30 Great Books that will Expand your Knowledge and Mind

Discover top books for knowledge! 30 must-read books to elevate your mind, expand your knowledge, broaden your horizons, and transform your life.
Welcome to an insightful journey through the '30 great books that will expand your knowledge and mind,' written by Muhiuddin Alam on the book recommendations and reviews site, ReadingAndThinking.com.

Over the years as a leading authority on literary expertise, I've created numerous articles, many of which can be found on this site.

I have received a question 'Can books expand knowledge?' 

YES! In response, I'm pleased to offer my expert recommendations on some of the top books for knowledge in this article, which is based on my in-depth study and testing in this field. 

Some notable books to increase your knowledge include here: A More Beautiful Question, How to Take Smart Notes, Time Smart, Metaphors We Live By, Elastic Habits, Letters to a Young Poet, A Lover’s Discourse, The Mastery of Love, Bulfinch's Mythology, and The Fabric of the Cosmos.

These aren't only just the best knowledge books. Below, you'll find 30 books with detailed descriptions of each of these outstanding resources, helping you make well-informed decisions to gain informative knowledge books and elevate the mind.

A young man reading the best knowledge books on a serene beach at dusk.

Top Books for Knowledge: Expanding Your Mind

Are you looking for books to expand your knowledge? Reading is an excellent way to gain new skills and deepen your understanding of what you already know. 

A well-written book can not only make a subject come alive, but it can teach you something new about yourself as well. 

A quality book will leave you with more than just a memorable story or good characters; it will give you a perspective that might help change how you look at things. You’ll remember characters, events, and even entire scenes from a book long after reading it. 

And, of course, there are far more benefits than that! Whether fiction or nonfiction - use these 30 books that expand your mind and knowledge.

A Seneca quote that I really like is... 
"We should hunt out helpful pieces of teaching in the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application not far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech and learn them so well that words become works" 
Exactly in the new year become a revisited not someone who's constantly searching for the new now the 30 best books for knowledge and changing the way you live that I read this year made the biggest difference in my life.

1. A More Beautiful Question

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

I bought this book in July 2015 and finished reading it in three days. I didn't feel anything at the time. When I finished listening to the audio of this book online, I suddenly realized that I had missed so many things because I read it too fast. So in February 2016, I watched it three times and gained a lot. 

It shows two things, one is that it is very likely to miss a lot of valuable information just by looking at it, and the pearl is regarded as a stone; the second, from Adler's psychological point of view, we will inevitably meet at the right time and place.

First, the answer stops thinking, and the question opens up wisdom. What really kills thinking is "getting the answer", no matter whether right or wrong, we will stop there, more often the problem is not well solved, so we start to find the answer again, and stop in the answer again... 

Although We have been taught that "there is only one correct answer" since we were young. Although we know that "there are many gray levels between right and wrong" after entering society, most people still tend to get the answer as soon as possible. rather than a better question.

Knowing good questions is far more important than good answers. I felt more deeply because I gave training to the management consultants of the company at that time in 2013. I reserved 1/3 of the time for discussion in the class, and I hope you will expand on related issues. 

I used to talk from beginning to end, but not that time, and then a consultant approached me and made a special mention - he learned a lot, more than the few lessons I shared before. 

After reading "A More Beautiful Question", I was able to have a deeper understanding of the consultant's obedience. Although I didn't ask them to ask questions throughout the whole process, it is indeed a good way for everyone to participate. In the relatively large training in 2016, I will use this method of inquiry questioning.

Second, problem-storming is better than brainstorming. Brainstorming sometimes goes to two extremes, either there is no wind, or it is very violent, and it feels like it is about to start. The former stems from the fear of making mistakes, and the latter stems from the contradictions arising from the maintenance of one's own views. 

Therefore, it is far better for everyone to ask constructive questions together than to think of ideas together.
  1. it greatly reduces the pressure on the person who has the problem (the big problem is that the question is wrong), and 
  2. it also opens up from another angle. situation. My habit is to ask a question 25 times per group, and it works pretty well each time.
Third, in today's ever-changing world, people with continuous expertise have a way out. Don't say that the knowledge of college textbooks is far from reality, that is, in the workplace, much of the knowledge we master will age rapidly, so many people will go to participate in training. Only by mastering the ability to "ask the right questions" can we become valuable in the enterprise and keep pace with the times.

What we need is not a temporary adaptation (now this is also getting shorter and shorter), but a skillful continuous change and continuous adaptation. People who stop thinking they have the answer are left behind the moment they stop.

Today, when change is the only constant, don't expect a road map to tell you to go to your destination step by step. What we can count on is a "compass" to point the way, and the ability to ask questions is this compass.
Lots of books worth reading again!

2. How to Take Smart Notes

How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens

Buy from Bookshop.org

How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens

This book will become a masterpiece in the field of academic writing. There are more than 4400 reviews on Goodreads, and the score is as high as 4.27/5. 

Read a few keywords that are instructive so far: writing is not a linear process, building an external think tank... / see "... read repeatedly, underline sentences to reread them later. Even if they are told This method is useless, most people will continue to choose this method.” 

When he said this, he involuntarily underlined the key points, and when he came back to his senses, he laughed! / "Academic or non-fiction texts are simply not written this way (one author sets himself a minimum of 250 words every fifteen minutes) because, in addition to writing, the author needs to read, research, think, and revise ideas, and all these things It almost always takes a lot longer than expected", which really speaks to the voice of academic migrant workers! 

A very good book that discusses a very important issue - how to make notes better for writing. In the past ten years or so, my learning style is basically the same as what is described in the book. 

