100 books like Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

By Eliezer Yudkowsky,

Here are 100 books that Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality fans have personally recommended if you like Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. 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 Inkheart

Jacey K. Dew Author Of Three Souls

From my list on fantasy to bring magic to familiar worlds.

Who am I?

As a kid, I was consistently described as one who had her head in the clouds. I was far away imagining all sorts of fantastical things; dragons soaring in the sky, a witch blasting a fireball in the grocery store, a werewolf coming to eat the gym teacher, the coffee barista is actually a vampire, etc. There is something alluring about supernatural beings existing in our often mundane world; whether they are being subjected to the same life we are or are wreaking havoc for any reason.

Jacey's book list on fantasy to bring magic to familiar worlds

Jacey K. Dew Why did Jacey love this book?

A book about books.

Who hasn’t imagined the books they read coming to life in their living room or being able to dive into the fictional world? A father and daughter have a magical ability to do just that.

Unfortunately, the villain of one story was released and this sets them off on an adventure typically only available in books.

Meggie and Mo are an endearing father/daughter team while they navigate the consequences and reaches of their magic.

By Cornelia Funke, Anthea Bell (translator),

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Inkheart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

The first book in Cornelia Funke's internationally celebrated
trilogy - magical, thrilling and mesmerising.

'I
don't think I've ever read anything that conveys so well the
joys, terrors and pitfalls of reading' Diana Wynne Jones

Meggie
loves books. So does her father, Mo, a bookbinder,
although he has never read aloud to her since her mother mysteriously
disappeared. They live quietly until the night a stranger
knocks at their door. He has come with a warning that forces
Mo to reveal an extraordinary secret - a storytelling secret that
will change their lives for ever.

Also a major film starring…


Book cover of The Wishing Spell

Laura Wiltse Prior Author Of The Beach Dilemma

From my list on sibling dynamics with subtle lessons for children.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by family dynamics and have studied human development and psychology. I’m also a lifelong voracious reader and treasure my childhood reading experiences. Last but not least, I have three kids. Arguments and hurt feelings are inevitable but kids don’t love a lecture. A good story can bring understanding without being boring or pedantic. And we all know reading with your kids at bedtime is vital, but can’t we as parents ask for a little enjoyment too–maybe even a good laugh?!

Laura's book list on sibling dynamics with subtle lessons for children

Laura Wiltse Prior Why did Laura love this book?

The first in Chris Colfer's incredible series, the book centers on twins who find themselves in a fairy tale world.

Amidst the magic and fantasy, the brother and sister deal with real-world sibling dynamics and disagreements. These were so entertaining and clever–my daughter and I zoomed through the whole series together, getting a kick at what Colfer did with the classic fairy tale characters.

By Chris Colfer, Brandon Dorman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Wishing Spell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change...Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, twins Alex and Connor leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.


Book cover of Story Thieves

Simon Ilincev Author Of The Fictional War

From my list on teen fantasy that mash up old and new.

Who am I?

With nearly a thousand novels under my belt (or time-worn Kindle, more accurately), I was itching to make my own mark in the world of literature as I entered my teenage years. Having all but one of the books I read be, puzzlingly, written by those definitively into their adulthood only strengthened that desire. Over 850 pages of my own story, drawing from all that I’d read and heard, finally satisfied it three years later — and placed me in a position to share with other readers my age, one teen to another, those tales that most influenced and inspired me.

Simon's book list on teen fantasy that mash up old and new

Simon Ilincev Why did Simon love this book?

Most novels, fantasy or otherwise, use portals to travel between worlds—but why stop there? Story Thieves certainly doesn’t! It takes the whole concept of fictional worlds and brings it one step further—characters can physically step in and out of books, and even influence their contents.

Sounds interesting? I certainly found it to be, and read through each novel in this series within days of its release, not to mention several times later throughout the years. Should you be looking for a bit of fresh air in your library, this is certainly one choice worth considering.

By James Riley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Story Thieves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

A hilarious, action-packed series launches with a story-within-a-story, from the bestselling author of the Half Upon a Time trilogy.

Life is boring when you live in the real world, instead of starring in your own book series. Owen knows that better than anyone, what with the real world’s homework and chores.

