10 books like What Is the Name of This Book?

By Raymond M. Smullyan,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like What Is the Name of This Book?. Shepherd is a community of 8,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Thinking, Fast and Slow

By Daniel Kahneman,

Book cover of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Oagis Revilo Author Of Spirituality Why Give a ****

From the list on helping to leggo that ego.

Who am I?

Admittedly, I’m just a painfully average Joe, but therein lies the paradoxical aptness of my credentials. Like most people, I wasn’t raised specially educated or trained, fed by a spiritual spoon. Instead, my qualifications arise from transitioning out of the common, materialistically driven, atheistic perspective to see the contrasting light of the other side. What was originally a drive for self-development has evolved into a passion for spirituality, which inevitably arises if one introspects long enough. These past few years, I’ve been motivated to try and make more sense out of this senseless topic with the intent of sharing its value with others. 

Oagis' book list on helping to leggo that ego

Discover why each book is one of Oagis' favorite books.

Why did Oagis love this book?

This book has helped me explore the way we think and make decisions.

By highlighting the cognitive biases that can impact our decision-making, it provides practical insights and strategies for making better choices. Written in an engaging and accessible style, the book is relevant not only for individuals but also for larger group entities.

It has helped me objectivize my thinking processes and to think more critically and to be less impulsive. It has also been useful in how I go about trying to form better habits while minimizing detrimental ones.

Thinking, Fast and Slow

By Daniel Kahneman,

Why should I read it?

34 authors picked Thinking, Fast and Slow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The phenomenal international bestseller - 2 million copies sold - that will change the way you make decisions

'A lifetime's worth of wisdom' Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics
'There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Thinking, Fast and Slow' Financial Times

Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast,…


Priceless

By William Poundstone,

Book cover of Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value

Steven E. Landsburg Author Of Can You Outsmart an Economist?

From the list on the biggest questions.

Who am I?

As far back as I can remember, I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about things like why there is something instead of nothing, why we can remember the past but not the future, and how consciousness arises. Although I’m a professor of economics, I take such things seriously enough to have published some papers in philosophy journals, and even a whole book about philosophy called The Big Questions. These are some of the books that sharpened my thinking, inspired me to think more deeply, and convinced me that good writing can render deep ideas both accessible and fun.

Steven's book list on the biggest questions

Discover why each book is one of Steven's favorite books.

Why did Steven love this book?

Would you guess that the average daily temperature in San Francisco is above or below 558 degrees Fahrenheit?

I'm going to assume you guessed "below", because that's the right answer and absolutely everybody gets it right.

Now---what would you guess is the actual average daily temperature in San Francisco? If you are like just about everybody, your guess right now is quite a bit higher than the guess you’d have made a minute ago, before you saw my first (entirely ludicrous) question. This well-documented effect persists even when subjects are told about it and warned not to fall prey to it.

Perhaps I’m overestimating, but I believe this book contains about 14 billion equally fascinating and weird facts about how human minds process information. But although these facts are quirky, they are not quirks --- they are central to the working of the human mind, not just little mistakes we…

Priceless

By William Poundstone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Prada stores carry a few obscenely expensive items in order to boost sales for everything else (which look like bargains in comparison). People used to download music for free, then Steve Jobs convinced them to pay. How? By charging 99 cents. That price has a hypnotic effect: the profit margin of the 99 Cents Only store is twice that of Wal-Mart. Why do text messages cost money, while e-mails are free? Why do jars of peanut butter keep getting smaller in order to keep the price the "same"? The answer is simple: prices are a collective hallucination.

In Priceless, the…


A History of Pi

By Petr Beckmann,

Book cover of A History of Pi

Steven E. Landsburg Author Of Can You Outsmart an Economist?

From the list on the biggest questions.

Who am I?

As far back as I can remember, I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about things like why there is something instead of nothing, why we can remember the past but not the future, and how consciousness arises. Although I’m a professor of economics, I take such things seriously enough to have published some papers in philosophy journals, and even a whole book about philosophy called The Big Questions. These are some of the books that sharpened my thinking, inspired me to think more deeply, and convinced me that good writing can render deep ideas both accessible and fun.

Steven's book list on the biggest questions

Discover why each book is one of Steven's favorite books.

Why did Steven love this book?

The number Pi, of course, has no history; like any other number, it is what it is and exists outside of time and space. But the human understanding of Pi has a rich history indeed, beginning with the discovery that the circumference of a circle is more than three times, but less than four times, its radius. The centuries brought better estimates, better ways of discovering new estimates, the discovery that Pi is irrational, the recognition that it has a habit of popping up in areas of mathematics that appear to have nothing to do with circles, and a slew of curious and beautiful formulas like this one.

Of course, a lot of other things were happening during those centuries, not all of them mathematical. Beckmann has not failed to notice this. His fascination with pretty much everything comes alive as he uses the history of Pi as a…

A History of Pi

By Petr Beckmann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The history of pi, says the author, though a small part of the history of mathematics, is nevertheless a mirror of the history of man. Petr Beckmann holds up this mirror, giving the background of the times when pi made progress -- and also when it did not, because science was being stifled by militarism or religious fanaticism.


