100 books like Emotional

By Leonard Mlodinow,

Here are 100 books that Emotional fans have personally recommended if you like Emotional. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism

Dan Hill Author Of Two Cheers for Democracy: How Emotions Drive Leadership Style

From my list on the heart of leaders when democracy is at risk.

Why am I passionate about this?

My family moved to Italy when I was six, and I attended Italian first grade in a fishing village where I had to rely on reading body language as I didn’t grasp the language for a bit. Fortunately for me, Italians have lots of body language to read so I could navigate the inevitable cliques and power dynamics evident even at the elementary school level. From that experience to being taken to view the Dachau concentration camp a year later, I’ve always been sensitive to how “the other” gets treated—often unfairly—and the role leaders can play for good or evil.

Dan's book list on the heart of leaders when democracy is at risk

Dan Hill Why did Dan love this book?

Emotions and emotional intelligence (EQ) aren’t taught in business school, and are rarely evident in abundance in the corner offices of CEOs. And yet here’s one ready to admit to the errors of his earlier ways, and to have adjusted his leadership style at Best Buy accordingly. If it can happen in business, why not in politics, too, perhaps saving us from leaders who lack empathy.

By Hubert Joly,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Heart of Business as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Named a Financial Times top title

How to unleash "human magic" and achieve improbable results.

Hubert Joly, former CEO of Best Buy and orchestrator of the retailer's spectacular turnaround, unveils his personal playbook for achieving extraordinary outcomes by putting people and purpose at the heart of business.

Back in 2012, "Everyone thought we were going to die," says Joly. Eight years later, Best Buy was transformed as Joly and his team rebuilt the company into one of the nation's favorite employers, vastly increased customer satisfaction, and dramatically grew Best Buy's stock price. Joly and his…


Book cover of Ways of Seeing

Tyler Fisher Author Of The Artist's Drawing Book: Learn How to Draw, Sketch, Shade, and More with Easy Lessons and Practice Pages

From my list on unleashing your creative potential.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, art is a journey of relentless questioning, exploring, and introspection. As an artist, author, and educator, I have relied on each book in this collection to further my creative journey. The titles that I've selected offer unique perspectives on the transformative power of art and have had the biggest effect on my students, my peers, and my own artistic growth. I believe that art is a language that is and should be for everyone, providing a conduit for individual expression, problem-solving, and innovation. Each of these titles has offered pivotal "aha" moments while igniting my passion, and I hope they allow you to unlock your creative potential.

Tyler's book list on unleashing your creative potential

Tyler Fisher Why did Tyler love this book?

This book was introduced on the first day of art school. Then, it was reintroduced and repeated by each professor for the duration of my education. As such, it's fair to say that it's an enduring force within academic circles. 

The book touches on major points essential for any informed artist and the need for modern artists to subvert our viewers' hidden biases. It eloquently teaches artists to dive beneath the surface of a work to understand the unseen, the context, and the subtext. Ways of Seeing skillfully inspires a new lens through which to view the world and urges its readers to peel back the layers of meaning from even the most minimal artworks.

For me and so many other artists, this book was an awakening and is one that I turn back to often and am doomed to cite for eternity. It's a transformative journey that challenges and…

By John Berger,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Ways of Seeing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.""But there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but word can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled."John Berger's "Ways of Seeing" is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about…


Book cover of Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences

James Blachowicz Author Of The Bilateral Mind as the Mirror of Nature: A Metaphilosophy

From my list on the nature and capacities of our bilateral minds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had equally balanced interests in the arts/humanities and the natural sciences. I like to think that I inherited much of this from my analytical “algebraic” mother, who was a nurse and tended to our family finances, and my holistic “geometrical” father, who was a carpenter. It’s probably no accident that my double major in college was in physics and philosophy...and, down the line, that I should develop a focused interest in human brain laterality, where the division between analysis and holism is so prominent.

