10 Deeply Fascinating Books You Should Read If Your Goal Is To Become Smarter
New ways to see the world, understand ourselves, and become smarter
Reading is one of the best ways to enrich the mind.
There is nothing more satisfying than reading a great book that’s not only enjoyable, but that also imparts lasting knowledge. If you’re looking for a way to boost your knowledge, invest time and energy in reading thought-provoking books.
According to Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist, there is not one measure of intelligence, but nine. That means if you value intelligence and your goal is to broaden your knowledge about the world and our place in it, you have to feed every aspect of your intellect.
The thought-provoking books below can broaden your knowledge and enhance your level of intelligence. They are perfect for anyone with a curious mind and a passion for learning. I’ve added one or two of my favourite quotes from each book.
Embark on a reading journey that’ll help you understand the human race, life and living it and almost everything there is to know about becoming a better version of yourself.
The genetic strategies behind everything
“Certainly genetic differences matter. Some people’s genes dispose them to be unusually ambitious, or clever, or athletic, or artistic, or various other things — including unusually rich in serotonin. But these traits depend, for their flowering, on the environment (and sometimes on each other), and their eventual translation into status can rest heavily on chance.”
This book can help you understand the everyday world
Forces of Nature by Professor Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen
“Science is delighted frustration. It is about asking questions, to which the answers may be unavailable — now, or perhaps ever. It is about noticing regularities, asserting that these regularities must have natural explanations and searching for those explanations.”
Kathryn urges us to reassess our relationship with our own mistakes
Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz
“A whole lot of us go through life assuming that we are basically right, basically all the time, about basically everything: about our political and intellectual convictions, our religious and moral beliefs, our assessment of other people, our memories, our grasp of facts. As absurd as it sounds when we stop to think about it, our steady state seems to be one of unconsciously assuming that we are very close to omniscient.”
This book will upgrade your understanding of human intelligence
Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner
“The less a person understands his own feelings, the more he will fall prey to them. The less a person understands the feelings, the responses, and the behaviour of others, the more likely he will interact inappropriately with them and therefore fail to secure his proper place in the world.”
Deep insights about many areas of modern life
How Not to Be Wrong: The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life by Jordan Ellenberg
“A basic rule of mathematical life: if the universe hands you a hard problem, try to solve an easier one instead, and hope the simple version is close enough to the original problem that the universe doesn’t object.”
“In the Bayesian framework, how much you believe something after you see the evidence depends not just on what the evidence shows, but on how much you believed it to begin with.”
Understanding people’s drives and motivations
The Laws of Human Nature. by Robert Greene
“You like to imagine yourself in control of your fate, consciously planning the course of your life as best you can. But you are largely unaware of how deeply your emotions dominate you. They make you veer toward ideas that soothe your ego.”
“Learn to question yourself: Why this anger or resentment? Where does this incessant need for attention come from? Under such scrutiny, your emotions will lose their hold on you. You will begin to think for yourself instead of reacting to what others give you.”
Intriguing insight into a great mind
“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman
“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.”
Yuval Noah Harari’s thought-provoking collection
“This is the best reason to learn history: not in order to predict the future, but to free yourself of the past and imagine alternative destinies. Of course this is not total freedom — we cannot avoid being shaped by the past. But some freedom is better than none.”
“Questions you cannot answer are usually far better for you than answers you cannot question.”
“The most common reaction of the human mind to achievement is not satisfaction, but craving for more.”