Starting from the motifs I am interested in (autonomy), I have read more than 1,000 books, made notes of millions of words, and then constantly rearranged them. Categorize notes, and more themes emerge after the interconnection of notes. 

However, this system also has two problems. One is dependent on the output. This massive note-taking system needs to be driven by writing to turn knowledge into wisdom. If it is not output frequently, the notes will not be systematically clustered, and will eventually be forgotten in the corner. 

The second is dependency. It is not easy, or even extremely cumbersome, to establish strong or weak relationships between notes as described in the book. At least I haven't found a particularly good solution, I hope you can provide ideas. 

Also, share a few experiences: 
  • First, Typora is good for inputting notes and supports Markdown syntax. 
  • Second, Alfred's retrieval notes are good, and the full text is available globally. 
  • The third is that the graphite document link notes are good, you can build a system, see my "Fennel Dictionary".

3. Time Smart

Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life by Ashley Whillans

Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life by Ashley Whillans

the next book is Time Smart by Ashley Williams. this book is really good if you feel like you keep on making decisions related to maybe work and taking on responsibilities that just don't seem to lead to your happiness it could also be a good book for people who are making big life decisions people who are graduating it is a book all about how people who value their time over their money are consistently happier. 

you will probably enjoy this book I will say it's more of a light read I got through it really quickly and it was more inspiring but I still found it really impactful my partner recently graduated with his master of physiotherapy and he's been on the job hunt he's now got a job but throughout the job hunt I was thinking back to this book as I was talking to him as we were discussing his options I referenced this book multiple times so if that's where you're at in life I think it would be helpful for you.

4. Metaphors We Live By

Metaphors We Live By - by George Lakoff

Metaphors We Live By - by George Lakoff  

Speaking of metaphors, we first think of literature, but this book points out that metaphors are by no means exclusive to literature. From the everyday language, we are accustomed to, to serious public political discourse, to mathematics and science that are considered to be the most objective and accurate, metaphors are inseparable. Twenty years after this book was published, the neurological basis of metaphor has been found in the human brain.

The foundation of metaphor is based on human body experience (for example, the metaphor of "it is better" is based on upright walking) and life experience (for example, love is travel), which is generated in the interaction between humans and the environment. 

Here we see the "projection" of psychoanalysis, the shadow of Gestalt psychology, and Piaget's epistemology of generation. The cognition of the environment is engraved with the imprint of man, and man "subjectifies" the natural environment and draws a boundary for it ( If the forest is a container, it means there is a limit), and then quantifies and describes it.

This has undoubtedly subverted our traditional view of language. When we want to know the meaning of a word, we lose the first reaction to look up the dictionary, but the author slams the dictionary's view of "homonyms". Metaphor has not become a "dead" word, not an objective, abstract, isolated, closed category and definition, but It is the sculptures that highlight and hide phenomena that constantly generate new meanings in the interaction with people in specific contexts.

A metaphor is not a reflection of objective things, but highlights one aspect of things and hides the other. Metaphors cannot construct an objective truth. Many words that seem to be true are actually metaphors with ulterior motives, behind which is the support of power to highlight and hide certain aspects.

The competition and change of culture are actually the competition and change of metaphors, which are the most hidden battlefields of ideology in the era of globalization. The Western metaphor of "money" (quantifiable, investment, budget, etc.) successfully unifies the global view of time. Metaphor is the intermediary between power and truth, dissolving and reconstructing culture and thinking.

The author's writing finally points to the myth of objectivism prevailing in analytic philosophy and the myth of subjectivism prevailing in continental philosophy (that is, the belief that metaphor is purely subjective and without laws). environment, and from this metaphorical language view, a different kind of "empiricism" can be deduced. The truth of empiricism is not independent of people but depends on people's understanding. Truth can be said to be a kind of understanding of the function of situations.

There are also many metaphorical examples in this book. It is not difficult to understand roughly, but the difficulty is how to apply this theory to the way we view the world, which is very challenging and very interesting.

5. Elastic Habits

Elastic Habits: How to Create Smarter Habits That Adapt to Your Day by Stephen Guise

Elastic Habits: How to Create Smarter Habits That Adapt to Your Day by Stephen Guise

Doing the same thing every day is tedious and unsustainable, and doing it differently is the proper solution. The principle is the well-known saying "all roads lead to Rome", as long as the result is clear, there are countless paths to the result, which is the origin of the "Elastic Habits".

The most impressive sentence in the book is: "Only self-discipline can be free." Self-discipline here doesn't mean running yourself on a schedule or schedule, if that's the case, you're just a slave to the schedule.

The things we do every day should be variable, and the specific amount of tasks should be determined according to our state of the day.

There are 7 steps to developing a resilient habit:
  1. Select up to 3 Habits.
  2. List about 3 landscape options for each habit.
  3. Set up 3 portrait targets for each landscape option.
  4. Choose your habit cues and make a commitment.
  5. Show your habits.
  6. Track your habits.
  7. Score and evaluate your performance.
If you want to make persistence a priority, set your goals low enough so you never miss work. This means setting your minimum requirements to "done" rather than "show off." Just do it every day and you'll create amazing positive momentum and rapid growth.
  • Habit 1 - Exercise: Mountaineering, running, pull-ups, kicking.
  • Habit 2 - Go to bed early: go to bed at 10 o'clock to read a new book, go to bed at 10 o'clock to review old books, and go to bed at 10 o'clock to write a diary.
  • Habit 3 - Cut sugar: no carbohydrates a day, no beverages a day, two meals a day.
  • Habit 4 - Increase income: Review the stock market, explore new opportunities, and write from the media.