James' book list on the nature and capacities of our bilateral minds

James Blachowicz Why did James love this book?

One could almost have predicted that the concept of brain laterality would provide material for explaining the division between the political left and right.

Do political conservatives and liberals have brain differences that may, in part, determine their politics? This volume is valuable as a rare source of material for addressing this question. Political conservatives apparently have larger amygdalas (which register reactions to threat), while liberals may have a reverse valuation. These two brain features may contribute to determining hemispheric preferences.

By John R. Hibbing, Kevin B. Smith, John R. Alford

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Predisposed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Buried in many people and operating largely outside the realm of conscious thought are forces inclining us toward liberal or conservative political convictions. Our biology predisposes us to see and understand the world in different ways, not always reason and the careful consideration of facts. These predispositions are in turn responsible for a significant portion of the political and ideological conflict that marks human history.

With verve and wit, renowned social scientists John Hibbing, Kevin Smith, and John Alford-pioneers in the field of biopolitics-present overwhelming evidence that people differ politically not just because they grew up in different cultures or…


Book cover of I Love It Here: How Great Leaders Create Organizations Their People Never Want to Leave

Dan Hill Author Of Two Cheers for Democracy: How Emotions Drive Leadership Style

From my list on the heart of leaders when democracy is at risk.

Why am I passionate about this?

My family moved to Italy when I was six, and I attended Italian first grade in a fishing village where I had to rely on reading body language as I didn’t grasp the language for a bit. Fortunately for me, Italians have lots of body language to read so I could navigate the inevitable cliques and power dynamics evident even at the elementary school level. From that experience to being taken to view the Dachau concentration camp a year later, I’ve always been sensitive to how “the other” gets treated—often unfairly—and the role leaders can play for good or evil.

Dan's book list on the heart of leaders when democracy is at risk

Dan Hill Why did Dan love this book?

Trust is, indeed, the emotion of business but it’s also just a starting point. The endpoint is by contrast to be delayed as long as possible, as retaining workers is best achieved by making them feel appreciated and given respect and a fair degree of autonomy. Great leaders can follow this recipe whether in business, the non-profit sector, or beyond.

By Clint Pulver,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Love It Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Give your employees something good to talk about.

Emmy Award-winning speaker Clint Pulver-aka the Undercover Millennial-shares insights gleaned from more than ten thousand undercover interviews with employees across the country, revealing the best methods for identifying talent, building a sense of ownership, and developing a successful workplace culture that employees will love. You'll also learn the number one driver of employee turnover (spoiler: it has everything to do with you!), what you can do to stop an exodus, and how to build a team that really works. Soon, you'll be recognizing possibilities where others see problems, and capturing the power…


Book cover of Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain

Daryl Weber Author Of Brand Seduction: How Neuroscience Can Help Marketers Build Memorable Brands

From my list on to help you understand the mind of your customer.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was young, I was fascinated with how the mind works; how all of our thoughts, feelings, memories, decisions, and actions come out of this lump of flesh in our heads. I studied consciousness, psychology, and neuroscience both at university, and on my own for decades. Once I started working in marketing, for many of the biggest and best brands in the world, I realized that marketers tend to have deep misconceptions and misunderstandings for how the mind actually works. My goal is to bridge the gap between all of the knowledge we have about the brain, and how that could be helpful to brands and marketers. 

Daryl's book list on to help you understand the mind of your customer

Daryl Weber Why did Daryl love this book?

The work of Dr. Damasio was foundational in building my understanding of how human emotions work, and their role in human actions and decision making. This book explores Damasio’s work in detail, giving a rich understanding of human emotions – and how they are not frivolous things but actually core to how humans act and behave. 