But everything changes the day Owen sees the impossible happen—his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library. It turns out Bethany’s half-fictional and has been searching every book she can find for her missing father, a fictional character.

Bethany can’t let anyone else learn her secret,…


Book cover of Coiling Dragon

Simon Ilincev Author Of The Fictional War

From my list on teen fantasy that mash up old and new.

Who am I?

With nearly a thousand novels under my belt (or time-worn Kindle, more accurately), I was itching to make my own mark in the world of literature as I entered my teenage years. Having all but one of the books I read be, puzzlingly, written by those definitively into their adulthood only strengthened that desire. Over 850 pages of my own story, drawing from all that I’d read and heard, finally satisfied it three years later — and placed me in a position to share with other readers my age, one teen to another, those tales that most influenced and inspired me.

Simon's book list on teen fantasy that mash up old and new

Simon Ilincev Why did Simon love this book?

An epic in every sense of the word, it’s taken me a few months to get through this behemoth of a novel. Originally Chinese and serialized on the web (though with an English translation), it didn’t immediately jump out to me as an item for this list.

But Coiling Dragon deserves a spot here, being very well received from both its English and Chinese audiences. Its author takes familiar elements of Western mythology, such as schools of darkness and light or the four basic elements, and places them against the backdrop of an Eastern-inspired world. Within, one youth’s heart-warming journey to immortality is vividly described—in such an enthralling manner that I can’t put the book down despite reading it in my non-native Chinese.

By Wo Chi Xi Hong Shi, Ren Woxing (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At one time the Baruch dominated…

…but with time that glory was forgotten.

Can Linley restore the clan’s honor?

In a small town of Wushan, life was hard. His father lived in the past. Linley never knew his mother, but he thought of her often. To become the warrior that could restore the glory of the clan, he must qualify for the Ernst Institute. They don’t take just anyone. Linley must study to gain entry.

Who will teach him?

When he discovered the ring, everything changed. He sensed a great power but wasn’t sure where it would lead. Does he…


Book cover of The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth

Tom Wheeler Author Of From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future

From my list on today’s roadmap to tomorrow.

Who am I?

I have been fortunate to have spent the last 40 years of my professional life dealing with new networks and new technology. From the early days of cable television and mobile communications to the development of digital video and the transmission of data over cable lines and satellite. It was a career topped off with the privilege of being the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with regulatory responsibly for approximately 1/6th of the American economy (on which the other 5/6s depended). 

Tom's book list on today’s roadmap to tomorrow

Tom Wheeler Why did Tom love this book?

At a time when new technology has delivered us to a world of misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation, we have lost our shared understanding of just what facts and truth are.

Jonathan Rauch helps us recall the importance of facts and truth to the liberal democratic process. He challenges us to reinstate knowledge and truth. 

By Jonathan Rauch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Arming Americans to defend the truth from today's war on facts.

Disinformation. Trolling. Conspiracies. Social media pile-ons. Campus intolerance. On the surface, these recent additions to our daily vocabulary appear to have little in common. But together, they are driving an epistemic crisis: a multi-front challenge to America's ability to distinguish fact from fiction and elevate truth above falsehood.

In 2016 Russian trolls and bots nearly drowned the truth in a flood of fake news and conspiracy theories, and Donald Trump and his troll armies continued to do the same. Social media companies struggled to keep up with a flood…


Book cover of Stories for Work: The Essential Guide to Business Storytelling

Genevieve Hawkins Author Of Mentally at Work: Optimising health and business performance through connection

From my list on helping you thrive not just survive as a leader.

Who am I?

I’m an Executive who started life as an Occupational Therapist. As an undergrad, I had an innate curiosity around mental health, and what makes people thrive not just survive. This fascination sent me to university multiple times, and, as a self-confessed book nerd (my teams tell me one of my most common sayings is ‘There is a book you could read..’), constantly testing book theories at work. As an executive, I mentor up-and-coming leaders. This compilation of books represents the most common books I recommend to people to help them thrive at work as a leader. I hope you find them as useful as I have.  

Genevieve's book list on helping you thrive not just survive as a leader

Genevieve Hawkins Why did Genevieve love this book?