6. Letters to a Young Poet

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

"How can we forget the myth of the primitive times of all races? The myth of the dragon becoming a princess in an emergency; maybe all the dragons in our lives are princesses, they are just waiting, beautiful and beautiful Look at us bravely. Perhaps all terrible things are helpless in the deepest, ask us for help." 

I often think of this sentence, in fact, before I have the opportunity to encounter truly terrible things, I dare not imagine Putting the difficulty in any transaction to dissolve it. 

Learn every day, learn from the pain I am thankful for: Patience is everything!" Pain is like a new tenant, coming and going without leaving a trace, but you know the changes. No need to hurry, or use other fancy things to drive away your visitors, But in such silence and loneliness, "I don't count, but mature like trees. "Because our so-called destiny is to come out of us and not to come in toward us from the outside."

Although it seems that everyone is looking out, wanting to go out and change to a bigger one, thinking that they can meet their own destiny in a certain place, "There is no such thing as hardship or loneliness, only concealment, and deception."

But Rilke's little readers don't believe in transactions and calculations, and they don't overly envy ease and beauty. "Because there is no victory to speak of, holding on means everything." 

7. A Lover’s Discourse

A Lover's Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes

A Lover's Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes

What is "falling in love"? We said, "Look, these two people are in love." Are we saying that these two people are talking about "love"?

If the word "love" is written in regular characters (traditional characters), it is "love". Whether it is the word "love" or the word "love", there is a "heart". "Attachment" and "adoration" are both mental activities—how can a mental activity be described by a verb with a "word beside the word"? 

I don't know how many couples are secretly committed after a conversation between the two? In other words, if two people really "talk" and then "fall in love", then what is it because he/she is attracted by the other party's conversation? look? action? Speaking rate? Or a magnetic sound? 

Or, these are actually just the lovers' fantasies. Once the lover finally realizes that what he/she is obsessed with has nothing to do with that person at all - the other party's "talking" is no longer "love", and then spits it out of his mouth. No longer a lotus, but a toad. Terrible image reversal - The fear of image destruction far outweighs the anxiety caused by the possible loss of love.

Roland Barthes' "A Lover's Discourse", although it is called "Whisper", in fact, the real "language" occupies very little in the book, because "love" cannot be "talked". Therefore, the most subtle thing about the book is not the "language" between lovers, but the delicate deconstruction of the lover's every moment's thoughts, and the nakedness of the lover's cuteness (stupid or absurd?). 

In other words, with a copy of "A Lover's Discourse", you can throw away all the romance novels on your bookshelf. 

My favorite part from "A Lover's Discourse":
"The Merry Celebrity and the Whore"
A celebrity has a crush on a prostitute, and she says to him, 
"As long as you sit under my window in my garden and wait for me for a while. After a hundred overnights, I belong to you." 
On the ninety-ninth night, the Yake stood up and walked away with a stool.

8. The Mastery of Love

The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship: A Toltec Wisdom Book by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship: A Toltec Wisdom Book by Don Miguel Ruiz 

Imagine we are born in a world where, as the author assumes in the book, everyone has congenital skin disease at a certain age. When humans are infants they do not feel the difference in their bodies but with growing up the disease shows. Our skin feels hurt every time we are touched by others. 

Every doctor says it is normal because everyone is the same so everybody lives in this way. And parents keep telling the next generation that it hurts and influences them on their own. 

Actually, the disease means our wounds inside which do not show when we were children. With time passing by, we have fear, we have opinions of others, we are eager for love and we beg for acceptance, which is the process the wounds appear and the customs form. To show originality, Miguel Ruiz explains how love performs and how we overcome its difficulties of it.

I feel quite impressed and touched. What is the definition of love?

None of us dares to clarify and even Miguel Ruiz himself can only show us the iceberg. For the first time, however, I was told that my pain is real and accepted, through the book. We tend to avoid possible hurt so we keep careful in relationships. 

We tend to be afraid of being hurt again because of our stereotype of wounds so we keep pushing or hurting people in our way. What if we can face our wounds of how they were caused and how we curved them in our hearts?

Is there any possibility that we can heal our wounds inside and feel no more hurt, that we can try hard and chase braver the time we are faced with another opportunity of a job, a dream, and even a person, that we can live peacefully and happily for the forgiveness of regrets, that we can educate our next generation better and treat the old kinder?

For my part, I can say that I finally find my love settled and my pain in peace, for I know that true love comes inside independently and shows outside purely and confidently. 

9. Bulfinch's Mythology

Bulfinch's Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch

Bulfinch's Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch

The story of this book is full of details and twists. Unlike Chekhov's principle of "if a pistol appears in a story, it will be fired", there is no way to predict the role and relationship of the characters appearing. This makes the legend almost like the truth. 

The story of Tristram and Isolde is just that, under the theme of traditional love tragedies beyond love, with a lot of unrelated details. These details acquire symbolism due to their irrelevance to the subject. That is to say, their meaning is not in the text, but is hidden in a deeper place, and is only suggested by some symbols.

Music plays an important role in the story, Tristram uses music to get back Isoude, the damsel wakes up Tristram with music, the king gives Isoude to Palamedes because of his curiosity about music, and so on. The animals also made some impressive appearances, such as Tristram's dog Houdini, who was given away twice, both as souvenirs, and drank the love magic water with Tristram and Isolde. 

His IQ makes it possible for him to feel the potency of the magic water as much as a human being, after all, to keep Tristram from being discovered, he doesn't bark while hunting!