By Antonio Damasio,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Descartes' Error as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the centuries since Descartes famously proclaimed, 'I think, therefore I am,' science has often overlooked emotions as the source of a person's true being. Even modern neuroscience has tended until recently to concentrate on the cognitive aspects of brain function, disregarding emotions. This attitude began to change with the publication of Descartes' Error. Antonio Damasio challenged traditional ideas about the connection between emotions and rationality. In this wonderfully engaging book, Damasio takes the reader on a journey of scientific discovery through a series of case studies, demonstrating what many of us have long suspected: emotions are not a luxury,…


Book cover of Reasons as Defaults

Mark Schroeder Author Of Reasons First

From my list on reasons in ethics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Mark Schroeder is the author of six books and nearly one hundred articles in philosophy, many of them concerned with the role of reasons in metaethics and moral explanations. Three of his articles have been honored by the Philosophers’ Annual as among the ten best philosophy articles published in their year, and one received the APA article prize as the best paper published in all of philosophy in 2008 or 2009. His former Ph.D. students now teach philosophy on five continents.

Mark's book list on reasons in ethics

Mark Schroeder Why did Mark love this book?

In this book, Horty uses tools that were originally developed in the fields of artificial intelligence and non-monotonic logic in order to develop an explanatory theory of how reasons compete with one another. The main thing that has led contemporary moral philosophers to be so interested in reasons is that they seem to be able to compete. For example, if on the one hand, you promised your friend to keep a secret, that is a reason that counts against telling anyone else, but if the secret is that they are having an affair with the spouse of another of your friends, that is a reason that counts in favor of telling, and to figure out what you should do, it seems like we have to weigh these reasons together to see which one is more important. But very few ethicists have gotten very far in thinking about the distinctive challenges…

By John F. Horty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reasons as Defaults as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Although the study of reasons plays an important role in both epistemology and moral philosophy, little attention has been devoted to the question of how, exactly, reasons interact to support the actions or conclusions they do. In this book, John F. Horty attempts to answer this question by providing a precise, concrete account of reasons and their interaction, based on the logic of default reasoning. The book begins with an intuitive, accessible introduction to
default logic itself, and then argues that this logic can be adapted to serve as a foundation for a concrete theory of reasons. Horty then shows…


Book cover of Enchanted America: How Intuition and Reason Divide Our Politics

Dannagal Goldthwaite Young Author Of Wrong: How Media, Politics, and Identity Drive Our Appetite for Misinformation

From my list on understanding identity-driven wrongness in the United States.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor of communication and political science who’s been researching and publishing on the effects of political media on democratic health for 25 years. More recently, I’ve been trying to understand the roots of inter-party hostility, the drop in trust in institutions, and the rise in Americans’ belief in breathtakingly false information. My hope is that through this selection of books, you’ll start to understand the synergistic dynamics between America’s complicated history with race, changes in America’s parties, media, and culture, and various social psychological processes, and maybe even start to see a way out of this mess.

Dannagal's book list on understanding identity-driven wrongness in the United States

Dannagal Goldthwaite Young Why did Dannagal love this book?

I always tell my students that one thing that I love about being a social scientist is that it’s as much art as it is science. Oliver and Wood exemplify the creative side of social psychology as they study how people are intuitionists or rationalists.

My favorite part is the questions that they designed to measure whether people are “magical thinkers,” that is, are they more concerned about symbolic harm than actual harm: “Would you rather stick your hands in a bowl of cockroaches or stab a photo of your family six times?”

I like to think of myself as rational, but there’s no way you could make me stab a photo of my family! I’ll take the cockroaches, thank you…

By J. Eric Oliver, Thomas J. Wood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Enchanted America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

America is in civic chaos, its politics rife with conspiracy theories and false information. Nationalism and authoritarianism are on the rise, while scientists, universities, and news organizations are viewed with increasing mistrust. Its citizens reject scientific evidence on climate change and vaccinations while embracing myths of impending apocalypse. And then there is Donald Trump, a presidential candidate who won the support of millions of conservative Christians despite having no moral or political convictions. What is going on?

