100 books like How to Know a Person

By David Brooks,

Here are 100 books that How to Know a Person fans have personally recommended if you like How to Know a Person. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

Matthew D. Luttig Author Of The Closed Partisan Mind: A New Psychology of American Polarization

From my list on open your mind reduce political polarization.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Associate Professor of political science at Colgate University. I grew up in a home with tremendous ideological diversity and rigorous political disputes, which caused my interest in learning more about why and how people become their political selves. This interest developed into an academic background in the field of political psychology, which uses psychological theories to understand the origins and nature of political attitudes. Out of this scholarship, I developed a theory about the relationship between closed minds and partisan polarization, which I examine in my book. Now I am looking for ways to create open minds and foster a less polarized community.

Matthew's book list on open your mind reduce political polarization

Matthew D. Luttig Why did Matthew love this book?

Michael Pollan’s scientific and personal investigations into the powers of psychedelics reveal how malleable our brains and minds are and illustrate the potential for people to change from a closed-minded way of viewing the world to one that is considerably more open-minded.

Pollan’s review of the scientific research on psychedelics shows, for instance, that the psychedelic compounds can lead to changes in the openness to experience dimension of Big Five personality traits. This and other similar findings, as well as Pollan’s narrative about his own personal experiences, are useful for suggesting another potential mechanism for changing minds.

By Michael Pollan,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked How to Change Your Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now on Netflix as a 4-part documentary series!

"Pollan keeps you turning the pages . . . cleareyed and assured." -New York Times

A #1 New York Times Bestseller, New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2018, and New York Times Notable Book

A brilliant and brave investigation into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs--and the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences

When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such…


Book cover of Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life

Matthew D. Luttig Author Of The Closed Partisan Mind: A New Psychology of American Polarization

From my list on open your mind reduce political polarization.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Associate Professor of political science at Colgate University. I grew up in a home with tremendous ideological diversity and rigorous political disputes, which caused my interest in learning more about why and how people become their political selves. This interest developed into an academic background in the field of political psychology, which uses psychological theories to understand the origins and nature of political attitudes. Out of this scholarship, I developed a theory about the relationship between closed minds and partisan polarization, which I examine in my book. Now I am looking for ways to create open minds and foster a less polarized community.

Matthew's book list on open your mind reduce political polarization

Matthew D. Luttig Why did Matthew love this book?

In this book, Berkeley Psychologist Dacher Keltner explains the emerging scholarship he and his colleagues have conducted on the psychological significance of awe, an emotion we feel when in the presence of something vast that challenges our preconceptions.

I recommend this book because the underlying message—that awe opens our minds and pushes us away from our habitual way of seeing and engaging with the world—seems especially pertinent to a society of politically dogmatic and divided partisans. Part of our problem as a society is that we are stuck in rigid ways of thinking about political disputes. For us to overcome our challenges, we need to become “unglued,” and Keltner’s research on awe suggests a potential means for encouraging the kind of creative thinking that we need in American politics.

By Dacher Keltner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A National Bestseller!

"Read this book to connect with your highest self.”
—Susan Cain, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet and Quiet

“We need more awe in our lives, and Dacher Keltner has written the definitive book on where to find it.”
—Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again

“Awe is awesome in both senses: a superb analysis of an emotion that is strongly felt but poorly understood, with a showcase of examples that remind us of what is worthy of our awe.”
—Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of…


Book cover of The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World

Matthew D. Luttig Author Of The Closed Partisan Mind: A New Psychology of American Polarization

From my list on open your mind reduce political polarization.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Associate Professor of political science at Colgate University. I grew up in a home with tremendous ideological diversity and rigorous political disputes, which caused my interest in learning more about why and how people become their political selves. This interest developed into an academic background in the field of political psychology, which uses psychological theories to understand the origins and nature of political attitudes. Out of this scholarship, I developed a theory about the relationship between closed minds and partisan polarization, which I examine in my book. Now I am looking for ways to create open minds and foster a less polarized community.

Matthew's book list on open your mind reduce political polarization

Matthew D. Luttig Why did Matthew love this book?

Jamil Zaki’s investigations into the psychology of empathy suggest it may be an important resource to combat rising levels of political polarization. Zaki makes a strong case that empathy is a malleable characteristic—that it can be grown or expanded.

He suggests that we can train our minds to empathize beyond our narrow ingroups. Collectively, these findings, and others, lead me to believe that a more empathic community may be a more open one.

