Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk by Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke
I’m a recovering drug addict with over 8 years sober, and one of the reasons I self-medicated with substances was due to the stigma around mental illness. Since getting clean, I’ve become an advocate for mental health, and decreasing the stigma is one of my main goals. So, when I heard this book was coming out, I had to grab a copy. This book from Richard Grinker has a great, thorough history of how we treat the mentally ill around the world and what the stigma does to people. He even dives into the mistreatment of those with disabilities or those who are neurodiverse, which makes the book even more well-rounded.
Although this is an incredible book that I really think more people can read, the structure of the book felt a little off and seemed to drag a bit. For example, in the first half of the book, Grinker spends a few chapters talking about mental illness in the military, which is extremely important for understanding the history, but it really slowed the book down. Maybe it’s because I’m already familiar with the subject, so that may just be my opinion. Regardless, this is an excellent book that I really hope gets the attention it deserves.
I actually read Daniel Crosby’s most recent book first, The Behavioral Investor, and loved it, so I had to get this book next. As a new investor with a background in psychology, I can’t stress how much I love the work of Daniel Crosby. This book is phenomenal when it comes to setting up a good foundation when you’re investing and becoming a behavioral investor. While there are still some ideas from Crosby that I’m in the fence about, I respect and love how he forces me to take some new perspective on some of my strategies. Personally, I think understanding psychology is one of the keys to being a good investor, and if you agree, you need this book.
The Behavioral Investor by Daniel Crosby
The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
The Millennial Homeowner: A Guide to Successfully Navigating Your First Home Purchase by Lauren Bowling
I’m considering buying a home for the first time in my life, so I grabbed some books on the subject. This book from Lauren Bowling was the first one I got, and I wasn’t too impressed. It’s a short read and a good overview of the process, but it doesn’t get into many details about the different aspects of the process. If nothing else, I think everyone should get this book because the author made a lot of mistakes that you can learn from.
I’m extremely interested in group psychology, social norms, and influence, so I picked this book up. Damon Centola did an excellent job with this book presenting some of his own research that I haven’t heard from other books on the subject. I read a lot of books about making change happen, so it was refreshing to hear some new ideas, theories, and studies.
Conformity: The Power of Social Influences by Cass Sunstein
Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
Hit Makers: How to Succeed in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson
Critical Thinking: What You Should Have Been Taught About Decision-Making, Problem Solving, Cognitive Biases, Logical Fallacies and Winning Arguments by Jerrel Forman
I absolutely LOVE books on critical thinking and always try to have one in my active reading rotation. This book by Jerrel Forman is super good, and it’s extremely digestible for any type of reader. I’ve read a lot of books on this subject, and some of them were hard to grasp when I first got into the subject. In this book, Forman does a great job simplifying the thinking errors we make as well as how to overcome them. I have a 12-year-old son who I’m trying to help become a better critical thinker, and this is definitely a book I’ll have him read in the next few years as well.
Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant
Getting Gamers: The Psychology of Video Games and Their Impact on the People who Play Them by Jamie Madigan
I’ve been a gamer my entire life, and I even had a career in eSports in its early days. Now, as a father, my son is a gamer, and I love that we get to share this activity together. I’m also a massive psychology nerd, so I love to learn about the psychology of gaming, so I read books like this one. I’ve read a few books on this subject, but Jamie Madigan has written one of the best. I think I enjoyed this book so much because not only does it explain the psychology of gaming, but the research he discusses can be applied to many other aspects of the world today. I often found myself taking long breaks after reading different chapters from this book to sit and think about how interesting some of the topics were.
SuperBetter: The Power of Living Gamefully by Jane McGonigal
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
The Smart First-Time Home Buying Guide: How to Save for A Home Down Payment with Limited Money by Thomas.K. Lutz
I don’t know if I’m just finding the wrong books on first-time home buying or if they’re all like this. The book is extremely basic and didn’t answer any of the questions I had about buying a home. A lot of it is about having a list of what you want in a home and to take into consideration the neighborhood, distance from work, etc. I’m looking for books that discuss the financial aspect a bit more. This could have easily been written for anyone thinking about moving into their own place.
Each day, we’re bombarded by statistics and studies from various news sources. A few years ago, I realized that the data we’re told about from media and headlines aren’t always what they seem. This is why I love reading books about making sense of data like this new book from Tim Harford. I’ve read quite a few books in this genre, and this is one of my new favorites.
Sometimes books like this get way too heavy in math and numbers, but this book is more about the psychology and being aware of what we often don’t think about when looking at data. By taking this angle, Harford makes this book much more digestible for the average reader who isn’t a numbers person like myself. At my day job and as a social media influencer, I do a bit of data analysis to see where issues are and improvement can be made. This book gave me a few more things to think about as I comb through my own data, and I think anyone who reads this book can benefit from it.
I’m a recovering drug addict who destroyed my credit years ago, and after 8.5 years, I’m trying to figure out how to fix it. This is a short book with some practical tips and good explanations for fixing your credit. The 30 days in the title is a bit of a clickbait, but there are definitely some strategies in here that I’m going to try.
If you need help with your mental health, I highly recommend the service I use, BetterHelp. They’re an affordable online therapy service, and by using this affiliate link, you help support The Rewired Soul.