The answer, according to J. Eric Oliver and Thomas J. Wood, can be found in the most important force shaping American politics today:…


Book cover of The Age of American Unreason

Joel Stein Author Of In Defense of Elitism: Why I'm Better Than You and You Are Better Than Someone Who Didn't Buy This Book

From my list on saving democracy from populism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started worrying about populism in 2008, when vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin chastised the elitists, whom she defined as “people who think they’re better than anyone else.” Meanwhile, she thought she was so much better than anyone else that she could serve as backup leader of the world despite the fact that she believed that the political leader of the United Kingdom is the queen. After she lost she vowed, “I’m never going to pretend like I know more than the next person. I’m not going to pretend to be an elitist. In fact, I’m going to fight the elitist.” She was unaware that there is a third option: to study so that you know more than the next person. 

Joel's book list on saving democracy from populism

Joel Stein Why did Joel love this book?

If you’ve ever wondered if people today are dumber than people in the past, you should watch Idiocracy. And then read this book. It shows how we’ve devolved into people who look at lists of the best five books and never actually read those books. In 2008, for a column for the L.A. Times, I had her take a quiz from the author of the book How Dumb Are You?: The Great American Stupidity Quiz and she got two wrong. I got 11 wrong. The point is: Read her book instead of mine.

By Susan Jacoby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Age of American Unreason as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A cultural history of the last forty years, The Age of American Unreasonfocuses on the convergence of social forces—usually treated as separate entities—that has created a perfect storm of anti-rationalism. These include the upsurge of religious fundamentalism, with more political power today than ever before; the failure of public education to create an informed citizenry; and the triumph of video over print culture. Sparing neither the right nor the left, Jacoby asserts that Americans today have embraced a universe of “junk thought” that makes almost no effort to separate fact from opinion.


Book cover of The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt

Graeme Gill Author Of Revolution and Terror

From my list on understand why, as Mao said, “revolution is not a dinner party”.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became passionate about this subject when I was at university and I realised that so many revolutions that were conducted in the name of high ideals ended up involving considerable suffering and death on the part of the ordinary people. And not just the ordinary people, but the revolutionaries as well. Why, I wondered, was this the case, and did it mean, as many in the 1960s and 1970s argued, that revolution was ultimately self-defeating? The quest to answer these questions remains on-going, but the books I have suggested have helped me to make some headway towards a resolution.

Graeme's book list on understand why, as Mao said, “revolution is not a dinner party”

Graeme Gill Why did Graeme love this book?

I love this book because it is a passionate statement about revolution in the middle of the twentieth century by one of the foremost philosophers of our time.

The book is stimulating because of the depth of reasoning and clarity of argument, but also because it continually stimulates me to argue with it. Without doubt, a classic of its genre and one that, while not always easy to read, I found hard to put down.

By Albert Camus,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rebel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Locked Room Murders

Martin Edwards Author Of The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and Their Creators

From my list on crime fiction, the world’s most popular genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a storyteller and I conceived The Life of Crime as the ‘life story’ of a fascinating and truly diverse genre. I’ve always been intrigued by the ups and downs of literary lives, and the book explores the rollercoaster careers of writers from across the world. The chapter endnotes contain masses of trivia and information, as well as some original research, that I hope readers will find enjoyable as well as interesting. But The Life of Crime isn’t an academic text. It’s a love letter to a genre that I’ve adored for as long as I can remember.  

Martin's book list on crime fiction, the world’s most popular genre

Martin Edwards Why did Martin love this book?

This is a fun book. The late Bob Adey’s passion for locked-room puzzles and his extraordinary breadth of reading shines through. After a discursive history of this type of detective story, he lists over two thousand novels and stories and the ‘impossible crime’ elements within them. A separate section listing all the solutions is not only enlightening but highly entertaining. A recent updated edition by Brian Skupin evidences the enduring appeal of ‘miraculous mysteries.’ 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in reason, emotions, and neuroscience?

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