After reading such a messy but full of vitality story, and then reading ordinary novels, the difference is huge. Ordinary novels are very clean as if the branches have been cut off, with clear meaning and consistent temperament. However assigning meaning to legends is difficult, and the various symbols of unknown meaning are fascinating. 

What does this story show? What kind of spiritual journey does a knight/musician with a complex character like Tristram represent? What does Houdini stand for? Why did Tristram marry Isoude with the same name as his sweetheart? The story celebrates honor, but also less honorable love.

10. The Fabric of the Cosmos

The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene

Buy from Bookshop.org

The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene

The past, present, and future in our minds are illusions that are too difficult to overcome. 

Einstein once said, 
“For we convinced physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent.” 
After reading Chapter 5, I have already lamented many times that I was fortunate enough to experience such brain activity. Not a waste of life. He also said with emotion that I am forever grateful for the day when Brian Greene was born. But of course, I should feel grateful for the day when Einstein was born first.

As a side note, the chapter on quantum entanglement (chapter 4) is also enlightening, mesmerizing, and powerfully touching. When Einstein is proved wrong, it's time to allow some space for the wonders in our mystical universe.

I don't know how Brian Greene can explain it so patiently and lovingly that no other physics popular science book can read. For example, the book The Order of Time only mentioned that time on distant planets was meaningless but failed to explain in detail what the problem was. 

Greene finally answered my question in Chapter 5. Creatures of distant planets can travel a hundred years in our time in a few steps, and we also travel a hundred years in others in a few steps.

“In this way of thinking, events, regardless of when they happen from any particular perspective, just are. They all exist. They eternally occupy their particular point in spacetime. 

There is no flow. If you were having a great time at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, 1999, you still are, since that is just one immutable location in spacetime. 

It is tough to accept this description since our worldview so forcefully distinguishes between the past, present, and future. But if we stare intently at this familiar temporal scheme and confront it with the cold hard facts of modern physics, its only place of refuge seems to lie within the human mind.”

Time does not flow, it is always fixed at a certain point in time and space. If you are happy at a certain moment, you are still happy because that point in time and space is fixed there and will not change.

11. From Dawn to Decadence

From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the Present: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life by Jacques Barzun

Buy from Bookshop.org

From Dawn to Decadence: 1500 to the Present: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life by Jacques Barzun

I was wandering in front of the history bookshelves in a bookstore and stumbled across a great book that I almost missed. 

The book is called From Dawn to Decadence: From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun, who won the 2000 National Book Award. Just reading its preface, I was fascinated by it. 

The book first quotes a passage from William James:
    All human actions can be attributed to the creation of inventors big and small and the imitation of others. Individuals point the way, determine patterns. The competition between modes is the history of the world. 
This sentence got me thinking. Mode is a typical Western way of thinking. 

Jacques Barzun said:

    Newspapers love to use the phrase "the trash can of history". ...inspect this trash can and see that it is far less full than one might think. Repeats and restorations have been common over the past five centuries. 

For example, just look at the incoming intellectual interest in biblical texts and the life of Jesus to talk about dream problems. 

Or imagine another thing that can be thrown in the trash and ignored: a newspaper's horoscope column. The competition between modes rarely ends in a complete victory, the loser survives and fights and the opposition is always there.

This sentence makes people smile, not only in the West but also in the East. From the May 4th Movement to the Cultural Revolution, Kong’s family shop was swept into the “garbage heap of history”. 

It takes a lot of effort to read a big book. This book is 824 pages long, and I plan to read it in two weeks. If you come across a moving passage, please share it with me in the blog.

12. The Master Switch

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu 

It turns out that the development of the communication media industry in the United States is also regulated by the government. And it's not free competition, it's monopoly capitalism.

Kronos Effect: the efforts undertaken by a dominant company to consume its potential successors in their infancy. Traditional industries will always try to stop the progress of new industries. It is outsiders who bring about subversive reforms.

The relationship between monopoly and competition, as mentioned in the text, must be divided for a long time, and a long time separation must be combined. The view that we accept now is that monopoly is bad, but is monopoly really bad? 

On the contrary, a monopoly can bring efficiencies, such as AT&T, when a monopoly can bring lower tariffs and better services, but after being split, tariffs suddenly rise, and communication quality is also low. 

But monopoly affects innovation is the biggest disadvantage. He will try to hinder all new inventions that may affect his status, just like Bell Labs, and will also stretch his hands upstream and downstream to form vertical integration.

The meaning of the master switch: The article analyzes four industries: the communication industry, the cable TV industry, the film and television industry, and the Internet industry. These four industries are all information industries, capable of controlling people's actions and thoughts, thereby changing the appearance of a country.

The giant AT&T in the communications industry has risen twice and is very resourceful. The first time was to form a cooperation with the government. Indeed, the government is more willing to cooperate with as few participants as possible in the industry, which is more efficient. 

But he suppressed other possibilities for competition, and he faced pushback from the Antitrust Bureau and the Justice Department. 

The second rise is to take advantage of the law, maintain competition in name, and welcome other competitors to join his line. In essence, the bottom line is drawn from the bottom line, leaving competitors complaining and returning in disappointment.

The wireless broadcasting industry has contributed to the slow and hampered development of cable television in the United States.

13. The Righteous Mind

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt 

The Righteous Heart is a very persuasive book. It is so persuasive not because the author has constructed an extremely precise and impeccable theoretical system in the book, but because the author is well versed in the intuitionistic way of persuasion, that is, if you want to change a person's perception of a certain The opinion of something must speak to his intuition. 