While we would love to think we are always rational, we are hard-wired for story not the rational data (albeit key data can be a strong anchor in a story). I started my career far more in the assumption of rational data trumps all, but recognised, through bumps and bruises, how stories can overtake decision-making. When I learned how to tell a better story, I learned how to get the results I needed. Gabrielle is such a down-to-earth, energising speaker and writer, and this book provided me with such a practical, relatable framework for always having a good story or two in my back pocket.  

By Gabrielle Dolan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stories for Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learn the science and master the art of telling a great story

Stories for Work walks you through the science of storytelling, revealing the secrets behind great storytellers and showing you how to master the art of storytelling in business. Stories hold a unique place in our psyche, and the right story at the right time can be a game-changer in business; whether tragedy, triumph, tension or transition, a good story can captivate the listener and help you achieve your goals. In this book, author Gabrielle Dolan draws from a decade of training business leaders in storytelling to show you…


Book cover of Practical Rationality and Preference: Essays for David Gauthier

Chrisoula Andreou Author Of Choosing Well: The Good, the Bad, and the Trivial

From my list on essay collections wth themes being tempted or torn.

Who am I?

I’ve been drawn to philosophical inquiry for as long as I can remember (even before knowing philosophy was a thing, which I didn’t realize until after high school). My most enduring interest is in inquiry concerning rationality and irrationality. My early studies focused on the relationship between morality and rationality. My current research focuses on choice situations and preference structures that can interfere with choosing well by prompting self-defeating patterns of choice. The relevant patterns are associated with being tempted or torn and include cases of individual and collective procrastination. Though not a cure-all, understanding rationality’s guidance can, I think, highlight certain pitfalls in life and help us avoid them.  

Chrisoula's book list on essay collections wth themes being tempted or torn

Chrisoula Andreou Why did Chrisoula love this book?

This collection delves into some intriguing issues regarding rationality and morality. 

At its heart is an issue with roots in ancient philosophy that philosophers have been seeking to address with increasing sophistication, namely: Can one rationally and consistently undertake and follow through on a commitment that prompts one to choose an option other than the one that one favors most? Such commitment and resoluteness seem self-defeating.

Yet, a readiness to so commit and follow through is arguably essential for gaining certain otherwise unattainable opportunities and can thus be advantageous.

For some (including the philosopher whose work this collection honors), this figures as the rational basis for commitment as well as for justice, which is thought to involve a mutually advantageous readiness to show restraint with respect to pursuing preferred options. 

By Christopher W. Morris (editor), Arthur Ripstein (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Practical Rationality and Preference as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What are preferences and are they reasons for action? Is it rational to cooperate with others even if that entails acting against one's preferences? The dominant position in philosophy on the topic of practical rationality is that one acts so as to maximize the satisfaction of one's preferences. This view is most closely associated with the work of David Gauthier, and in this collection of essays some of the most innovative philosophers working in this field explore the controversies surrounding Gauthier's position. Several essays argue against influential conceptions of preference, while others suggest that received conceptions of rational action misidentify…


Book cover of The Great Economists: Ten Economists Whose Thinking Changed the Way We Live

Panayotis G. Michaelides Author Of History of Economic Ideas: From Adam Smith to Paul Krugman

From my list on the evolution of economics.

Who am I?

I am a Full Professor and Lab Director in Economics. My interest in this field began when I traveled abroad and observed the differences in prices, goods, and quality of life. In order to gain a deeper understanding, I decided to switch from my previous academic background in Engineering, Mathematics & Physics to Economics, Finance & Data Science. Today, I am dedicated to expanding my knowledge and sharing my insights through teaching, academic publications, and LinkedIn posts. According to the latest rankings, I am humbled to be among the top 3% most productive economists worldwide (IDEAS-RePec, 2023), as well as being ranked among the top 4% researchers in Financial Economics, and the top 5% in Econometrics (Researchgate, 2023).

Panayotis' book list on the evolution of economics

Panayotis G. Michaelides Why did Panayotis love this book?

For anyone interested in a comfortable tour through some of the greatest economists, this book is a must-read.

It is like having a personal conversation with the world's leading economic masterminds, as it explores their beliefs, backgrounds, and legacies. This book is well-written and easy to follow, making it an excellent choice for anyone.

