Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Books that make you think

Over the last couple of weeks I've read 4 books by 3 different authors: Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, The Tipping Point and Blink from Malcolm Gladwell and Stumbling On Happiness by Daniel Gilbert.

All books are publications about the individual research by the authors on numerous subjects. Despite that scientific moniker, these books are easily accessible. They have something in common as well. The writers all want to prove that with their theory certain issues in society or personal behavior can be explained, even if they come to different conclusions about the same issue. For instance Levitt and Gladwell disagree on the reason why crime rates in New York fell down so rapidly in the early 90's.

They do make for a very interesting read. Written by obviously talented and intelligent people, some compelling arguments and scientific principles from economics and psychology (just to name two) are used to come to their conclusions. Even if you don't agree with some of their conclusions, what's best about these books is that their approaches to subjects or issues is different from what you might call usual thinking. These books make you think and question general consensus.

A must read if you're interested in looking at things a little differently.

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