By Jamil Zaki,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“In this masterpiece, Jamil Zaki weaves together the very latest science with stories that will stay in your heart forever.”—Angela Duckworth, author of Grit

Don’t miss Jamil Zaki’s TED Talk, “We’re experiencing an empathy shortage, but we can fix it together,” online now.

Empathy is in short supply. We struggle to understand people who aren’t like us, but find it easy to hate them. Studies show that we are less caring than we were even thirty years ago. In 2006, Barack Obama said that the United States was suffering from an “empathy deficit.” Since then, things seem to have only…


Book cover of Wonder Confronts Certainty: Russian Writers on the Timeless Questions and Why Their Answers Matter

Matthew D. Luttig Author Of The Closed Partisan Mind: A New Psychology of American Polarization

From my list on open your mind reduce political polarization.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Associate Professor of political science at Colgate University. I grew up in a home with tremendous ideological diversity and rigorous political disputes, which caused my interest in learning more about why and how people become their political selves. This interest developed into an academic background in the field of political psychology, which uses psychological theories to understand the origins and nature of political attitudes. Out of this scholarship, I developed a theory about the relationship between closed minds and partisan polarization, which I examine in my book. Now I am looking for ways to create open minds and foster a less polarized community.

Matthew's book list on open your mind reduce political polarization

Matthew D. Luttig Why did Matthew love this book?

In this book, literary theorist Gary Saul Morson describes the competing ways in which Russian ideologues and novelists answered the “timeless questions” about human nature, fate, and politics. Morson’s analysis clearly shows that novelists and poets allow for much more complexity and nuance in their worldviews than ideologues. The famous Russian writers, in other words, appear to excel in the type of open-minded thinking that I argue is conducive to liberal democratic values.

By reading Morson’s book, one sees clearly the importance of Russia’s literary traditions and how their works inform an open-minded outlook on the timeless questions of human existence.

By Gary Saul Morson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wonder Confronts Certainty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A noted literary scholar traverses the Russian canon, exploring how realists, idealists, and revolutionaries debated good and evil, moral responsibility, and freedom.

Since the age of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov, Russian literature has posed questions about good and evil, moral responsibility, and human freedom with a clarity and intensity found nowhere else. In this wide-ranging meditation, Gary Saul Morson delineates intellectual debates that have coursed through two centuries of Russian writing, as the greatest thinkers of the empire and then the Soviet Union enchanted readers with their idealism, philosophical insight, and revolutionary fervor.

Morson describes the Russian literary tradition as…


Book cover of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High

Edward Benzel Author Of Today Was A Good Day: A Collection of Essays From The Heart Of A Neurosurgeon

From my list on awakening of the strengths that are hidden deep inside each of us.

Why am I passionate about this?

Coming from the perspective of a neurosurgeon, I have witnessed many successes and failures over more than four decades. I recognized decades ago that communication with patients at a level that involves emotions is a necessary part of being a complete physician. This involves being empathetic and, henceforth, digging deep to find the strength to be transparent, vulnerable, compassionate, understanding, and, when needed, forceful (some would call this paternalism). Although the five books I have chosen to highlight vary widely in content, they have one common theme – finding within us the will and wherewithal to succeed.

Edward's book list on awakening of the strengths that are hidden deep inside each of us

Edward Benzel Why did Edward love this book?

I loved this book because it teaches by example by employing illustrative conversation scenarios. Some scenarios were successful, while others were not. I learned from both.

I gained incredible insight into communication and interpersonal interactions. As a coach, I used this book to help others with communication difficulties. Perhaps most importantly, I used it to help myself become a better communicator. I frequently recommend this book to others.

This book truly resonated with me in my quest to craft a better version of myself.  

By Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan , Al Switzler , Emily Gregory

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Keep your cool and get the results you want when faced with crucial conversations. This New York Times bestseller and business classic has been fully updated for a world where skilled communication is more important than ever.

The book that revolutionized business communications has been updated for today's workplace. Crucial Conversations provides powerful skills to ensure every conversation-especially difficult ones-leads to the results you want. Written in an engaging and witty style, the book teaches readers how to be persuasive rather than abrasive, how to get back to productive dialogue when others blow up or clam up, and it offers…


Book cover of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High

Maryanne O'Brien Author Of The Elevated Communicator: How to Master Your Style and Strengthen Well-Being at Work

From my list on communication and building trusted relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a work in progress, on my way to becoming a conscious communicator and an even better human being. I believe that intentional communication and (the) quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives, careers, and societies. I’ve spent decades guiding people and cultures to foster open communication, cultivate self-understanding, and deepen trust, from large Fortune 500 to small businesses. Building communication skills is a practice that leads to self-transformation and finding meaning, and happiness. Each of these books will help you to better understand yourself and others, and learn to communicate at the level of trust.

