100 books like The Instruction of Imagination

By Daniel Dor,

Here are 100 books that The Instruction of Imagination fans have personally recommended if you like The Instruction of Imagination. 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 Out of Our Minds: What We Think and How We Came to Think It

Michael C. Corballis Author Of Adventures of a Psychologist: Reflections on What Made Up the Mind

From my list on the mind (how it works and where it came from).

Why am I passionate about this?

Michael Corballis is a psychologist and brain scientist. His interests lie in how the mind works, how it maps onto the brain, and how it evolved. Much of his work is published in books and scientific articles, but he has also written books aimed at a general readership. These include Pieces of Mind, The Lopsided Ape, The Recursive Mind, The Wandering Mind, and The Truth about Language.

Michael's book list on the mind (how it works and where it came from)

Michael C. Corballis Why did Michael love this book?

Much of what we do and think comes from imagination, generated by our minds rather than by the physical world. This includes art, literature, music, religion, even science. Our dreams are spontaneous acts of creativity, and even memory itself can be distorted by the restless mind.  Fernandez-Armesto argues that many animals have better memories than we do, because the human system produces spontaneously creative thoughts at the expense of fidelity. That’s why memories are often false. The author is a historian with an interest in how the mind works, and his book is an amazingly comprehensive history of the human imagination.

By Felipe Fernández-Armesto,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Out of Our Minds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To imagine-to see what is not there-is the startling ability that has fueled human development and innovation through the centuries. As a species we stand alone in our remarkable capacity to refashion the world after the picture in our minds.

Traversing the realms of science, politics, religion, culture, philosophy and history, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto reveals the thrilling and disquieting tales of our imaginative leaps-from the first Homo sapiens to the present day. Through groundbreaking insights in cognitive science, Fernandez-Armesto explores how and why we have ideas in the first place, providing a tantalizing glimpse into who we are and what we…


Book cover of Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets

Michael C. Corballis Author Of Adventures of a Psychologist: Reflections on What Made Up the Mind

From my list on the mind (how it works and where it came from).

Why am I passionate about this?

Michael Corballis is a psychologist and brain scientist. His interests lie in how the mind works, how it maps onto the brain, and how it evolved. Much of his work is published in books and scientific articles, but he has also written books aimed at a general readership. These include Pieces of Mind, The Lopsided Ape, The Recursive Mind, The Wandering Mind, and The Truth about Language.

Michael's book list on the mind (how it works and where it came from)

Michael C. Corballis Why did Michael love this book?

Henry Molaison is surely the most famous patient in the history of neurology, widely known in the scientific literature and to psychology and medical students throughout the world as H.M. In 1953, he underwent brain surgery for the relief of epilepsy, which left him mentally stuck in the present, unable to remember past events or imagine future ones. Although the case is a tragic one, it led to significant advances in the scientific understanding of how the brain works. But the book is more than that; it is as fascinating for the backstory as for the case of Henry himself. Luke Dittrich is the grandson of H.M.’s surgeon, a maverick figure in the history of psychosurgery. It is an often uncomfortable but always fascinating tale of intrigue, ambition, secrecy, and surgical recklessness.

By Luke Dittrich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Patient H.M. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the summer of 1953, maverick neurosurgeon William Beecher Scoville performed a groundbreaking operation on an epileptic patient named Henry Molaison. But it was a catastrophic failure, leaving Henry unable to create long-term memories.

Scoville's grandson, Luke Dittrich, takes us on an astonishing journey through the history of neuroscience, from the first brain surgeries in ancient Egypt to the New England asylum where his grandfather developed a taste for human experimentation. Dittrich's investigation confronts unsettling family secrets and reveals the dark roots of modern neuroscience, raising troubling questions that echo into the present day.


Book cover of The World Before Us: The New Science Behind Our Human Origins

Michael C. Corballis Author Of Adventures of a Psychologist: Reflections on What Made Up the Mind

From my list on the mind (how it works and where it came from).

Why am I passionate about this?

Michael Corballis is a psychologist and brain scientist. His interests lie in how the mind works, how it maps onto the brain, and how it evolved. Much of his work is published in books and scientific articles, but he has also written books aimed at a general readership. These include Pieces of Mind, The Lopsided Ape, The Recursive Mind, The Wandering Mind, and The Truth about Language.

Michael's book list on the mind (how it works and where it came from)

Michael C. Corballis Why did Michael love this book?