So instead of getting straight to the point and addressing his core findings at the outset, the author takes a detour and tells the history of moral psychology and his personal story, creating a sense of transition from rationalism to intuitionism, Let the reader's elephant (intuition) gradually deflect the direction in such a feeling and atmosphere.

The most impressive theory in the book is the theory of moral foundations. Unlike many moral philosophers in the past, the author's moral theory does not center on a single supreme principle but is built on multiple foundations. Heit believes that morality can never be discussed without the theory of evolution. 

There are some basic social senses in various human groups and different cultures, which are as common as the human sense of taste. threats or opportunities. There is more than one threat and opportunity, so there is more than one moral foundation developed based on it, just as the human sense of taste is divided into sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy. 

Hite's six foundations are first derived from keen observation and profound insights and then supported by rigorous psychological experimental methods and data. Doki's morality provides a good perspective for our understanding of the diversity and differences in morality and some of the moral dilemmas facing human beings. 

In his book, Haight succinctly and brilliantly lays out the respective contexts of liberalism and conservatism with his theory of moral foundations.

Of course, differences in the moral senses are not purely innate, i.e. not entirely due to evolution. Haight agrees with neuroscientist Marcus that evolution (genes) provided the first draft of the moral picture of man, and that picture is continually being painted throughout a person's life. 

This is where people's inconsistent moral preferences in different cultures arise, and the well-known East-West difference is one such example. Even in the same cultural environment, the differences in individual emotional and spiritual experiences make people's moral landscapes very different. Morality can be shaped by nurture, which is the reason all moral education exists. 

As stated at the beginning of this article, the author advocates a more intuitive approach to morality and moral education, one that takes a more humble view of individual abilities and places a greater emphasis on the environment and the environment that makes people think and do better. social system. This point of view is undoubtedly instructive for our moral education.

14. Games People Play

Games People Play: The Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis by Eric Berne

Games People Play: The Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis by Eric Berne

The author's research orientation is interested in how early life affects people; the results of the research can help people able to gain insight into the underlying rules and patterns behind the seemingly chaotic human interactions.
  1. The reward of the game strengthens the basic "positioning" of a person's existence in the world. The fundamental stance that TAs take towards themselves and others also reinforces the player's scripted decisions; scripts are made up of repeated games and their rewards.
  2. To survive psychologically, people must be appeased. However, because the internal rules of society and individuals restrict people from freely exchanging appeasement, people generally lack appeasement. Games thus become adults' power struggles for pacification.
  3. To be appeased reasonably, pay attention to the psychological status of "Hello, I am good" and the autonomy shown by awareness, spontaneity, and intimacy, and help people get rid of games and destructive scripts.
The rules and steps of the game can help people understand their own behavior, and resetting these steps and rules can help us improve the way of behavior better and more actively - reset the rules steps of the game (script). 

Therefore, people should realize that their behaviors are understandable and that these behaviors can be changed.

15. Sex at Dawn

Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan

Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan

Before reading this book, I had never questioned the obviousness of early human monogamy (and occasionally polygamy). Not only are the hypothetical pictures of primitive humans everywhere depicted in this way, but the current social reality also supports such a possibility. 

However, according to the author of this book, this is also an invisible "Flintsonation", that is, to understand historical events with modern thinking frameworks and concepts, such as looking at slavery from a current perspective or using the sexuality of current human beings Behavioral observations to understand primitive human sexuality.

The point of view of the two authors of this book is that, regardless of some close relatives of human beings (Pan genus, two chimpanzees bonobo and chimpanzee), some physiological structures and sexual behavior characteristics of human beings are still few visible in the anthropological anthropology of primitive tribes. 

From the observation point of view, early human beings should be neither monogamous nor polygamous, but in a many-to-many (promiscuous) "social" sexual relationship. The reason why we say social type is that in addition to being a necessity for reproduction, sexuality itself also enhances social relationships.

The reason why human beings have become the structure they are now is entirely due to a great "fall", that is, the emergence of agriculture. The advent of agriculture dismantled the mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyle of early humans. The status of men in social production has improved (they need to engage in a lot of farming work), and women need to rely on men for support. 

Since then, not only has the power structure of society changed but so has human sexuality. The allegory of the Garden of Eden is exactly the portrayal of mankind's "fallen" from a primitive hunting-gathering society to an agricultural society, and this time the "fallen" mankind has not yet "recovered".

The layman doesn't take a particular view of the debate on sexuality but finds the latter aspect of the interplay between social structure and sexuality interesting. However, the author spends most of his efforts refuting various existing ideas about early human life and sexuality and does not delve further into it. In fact, the main idea is explained in the first few chapters.

Finally, I remembered that there was a mention in the book that, counting gorillas and chimpanzees and humans, only females of bonobos and humans are sexually active throughout the cycle, while common chimpanzees and other gorilla females are only in Being sexually active during ovulation (and thus also leading to stronger sexual selection). 

In this regard, the author said that the traditional church view of "it's not right to be in heat all day like an animal, and people want to have abstinent sexual behavior for reproduction" is just the opposite. "Temperance" sexual behavior, and "in the heat all day long" is precisely the characteristic of human beings.

16. The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell

In this book, Russell discusses various common problems, such as the struggle for existence, boredom, jealousy, fatigue, etc., and elaborates on the ways he thinks they can be avoided. 

In this book, Russell does not follow any profound theory, but summarizes some reasonable opinions confirmed by his own experience and observation, and makes a prescription for readers, hoping that countless men and women who feel depressed, can find their medical records and escape methods here, and can become happy with appropriate efforts.