Maryanne's book list on communication and building trusted relationships

Maryanne O'Brien Why did Maryanne love this book?

If you’ve been avoiding having a difficult conversation, this book is for you.

It provides a step-by-step guide for preparing to have difficult conversations and navigating the waters once you’re in them, both personally and professionally. You’ll learn to see your own defensive barriers to communicating well (defensiveness to silence) and how to apply strategies for overcoming these obstacles and creating a safe and productive environment.

It’s a valuable resource you’ll come back to again and again, because people are complex, and communication is the bridge to building trust. 

By Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan , Al Switzler

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The New York Times and Washington Post bestseller that changed the way millions communicate

"[Crucial Conversations] draws our attention to those defining moments that literally shape our lives, our relationships, and our world. . . . This book deserves to take its place as one of the key thought leadership contributions of our time."
-from the Foreword by Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"The quality of your life comes out of the quality of your dialogues and conversations. Here's how to instantly uplift your crucial conversations."
-Mark Victor Hansen, cocreator of the #1…


Book cover of Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships

Pavini Moray Author Of How to Hold Power: A Somatic Approach to Becoming a Leader People Love and Respect

From my list on creating business relationships that feel alive.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a human, I struggle with staying connected during conflict. Because conflict naturally shows up in all relationships, I had to figure out how to do it better, or die alone! My path has woven through studying conflict resolution, becoming a relationship therapist, doing deep learning within my own life partnership, and exploring the realm of somatic psychology in my doctoral work. I long for a world where we have the skills we need to work through conflict without resorting to violence. In my dreams, the world is able to coexist with love and conflict. Our relationships thrive when we speak our full truth, and embody our values in action.

Pavini's book list on creating business relationships that feel alive

Pavini Moray Why did Pavini love this book?

The teachings of NVC are essential for those wishing to deepen their compassionate hearts.

NVC has helped my partner and me navigate many difficult conversations while remaining connected, present, and caring. Instead of communication breakdown, NVC teaches a focus on identifying needs and expressing emotions before making a doable request. The skills of this practice are essential building blocks for kind and honest communication. 

By Marshall B. Rosenberg,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Nonviolent Communication as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


5,000,000 COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE • TRANSLATED IN MORE THAN 35 LANGUAGES

What is Violent Communication?
 
If “violent” means acting in ways that result in hurt or harm, then much of how we communicate—judging others, bullying, having racial bias, blaming, finger pointing, discriminating, speaking without listening, criticizing others or ourselves, name-calling, reacting when angry, using political rhetoric, being defensive or judging who’s “good/bad” or what’s “right/wrong” with people—could indeed be called “violent communication.”
 
What is Nonviolent Communication?
 
Nonviolent Communication is the integration of four things:
 
• Consciousness: a set of principles that support living a life of compassion, collaboration, courage, and…


Book cover of Fighting For Your Marriage: A Deluxe Revised Edition of the Classic Best Seller for Enhancing Marriage and Preventing Divorce

Peter Fraenkel Author Of Last Chance Couple Therapy: Bringing Relationships Back from the Brink

From my list on how to improve couple and family relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Ph.D. clinical psychologist and tenured associate professor at The City College of New York, where I teach couple and family therapy, multicultural issues in psychotherapy, and research methods. I've conducted research on a couple's distress prevention program. I’ve been a licensed therapist for 30+ years working primarily with “last chance couples” – those on the brink of dissolving their relationship. I attended the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston University, where I received my B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy, and obtained my doctorate at Duke University. I have also been on the faculty of Bellevue Hospital/NYU Medical Center, and the Ackerman Institute for the Family. I lecture internationally.

Peter's book list on how to improve couple and family relationships

Peter Fraenkel Why did Peter love this book?

This bestselling classic book is designed especially for happy, newlywed or otherwise newly committed couples to teach them research-based communication and problem-solving skills, how to address “hidden” or broader issues like power and control, closeness and caring, respect and recognition, integrity, commitment, trust, and acceptance, which fuel specific conflicts around money, sex, childrearing, housework, in-laws, and others. 

It also provides tips on increasing fun, friendship, and intimacy.  Based on the authors’ decades of testing the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP©), it provides a simple guide to essential ideas and skills that maintain a healthy marriage – skills that many people do not learn in their families growing up. 