Economics is not only concerned with fiscal policies and national economies. And this book does a good job of illustrating the fact that Economics plays a role in almost every aspect of human life.

Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge the inclusion of Daniel Kahneman in the book, an Israeli-American psychologist and Nobel Prize winner whose empirical findings challenged the assumption of human rationality, i.e. the foundation of modern Economics.

By Phil Thornton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Great Economists succinctly and accurately describes the thinking of the world's leading economic thinkers. It captures their key beliefs, explores their backgrounds, assesses their thinking and evaluates their legacy. It explains the schools of thought named after them and clearly shows how they influence our everyday lives.


Book cover of Rational Choice in an Uncertain World: The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making

Steven Pinker Author Of Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters

From my list on rationality and why it matters.

Who am I?

I’m a Harvard professor of psychology and a cognitive scientist who’s interested in all aspects of language, mind, and human nature. I grew up in Montreal, but have lived most of my adult life in the Boston area, bouncing back and forth between Harvard and MIT except for stints in California as a professor at Stanford and sabbatical visitor in Santa Barbara and now, Berkeley. I alternate between books on language (how it works, what it reveals about human nature, what makes for clear and stylish writing) and books on the human mind and human condition (how the mind works, why violence has declined, how progress can take place).

Steven's book list on rationality and why it matters

Steven Pinker Why did Steven love this book?

This is technically a textbook and isn’t marketed as a book you bring to the beach. But sometimes, it’s more satisfying to have the big ideas on a topic patiently explained to you in an orderly fashion than to try to pick them up from stories and arguments.

This paperback, coauthored by one of my graduate school teachers (Hastie), explains the famous discoveries by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman on biases in human reasoning, which Kahneman presented in his bestseller Thinking, Fast and Slow (too obvious for me to include on my list). It also explains lesser-known but still fascinating discoveries and has helpful appendices for those of us who forget some of the basics of probability theory.

By Reid Hastie, Robyn M. Dawes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rational Choice in an Uncertain World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the Second Edition of Rational Choice in an Uncertain World the authors compare the basic principles of rationality with actual behaviour in making decisions. They describe theories and research findings from the field of judgment and decision making in a non-technical manner, using anecdotes as a teaching device. Intended as an introductory textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, the material not only is of scholarly interest but is practical as well.

The Second Edition includes:

- more coverage on the role of emotions, happiness, and general well-being in decisions

- a summary of the new research on the…


Book cover of Rationality for Mortals: How People Cope with Uncertainty

Helge Thorbjørnsen Author Of More Numbers Every Day: How Data, Stats, and Figures Control Our Lives and How to Set Ourselves Free

From my list on who and what influences our thoughts and behavior.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated and intrigued by human behavior and decision-making. What influences our thoughts and behavior and why? In hindsight, I probably should have majored in psychology instead of business, but as a business school professor I still get to investigate all the little quirks and biases of the human mind. I live in Bergen, Norway and devote much of my time researching and teaching consumer psychology and decision-making. I hope you find some inspiration in this list of brilliant books!   

Helge's book list on who and what influences our thoughts and behavior

Helge Thorbjørnsen Why did Helge love this book?

Ok: This is not an easy read like the other books I’ve recommended.

In fact, some parts of it require quite a lot of the reader. But it is a very smart and novel book on human reasoning, uncertainty, and probability.

Gigerenzer elegantly shows us how human behavior often is more rational than one might think, and his concept of “fast and frugal heuristics” is instrumental in understanding how we deal with probability and risk.

If you’ve read Thinking Fast and Slow by Kahneman and are open to some new and different perspectives on rationality and decision-making, this is your book.  

By Gerd Gigerenzer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gerd Gigerenzer's influential work examines the rationality of individuals not from the perspective of logic or probability, but from the point of view of adaptation to the real world of human behavior and interaction with the environment. Seen from this perspective, human behavior is more rational than it might otherwise appear. This work is extremely influential and has spawned an entire research program. This volume collects recent articles, looking at how
people use "fast and frugal heuristics" to calculate probability and risk and make decisions. It includes the revised articles and newly written introduction that were first published in the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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