The book is easy to understand and has always been loved by readers, and several translations have been published in China. Mr. Fu Lei's superb translation adds luster to this book.

17. The Ravenous Brain by Daniel Bor

Neuroscientist Daniel Bohr believes that consciousness is a product of the brain and that it develops as knowledge accumulates. 

Consciousness is actually a thought factory, a carefully selected mental space dedicated to innovation. The main task of consciousness is to discover deep structures.

Bohr's mode of operation of consciousness explains why our brains voraciously seek out information, especially those with patterns. For example, we play crosswords and Sudoku when our biological needs are met. 

From a biological point of view, playing these games is a waste of time; but in Bohr's view, this structure-seeking behavior has great evolutionary significance. It is this search for structural patterns that led humans to discover fire and learn to farm.

18. The Theory Of Everything by Stephen W Hawking

"The Theory Of Everything: Origin and Destination" are seven lectures given by Stephen Hawking at the University of Cambridge, UK. Even those with a little basic scientific knowledge can get a glimpse of the wonder and magnificence of the creation of the universe after reading these seven lectures. 

These speeches not only shine with Hawking's aura of wisdom but also reflect his unique wit. When talking about the black hole research that took him more than ten years, he said: "It seems a bit like looking for a black cat in a coal cellar." 

Hawking talked about the history of human understanding of the universe, and Aristotle confirmed that The earth is a sphere, it took more than two thousand years until Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding. 

Using this as a starting point, he explored many areas of modern physics, including theories of the origin of the universe (i.e. the Big Bang), the properties of black holes, and space-time. 

In this book, Huo Hui takes readers on a riveting, exploratory journey through the universe and our place in it.

19. Country Driving by Peter Hessler

The book "Wayfinding China" has several different threads. It first narrates the author’s journey of thousands of miles across northern China from the coast of the East China Sea along the Great Wall to the west; Scenes from urban life in an industrial town. 

The development described in the book, from agriculture to industry to commerce, and from the countryside to city, is the most important change that has taken place in China since the reforms in 1978.

"Looking for China" is the finale of the Chinese Documentary Trilogy. It explores the economy, traces the sources of development, and explores individual responses to change. 

It studies the core issues in China, but it does not achieve this goal by interpreting famous political or cultural figures, nor does it make macro and unreasonable analyses. 

It only shows the essence of China's transformation by describing the experiences of ordinary Chinese people.

20. Visual Hammer by Laura Ries

"Visual Hammer" is the inheritance and development of the "Positioning" theory. "Positioning" is to find a vacancy in the consumer's mind and then implant a nail. 

In the visual age, the best way to seize consumers' minds is not only to use "language nails", but also to use a powerful "visual hammer". 

Visual images are like hammers, which can establish positioning faster and more powerfully and resonate with customers.

The author pointed out that the relationship between visual image and language information is like a hammer and a nail: use the hammer of the visual image to implant your language nails into the minds of consumers. 

In Laura Reese's book, we talk about two reasons why we need "visual hammers": to recognize faster, they can be recognized almost immediately; Only by making good use of the "visual hammer" can communication efficiency be maximized.

21. Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

You may believe that the only man-made structure you can see from space is the Great Wall. Coca-Cola can corrode human bones and use up 10% of our brains. At the same time, you can’t remember the arrangement of the leaders at the regular meeting last week. You saw it yesterday. 

What was written in the book, the main content of the last training...why? 

This leads to the core question of "Making Ideas Stickier": What kind of ideas or ideas have strong stickiness and can be firmly remembered by others? Internationally renowned behavioral psychologist Heath Brothers, based on a large number of social psychology research cases, revealed six paths that make ideas or ideas sticky: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and story.

"Making Creativity Sticky" has been popular in many countries since its publication, and it has topped the Amazon bestseller list for 6 years, and is a classic bestseller in the New York Times. 

Whether it's a company executive who needs to convince his subordinates, a salesperson who needs to impress a client, or an advertising person who needs to create ideas that reach people's hearts, people from all walks of life can find the most sticky way to express their ideas or opinions. 

22. Hooked by Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover

"Hooked" reveals the basic design principles behind many Internet products and services that allow users to form usage habits and even "addiction" and tells you how to create a product that users can't stop. 

Based on his many years of research, consulting, and practical experience, the author puts forward a novel and practical "Hook Model" (Hook Model), that is, to develop users' usage habits through four aspects. 

Through the continuous "addiction cycle", let users become "repeat customers", and then achieve the ultimate goal of circular consumption, instead of relying on high advertising investment or excessive and rude information dissemination.

This book is specially created for product managers, designers, marketing and sales personnel, and advertising creators. Everyone who deals with user behavior deserves to be regarded as a must-have guide for their desks. 

For readers who want to understand the science of behavioral design, this book will also give you a deeper understanding of yourself and the current hot products.

23. The Essays of Warren Buffett by Lawrence Cunningham and Warren Buffett

Every year, Buffett writes a letter to shareholders in Berkshire Hathaway's annual report, summarizing the successes and failures of the past year. These letters cover everything from picking managers, choosing investment targets, and evaluating companies, to using financial information effectively. 

However, the ideas contained in these letters did not receive the widespread attention they should have received until Lawrence S. Cunningham, an American law professor, organized the specific themes of these letters in this book. 

Buffett himself thinks this book is better than any biography about him so far, and if he had to pick one book to read, it would have to be this one.

Buffett is the first rich man in the world who has assets of tens of billions of dollars through securities investment. In the past 35 years, the book value per share of Berkshire under his leadership has risen from $19 to $37,987, with a compound annual growth rate of 24.00%. 