We are accustomed to thinking of ourselves as a species mentally superior to all others. This view was challenged in the 19th century with the discovery in Europe of the Neanderthals, an extinct large-brained human-like species. Our superiority seemed to be restored by evidence that Neanderthal extinction followed the arrival in Europe of seemingly dominant Homo sapiens from Africa. Accumulating archaeological and genetic evidence is changing that comfortable picture. Another large-brained but extinct human-like species, the Denisovans, are now also known to have existed in widespread regions of Russia, Asia, and Oceania. Not only were these archaic species technologically and culturally on a par with sapiens, but they also mated occasionally with each other and with our own species. Many people throughout the world carry genetic material from them, and these have contributed to our own regional adaptations. This book challenges our view of ourselves, and implies greater affinity and…

By Tom Higham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A fascinating investigation of the origin of humans, based on incredible new discoveries and advanced scientific technology

"Conveys the thrill of archaeological discovery.”—Alexander Larman, The Observer

"Packs in startling discoveries, impressive insights and the occasional debunking of a foolish idea.”—Michael Marshall, New Scientist

Fifty thousand years ago, Homo sapiens was not the only species of humans in the world. There were also Neanderthals in what is now Europe, the Near East, and parts of Eurasia; Hobbits (H. floresiensis) on the island of Flores in Indonesia; Denisovans in Siberia and eastern Eurasia; and H. luzonensis in the Philippines. Tom Higham investigates…


Book cover of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

Joseph P. Forgas Author Of The Psychology of Populism: The Tribal Challenge to Liberal Democracy

From my list on why populism threatens liberal democratic societies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an experimental social psychologist and Scientia Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. I grew up in Hungary, and after an adventurous escape I ended up in Sydney. I received my DPhil and DSc degrees from the University of Oxford, and I spent various periods working at Oxford, Stanford, Heidelberg, and Giessen. For my work I received the Order of Australia, as well as the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, the Alexander von Humboldt Prize, and a Rockefeller Fellowship. As somebody who experienced totalitarian communism firsthand, I am very interested in the reasons for the recent spread of totalitarian, tribal ideologies, potentially undermining Western liberalism, undoubtedly the most successful civilization in human history.

Joseph's book list on why populism threatens liberal democratic societies

Joseph P. Forgas Why did Joseph love this book?

This is an incredibly interesting, well-written, and informative book that lays out the case for the amazing success of liberal democracies based on the Enlightenment values of liberty, universal humanism, and individualism.

I consider this book an essential reading for everyone who has been brainwashed by the current pessimistic and catastrophizing ideologies attacking this most successful of all human civilization.

Pinker is an outstanding writer, and the empirical evidence he marshals for the success and values of the Enlightenment in promoting human flourishing is utterly persuasive.

By Steven Pinker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018
ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR

"My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates

If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science. By the author of the new book, Rationality.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third…


Book cover of The Word Collector

Heather Hartt-Sussman Author Of Noni Says No

From my list on picture books parents will love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have written seven picture books, one of which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and many of which have been award nominees. My books have been translated into five languages and are enjoyed by kids from Denmark to Korea. As a mom, I know that when a child loves a book they want it read to them repeatedly. That’s why I admire books that are written for the enjoyment of both the adult and the child. I dislike preachy books filled with lessons. I prefer when books entertain and contain a nugget of gold that readers can take with them when the book is done.

Heather's book list on picture books parents will love

Heather Hartt-Sussman Why did Heather love this book?

This is another fave of mine because the protagonist is a boy who collects words (rather than stamps or baseball cards). He saves the words he’s learned in a scrapbook until one day, he trips and his words go flying into the air and land in a jumble on the floor. What he discovers are odd and interesting pairings of words he wouldn’t have thought go together. The result is poetic. Finally, he takes a big sack of words to the top of a hill and scatters them into the wind so other kids will make their own connections. This book is fantastic for kids and adults who love words.

By Peter H. Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Word Collector as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

From the beloved bestselling creator of The Dot and our own Happy Dreamer comes an inspiring story about the transformative and profound power of words.

A New York Times BestsellerNamed an Outstanding Literary Work for Children by the NAACPSome people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. Some people collect art. And Jerome? Jerome collected words . . . In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him -- short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower.From the creator…


Book cover of Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism

Annie Fox Author Of Teaching Kids to Be Good People: Progressive Parenting for the 21st Century

From my list on helping kids become themselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

In college, I majored in Human Development and Family Studies and found my calling – to work with kids and create SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) content for them. While still an undergrad, my first book was published (People Are Like Lollipops - a picture book celebrating diversity.) Throughout my career, I’ve continued writing books and creating multimedia content for kids and teens while helping parents support their kids’ character development in the digital age. I read a lot of parenting books, but I don’t always learn something new that opens my heart and mind. Each book I’ve recommended here did that for me. I hope the books on my list will help you on your parenting journey.