I trained with Drs. Markman and Stanley way back in the 90s and brought PREP to NYU Medical Center and ran many couple workshops, and I’ve seen how effective these relationship tools can be for happy couples eager to…

By Howard J. Markman, Scott M. Stanley, Susan L. Blumberg

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fighting For Your Marriage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A thorough revision with a new DVD of couples in action, using the PREP method for strengthening marriage and avoiding divorce court The third edition of the best-selling classic on marriage enhancement and divorce prevention, features the latest research and changes of heart in our culture and society. New and revised, Fighting for Your Marriage is based on the widely acclaimed PREP (Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program) approach. Groundbreaking studies have found that couples can use the strategies of this approach to handle conflict more constructively, protect their happiness, and reduce the odds of breaking up. The book is based…


Book cover of The Four Things That Matter Most: A Book about Living

Jennie Dear Author Of What Does It Feel Like to Die?: Inspiring New Insights Into the Experience of Dying

From my list on the experience of dying.

Why am I passionate about this?

When my mother enrolled in hospice after years of living with cancer, the nurse asked her: Do you want to know what will happen to your body as it starts shutting down? That was the first time anyone talked with us about the dying process. The question came as an immense relief, eventually inspiring this book. After witnessing the difficulties and surprising joys of my mother’s dying experience, I began hospice volunteering. Later, I spent three intensive stints volunteering at San Francisco’s Zen Hospice Project. And as a former journalist and associate professor of English, I began researching and interviewing experts. Their deep caring and knowledge inform this book.

Jennie's book list on the experience of dying

Jennie Dear Why did Jennie love this book?

I sometimes read aloud from this book to hospice patients because when you’re dying, it’s easy to believe that it’s too late—too late to make amends, too late to reconnect, too late to do anything more for the world you’re leaving behind. Byock, a doctor who has worked extensively with dying people, says that’s not the case. Instead, he urges his patients to communicate with their friends and family members, to say thanks, to forgive, to apologize, and to express their love. The book is filled with examples of times people on the edge of death were able to connect more deeply or heal old wounds, changing the lives of those close to them for the better.

By Ira Byock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Four Things That Matter Most as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Four simple phrases-"Please forgive me," "I forgive you," "Thank you," and "I love you"-carry enormous power to mend and nurture our relationships and inner lives. These four phrases and the sentiments they convey provide a path to emotional wellbeing, guiding us through interpersonal difficulties to life with integrity and grace.

Dr. Ira Byock, an international leader in palliative care, explains how we can practice these life-affirming words in our day-to-day lives. Too often we assume that the people we love really know that we love them. Dr. Byock demonstrates the value of "stating the obvious" and provides practical insights into…


Book cover of The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes

Lawrence E. Susskind Author Of Good for You, Great for Me: Finding the Trading Zone and Winning at Win-Win Negotiation

From my list on negotiating for mutual advantage.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Professor at MIT and co-founder of both the inter-university Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the not-for-profit Consensus Building Institute that provides help in resolving some of the most complex resource management disputes around the world. I have been teaching negotiation and dispute resolution, doing research about the circumstances under which various negotiation strategies do and don’t work, and offering online training for more than four decades. Given the many negotiations I've observed, I’m convinced that negotiating for mutual advantage is the way to go -- avoid unnecessary conflict, get what you want in all kinds of negotiating situations, and walk away with good working relationships and a solid reputation.

Lawrence's book list on negotiating for mutual advantage

Lawrence E. Susskind Why did Lawrence love this book?

Bill Ury was one of the authors of the most important book in the negotiation field – Getting to Yes written more than 30 years ago. It challenged the win-lose model of negotiation that prevailed at the time. Bill and his partners Roger Fisher and Bruce Patton made it clear that we not only need to get agreement, when one is possible given the underlying interests of the parties, we also need to know how to defend our own interests in the face of inside and outside pressure. 

One of the reviewers of The Power of a Positive No said that the book “has the power to transform our lives by enabling us to say Yes to what counts – our own needs and values.” I’ve watched him in action; Bill’s three-step method works. First, you say what you really need. Then, you say no to proposals that don’t meet…

By William Ury,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Power of a Positive No as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“William Ury brings a marvelous blend of experience, insight, integrity and warmth to his work. In this wonderful book he teaches us how to say No—with grace and effect—so that we might create an even better Yes.” —Jim Collins, author of Good to Great

No is perhaps the most important and certainly the most powerful word in the language. Every day we find ourselves in situations where we need to say No–to people at work, at home, and in our communities–because No is the word we must use to protect ourselves and to stand up for everything and everyone that…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in interpersonal communication, school, and friendships?

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