What is particularly commendable is that Berkshire is already a giant enterprise with total assets of more than 130 billion US dollars. No one's success is accidental. 

After reading this book, readers must have an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of Buffett's investment philosophy, and it is not difficult to imagine why he achieved such an amazing performance.

24. Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and Hachette

"The Tipping Point" is a brilliant work by "New Yorker" geek Gladwell. Taking the sudden popular trend in society as an entry point, he explored the control science and marketing model from a new perspective. 

He believes that ideas, behaviors, information, and products often spread like infectious disease outbreaks. Just as one sick person can cause the city-wide flu; a few graffiti lovers can start a crime wave in the subway; a satisfied customer can fill a new restaurant to open;. 

These phenomena are all "social epidemics", and the moment it reaches a critical level and erupts is a "tipping point".

Gladwell interviewed religious groups, successful high-tech companies, and the world's best salesman. , smoking, children's TV programs, commercials, etc., and clarify the fuse behind it, revealing the principles and methods that trigger the epidemic and maintain the momentum. 

This tipping point is what makes you a great parent, marketing manager, policy maker, and businessperson!

25. The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto

The pyramid principle is a kind of logical thinking, expression, and normative action with prominent focus, clear logic, and clear primary and secondary.

The basic structure of the pyramid: the central idea is clear, the conclusion comes first, the above is unified, classified into groups, and logically progressive. First the important and then the secondary, first the overall situation and then the details, first the conclusion and then the reason, and the result and then the process.

Pyramid trains expressers: pay attention to and tap the audience's intentions, needs, interests, concerns, interests, and excitements, figure out what to say and how to say it, and master the standard structure and actions of expression.

The pyramid helps to achieve the purpose of communication: the focus is prominent, the thinking is clear, and the primary and secondary are clearly defined so that the audience is interested, understanding, acceptable, and rememberable.

The specific method of building the pyramid: top-down expression, bottom-up thinking, vertical question answering/summarization, horizontal classification, grouping/deductive induction, preface to tell stories, and title to refine the essence of thought.

26. Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg

As good and law-abiding people, maybe we never thought of having anything to do with "violence". 

However, if we pay a little attention to the way of talking in real life, and experience the different feelings that various ways of talking give us, we will definitely find that some words are indeed "violent"!

"Nonviolent Communication" believes that: We may not think that the way we talk is violent, but our language does often cause pain in ourselves and others. 

Verbal duty, ridicule, negation, preaching, arbitrary interruption, refusal to respond, and casually exported evaluations and conclusions bring us emotional and mental trauma, which is even more painful than physical injury. 

These unintentional or intentional verbal violence make people indifferent, alienated, and hostile to each other. Indian philosopher Krishnamurti believes that observation without comment is the highest form of human intelligence.

27. The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker, Jim Collins

Being effective is what managers must do but in all knowledge organizations. Every knowledge worker is actually a manager, even if he has no so-called authority, as long as he can make outstanding contributions to the organization. 

The effectiveness of managers is often the most critical factor in determining the effectiveness of an organization's work. 

Not only senior managers are managers, but all those who are responsible for actions and decisions and help improve the effectiveness of the organization's work should work like managers and thinking.

Familiar people around us, whether it is Peter Senge, the advocate of the fifth discipline, Philip Kotler, the father of marketing, John Kotter, the leadership guru, or Andy Grove, the president of Intel Corporation, Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, and Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric... 

They were all inspired and influenced by Peter Drucker in terms of management thinking and management practice.

28. Fascinate by Sally Hogshead

In this turbulent, overcrowded world, how do politicians, businessmen, salesmen, friends, and family members affect you and change you? 

Obsession is the most powerful way to influence decisions. It is more persuasive than marketing, advertising, or other forms of communication. 

And its production stems from 7 triggers: desire, mystery, alarm, prestige, power, guilt, and trust. From the brand you choose to the song you memorize, from who you marry to the staff you hire, you seem to be "in control" of everything, but you are actually manipulated by the trigger of "obsession". 

Read this book, learn to activate the right triggers, and you can make anything fascinating, including yourself.

The author looks at the whole world from a perspective beyond marketing. She goes deep into the latest research frontiers of historical cases, behavior and sociology, neurology, and human evolution to reveal why we are fascinated and obsessed with certain things; It will also let you understand how to use the irresistible influence of "obsession" for yourself. 

"Infatuation" stands at the forefront of academics, and every argument is supported by research results in psychology, human evolution, neurobiology, etc., but it is never boring and blunt - "Infatuation" itself is a book that makes people extremely obsessed with books.

29. Contagious by Jonah Berger

Compared with "Infatuation" and "Stuck", this book pays more attention to the essence behind the phenomenon from a theoretical and academic point of view, and then analyzes and explains it with examples. The first two are more methodological and start from the form.

Ideas are still available and unavailable, only by combining your own core points with these principles ingeniously can you create a phenomenon that goes viral. The STEPPS principles

In this book
  1. Social Currency: People tend to choose iconic identity signals as the basis for judging identity. People like to share because they will feel that it is a reflection of their personal identity, which will make them look more shrewd, and witty, and get more praise. Planning a thing can reflect their identity, for example; the lever game turns out; that scarcity and exclusivity increase their sense of belonging.
  2. Trigger: To put it simply, let your product be linked to something that often appears in people's vision, and constantly stimulate people's associations (increase its activation rate)
  3. Emotion: There are negative and positive points, and this distinction is not comprehensive, it is also necessary to evaluate whether emotions have high arousal, which can be realized in physical and psychological aspects (Americans are interested in health and education topics); alone The psychological or physiological responses that are stimulated will also affect people's enthusiasm for communication.
  4. Public: Make use of people's herd mentality to increase the visibility of marketing and amplify this herd. Prove that I am a part of the society, (FB's guide comment); use the remaining of the behavior to increase visibility and increase publicity.
  5. Practical Value: What is the benefit of your thing to people, how to magnify this benefit, apply prospect theory (you need to set a reference point; the same discount value will become smaller as its base increases), Increase its limitations, 100 principles, etc.; this is mainly for the person who receives the information
  6. Stories: This is a bit like the one in "Stick", is it really the relationship between the teacher and the student? However, when we make a story, we must pay attention to integrating the benefits of our products with the story.