Annie's book list on helping kids become themselves

Annie Fox Why did Annie love this book?

Like the best memoirs, this one reads like a novel in that Arthur Fleischman and his wife and children are drawn with so much honesty and detail you’ll feel as if you know them, or know people like them. Daughter Carly, however, is less knowable, because her childhood diagnosis of autism, cognitive delay, and oral motor apraxia (difficulty easily coordinating and initiating movement of the jaw, lips, tongue, and soft palate) had left her unable to communicate.

Carly’s Voice was one of the early books to explore, first-hand, the challenges of living with autism for the autistic individual as well as her family. Through the determined efforts of her parents and therapists who refused to stop helping Carly reach her full potential, Carly learns to type! That changes everything. Readers are privileged to peek inside the thoughts, feelings, and quirky sense of humor of an inspiring young woman who…

By Arthur Fleischman, Carly Fleishman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this international bestseller, father and advocate for Autism awareness Arthur Fleischmann blends his daughter Carly’s own words with his story of getting to know his remarkable daughter—after years of believing that she was unable to understand or communicate with him.

At the age of two, Carly Fleischmann was diagnosed with severe autism and an oral motor condition that prevented her from speaking. Doctors predicted that she would never intellectually develop beyond the abilities of a small child. Carly remained largely unreachable through the years. Then, at the age of ten, she had a breakthrough.

While working with her devoted…


Book cover of Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate

Tim Muehlhoff Author Of Winsome Conviction: Disagreeing Without Dividing the Church

From my list on to avoid an argument with someone close.

Why am I passionate about this?

For the past 30 years I’ve focused on one question: Can individuals who have deep differences come together to cultivate common ground, compassion, and civility? Even with deep differences can we still engage in productive conversations? As an author, professor, and co-director of the Winsome Conviction Project my attempt to answer this question continues. The books I’ve listed have given guidance to not only come up with an answer but more importantly, live it out with those close to me. To hear me put theory into practice, listen to my Winsome Conviction podcast (with co-host Rick Langer) which tackles divisive issues with the hope of bringing diverse people together to talk.  

Tim's book list on to avoid an argument with someone close

Tim Muehlhoff Why did Tim love this book?

Even if you have the best intentions heading into a conversation, powerful emotions can easily derail the entire interaction. You headed in wanting to stay calm, but something your spouse, co-worker, or fellow church member said triggered your hot button surfacing powerful emotions. Soon, voices are raised and feelings are hurt. How do you manage powerful emotions when they surface? If you’ve never read a book by the creators of the Harvard Negotiation Project—the leading experts in mediation—this is a must-read by experts who have had to manage the most difficult and potentially explosive conversations imaginable. They remind us that emotions are “powerful, always present, and hard to handle.” Yet, the authors offer practical ways to recognize the emotions you have heading into a conversation with someone you care about and how to deal with them once they surface. 

By Roger Fisher, Daniel Shapiro,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Whether you are negotiating a business contract or curfew with your teenager, emotions can get you in trouble. They also can help you get what you want. This book shows you how. Telling a negotiator 'Don't get emotional' is nonsense. We all have emotions of some kind - all the time - and these emotions deeply inform both what we want and how we go about getting it. In "Getting to Yes", master negotiator Roger Fisher helped readers understand the mechanics of everyday agreements and how to reach them while preserving respect and self-worth. Now, in "Beyond Reason", he and…


Book cover of Drawn Together

Jyoti Rajan Gopal Author Of American Desi

From my list on children figuring out their place in the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As someone straddling multiple cultures, growing up everywhere and belonging nowhere, I know what it feels like to not fit in. I know what it feels like to want to hide parts of yourself so you can fit in. And so, as a picture book writer and a Kindergarten teacher, I'm always looking for books that share stories about children trying to figure out their place in the world. I didn't have those books growing up. What a difference that would have made in my own journey. The books that I picked are unique in the way they portray belonging. I hope you love these gems as much as I do!

Jyoti's book list on children figuring out their place in the world

Jyoti Rajan Gopal Why did Jyoti love this book?

A young boy and his grandfather are thrown together for the afternoon. They are both lost for words—the grandfather does not speak English and the boy does not speak Thai. What I love about this book is how the spare text in this story manages to speak volumes and the gorgeous, evocative illustrations illuminate their relationship. The language gap and culture gap seems to loom between them. And yet…. unexpectedly, a sketchbook ignites a silent conversation as the two draw their way to a new understanding of and connection to each other. It’s a heartfelt storyso relatablethat beautifully depicts an age-old immigrant experience, the sometimes painful cultural alienation between older and younger generations.