30. Out of Control by Dr. Shefali Tsabary

The full title is Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World.

"Out of Control" was written in 1994. 

What this book describes is his roaming to the forefront of technology, society, and the economy at that time, as well as the future picture he gleaned from it.

Concepts that are mentioned in the book and are emerging or hot today include crowd wisdom, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, virtual reality, agile development, collaboration, win-win, symbiosis, co-evolution, network community, network economy, etc.

It is not an exaggeration to say that it is a "prophetic" book. There must also be hidden "prophecies" about the future that we have not confirmed or penetrated.

Conclusion: Best Books to Increase Your Knowledge and Mind

People need to constantly accumulate knowledge, constantly enrich themselves, and constantly conduct self-reflection to make themselves more perfect. And reading is the fastest and cheapest form of self-improvement. 

Consciously reading widely and extensively on weekdays will help us build a relatively complete knowledge system, allowing us to better understand ourselves and the world we live in.

If you want to increase your knowledge and even surpass most of your peers in the breadth of knowledge in terms of operation, management, sales, communication, design, copywriting, interpersonal, and creativity through reading, then reading these 30 books, you will become more knowledgeable, wiser, and more connotative.

Human life is limited, and it is impossible to learn all the knowledge. Reading is to stand on the shoulders of giants to see the world. It can not only broaden your horizons but also quickly enrich your mind and expand your knowledge in a short period.

Today, I would like to recommend a few excellent books for knowledge that are easy to understand and expand your thinking. If you have time, take a spiritual journey and increase your knowledge while reading.

Top Books for Knowledge Seekers: Based on Genre

1. Best Books for General Knowledge

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  • The Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd
  • Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling
  • How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler

2. Best Knowledge Books for Students

  • The World in Six Glasses: How Our Experiences Shape Our Understanding by Wolfgang Rieple
  • The Elements of Thinking by Deborah J. Sternberg
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

3. Best Books for Knowledge of All Time

  • The Republic by Plato
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
  • The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

4. Best Books for Knowledge for Adults

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker
  • Being Mortal: Medicine and Philosophy in the End of Life by Atul Gawande
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (This is included because it's a great book for all ages!)

5. Best Fiction Books with Knowledge

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (This is included because it blends science knowledge with storytelling!)
  • The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
  • Longitude by Dava Sobel
  • The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud
  • The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee

6. Best Non-Fiction Books for Knowledge

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (This is included again because it's that good!)
  • How to Think by Simon Blackburn
  • The World We Made by Michael J. Sandel
  • Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

7. Best Financial Knowledge Books

  • The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
  • I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  • The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

8. Best Spiritual Knowledge Books

  • The Bhagavad Gita
  • The Tao Te Ching
  • The Bible
  • The Quran
  • The Dhammapada

9. Best Geocaching Knowledge Books

  • Geocaching for Dummies by Geocaching.com
  • The Essential Guide to Geocaching by Geocaching.com
  • Finding Treasure: The Beginner's Guide to Geocaching by Cliffhanger
  • The Geocacher's Handbook by Jack Decarli
  • The Official Geocaching Handbook by Geocaching.com

10. Best Ancient Knowledge Books

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • The Code of Hammurabi
  • The Analects of Confucius
  • The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
  • The Egyptian Book of the Dead

11. Best General Knowledge Books for Kids

  • National Geographic Kids Everything You Need to Know About Everything
  • The Big Book of Why by DK Publishing
  • The World Book Encyclopedia
  • The Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole
  • Who HQ series

12. Best Children's General Knowledge Books

  • I Wonder Why by Anna Milbourne
  • How Does My Body Work? by DK Publishing
  • The Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia
  • Amazing Facts about the World by National Geographic Kids
  • Can You See What I See? by Walter Wick

13. Best Self-Knowledge Books

  • Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
  • Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
  • Emotional Agility by Susan David
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

14. Best Business Knowledge Books

  • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
  • Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Curse of Living in a Gray Company by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

Reading Rewards

Do you prefer to listen rather than read? If so, here’s a nice opportunity to try Audible for 30 days.

Need a bookish gift? Give the gift of reading to the book lovers in your life.

Get new posts by email

Your information is protected and I never spam, ever.

'ReadingAndThinking.com' content is reader-supported. "As an Amazon Associate, when you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.".

See Disclaimer.
Next Post Previous Post

Related Post

Book Recommender Tool

Looking For More Books To Read?

Explore and find your next good read - Book Recommendations for specific interests.

Get Book Suggestions

Discover ratings, reviews, summaries, and genres.

Book Summary Tool

Instant Any Book Summary

Explore and find your next Book Summary for specific interests.

Get Book Summary

Discover ratings, reviews, summaries, and genres.

Book Series Finder Tool

Looking For Books Series To Read?

Explore and find Book Series for specific interests.

Get Book Series

Recent Post

Book Reviews

Popular Posts