By Minh Lê, Dan Santat (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Drawn Together as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

This acclaimed picture book from two award-winning creators about connecting across generational and language differences shows that sometimes you don't need words to find common ground.

When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens -- with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.

With spare text by Minh Lê and luminous illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, this stirring story about reaching across barriers will be cherished for years…


Book cover of The Validation Breakthrough: Simple Techniques for Communicating with People with Alzheimer's-Type Dementia

Laura Wayman Author Of A Loving Approach to Dementia Care: Making Meaningful Connections While Caregiving

From my list on dementia and how to find joy while caregiving.

Why am I passionate about this?

During my decades of working with caregivers as a dementia care expert, I have heard many accounts of what the experience is like—from the sad and hollow to experiences rich in significance. Everyone faces obstacles when caring for a loved one; some of these obstacles come in the form of uncomfortable or painful emotional histories or past unresolved conflicts. After each opportunity to raise awareness and understanding about how dementia impacts individuals, their families, and their communities, I have been gratified to witness enhanced feelings of hope and comfort for all involved. It is my hope that through this book I will enter your home or your professional caregiving setting and work alongside you. 

Laura's book list on dementia and how to find joy while caregiving

Laura Wayman Why did Laura love this book?

Sensitive and insightful, The Validation Breakthrough is an essential resource for families, friends, neighbors, home health aides, doctors, nurses, social workers, and long-term care staff.

I learned as I read this book the necessity of walking beside the elderly in the final life stage. I learned empathy and to listen and talk with them, rather than patronizing them or telling them what to do. And I learned a very different understanding of why those with dementia symptoms do the things that they do-how the decline in cognitive abilities affects them in a very individual way, and to better understand the reasons behind their disorientation and sometimes challenging behavior.

The Validation Breakthrough was the foundation for my dementia care programs and method, and I often recommend this to all my family and professional clients to help raise their dementia awareness.

By Naomi Feil,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Validation is a practical way of communicating with and managing problem behaviour in older adults with Alzheimer's-type dementia. It helps reduce stress, enhance dignity, and increase happiness. Since its inception in 1989, Validation has helped thousands of professional and family caregivers improve their relationships with residents and loved ones with dementia. Caregivers who use these techniques validate older adults' expressed feelings, rather than focusing on disorientation and confusion.

In this Anniversary Edition of The Validation Breakthrough, you'll learn how to re-create relationships between confused older adults and their caregivers. be caring and non-judgmental understand and handle challenging behaviours interpret non-verbal…


Book cover of Signals: Evolution, Learning, and Information

Vangelis Chiotis Author Of The Morality of Economic Behaviour: Economics as Ethics

From my list on economic morality.

Why am I passionate about this?

Two self-interested people will try to outperform each other. One will win, the other will lose. If they instead cooperate, both will win a bit, and lose a bit. Is this preferable? I say yes, because in the long term, winning a bit many times, is better than winning a lot, once. Choosing short-term gain at the expense of long-term benefit is a waste of potential for societies and individuals. Traditional morality works, sometimes, in some cases. Rational morality can fill the gaps, and expand the circle of morality so that when higher ideals fail or become too difficult to follow, rationality can be about more than just short-term self-interest.

Vangelis' book list on economic morality

Vangelis Chiotis Why did Vangelis love this book?

Brian Skyrms works on evolutionary game theory, among other things.

Signals is set in this context but focuses on the importance of information and communication for cooperation, and morality. We cannot cooperate, if we cannot communicate. And we cannot be moral, if we are not cooperative.

Thus, morality is born out of sociability, which is born out of communication. Like Sugden, Skyrms does not assume a moral character but ends up with a moral outcome.

An alternative understanding of Signals is focused on evolution. Signals, meaning and communication follow evolutionary dynamics, similarly to moral and social norms.

Understanding communication is vital to understand our social behavior, and it is especially topical today when communication takes many means and forms.

By Brian Skyrms,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brian Skyrms presents a fascinating exploration of how fundamental signals are to our world. He uses a variety of tools - theories of signaling games, information, evolution, and learning - to investigate how meaning and communication develop. He shows how signaling games themselves evolve, and introduces a new model of learning with invention. The juxtaposition of atomic signals leads to complex signals, as the natural product of gradual process. Signals
operate in networks of senders and receivers at all levels of life. Information is transmitted, but it is also processed in various ways. That is how we think - signals…


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