Time and Chance

By David Z. Albert,

Book cover of Time and Chance

Steven E. Landsburg Author Of Can You Outsmart an Economist?

From the list on the biggest questions.

Who am I?

As far back as I can remember, I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about things like why there is something instead of nothing, why we can remember the past but not the future, and how consciousness arises. Although I’m a professor of economics, I take such things seriously enough to have published some papers in philosophy journals, and even a whole book about philosophy called The Big Questions. These are some of the books that sharpened my thinking, inspired me to think more deeply, and convinced me that good writing can render deep ideas both accessible and fun.

Steven's book list on the biggest questions

Discover why each book is one of Steven's favorite books.

Why did Steven love this book?

I vividly remember reading this book some years ago. You probably don’t remember it at all, even if you’re going to take my advice and read it tomorrow. That’s pretty odd when you think about. Why should we remember the past but not the future?

It does no good to echo platitudes like “the future hasn’t happened yet”. You could as well say “the past is already over”, which is equally true and equally irrelevant. The laws of physics tie the past to the present and the future to the present in exactly the same way. Any process that can run one direction in time can run in the other. So if the past can leave imprints on our memory, why can’t the future?

David Albert wants to make you appreciate the question, and then he wants to tell you the answer. Albert is that rarest of birds: A philosopher…

Time and Chance

By David Z. Albert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book is an attempt to get to the bottom of an acute and perennial tension between our best scientific pictures of the fundamental physical structure of the world and our everyday empirical experience of it. The trouble is about the direction of time. The situation (very briefly) is that it is a consequence of almost every one of those fundamental scientific pictures--and that it is at the same time radically at odds with our common sense--that whatever can happen can just as naturally happen backwards.

Albert provides an unprecedentedly clear, lively, and systematic new account--in the context of a…


Consciousness Explained

By Daniel C. Dennett,

Book cover of Consciousness Explained

Matthew Hutson Author Of The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane

From the list on consciousness and how our brain works.

Who am I?

I’m a freelance science reporter and Contributing Writer at The New Yorker, with degrees in cognitive neuroscience and science writing. Growing up, I wanted to understand the fundamental nature of the universe—who doesn’t?!—and grew interested in physics, before realizing our only contact with outside reality (if it exists) is through consciousness. Today I cover psychology and artificial intelligence, among other topics. Can machines be conscious? I don’t know. Why does consciousness exist at all? I don’t know that either. But if there’s anything at all that’s magic in the universe, it’s consciousness.

Matthew's book list on consciousness and how our brain works

Discover why each book is one of Matthew's favorite books.

Why did Matthew love this book?

We tend to picture an observer inside our heads experiencing consciousness as if watching a movie. But that just pushes explanation back a level: What’s inside that observer? The prolific philosopher Daniel Dennett dismantles many common intuitions about awareness, showing them to be illusions hiding the intricate and deceptive mechanics of the mind and brain. This was one of the first books on consciousness I read. I don’t agree with everything Dennett has to say on the matter, but he’s a great guide to think with.

Consciousness Explained

By Daniel C. Dennett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Consciousness Explained, Daniel C. Dennett reveals the secrets of one of the last remaining mysteries of the universe: the human brain.

Daniel C. Dennett's now-classic book blends philosophy, psychology and neuroscience - with the aid of numerous examples and thought-experiments - to explore how consciousness has evolved, and how a modern understanding of the human mind is radically different from conventional explanations of consciousness.

What people think of as the stream of consciousness is not a single, unified sequence, the author argues, but 'multiple drafts' of reality composed by a computer-like 'virtual machine'.

Dennett explains how science has exploded…


Abraham Lincoln, His Speeches and Writings

By Roy Basler, Carl Sandburg,

Book cover of Abraham Lincoln, His Speeches and Writings

Dennis E. Shasha Author Of The Puzzling Adventures of Dr. Ecco

From the list on to help you to think logically.

Who am I?

I became a scientist because I enjoyed the puzzles in Scientific American. I loved the notion that through mere thought, one could solve a question that at first glance seemed impossible to solve. When I had to design methods to detect ephemeral failures in electronic circuits underlying a mainframe computer, I created a puzzle having occasional liars. When I thought about ways to understand global wars, I constructed a puzzle about bullies in a playground. Some of my puzzles have been very computational, some purely paper and pencil. Over the years, my puzzles have appeared in Scientific American, Dr. Dobb’s Journal, and the Communications of the ACM.

Dennis' book list on to help you to think logically

Discover why each book is one of Dennis' favorite books.

Why did Dennis love this book?

Abraham Lincoln famously had little formal education but was capable of sophisticated logical thinking in his arguments. He credits his ability to form his arguments to his encounter with Euclid’s writings about geometry. He felt in awe by the notion of “demonstration” and went on to apply that notion to his compelling arguments about the injustice and hypocrisy of slavery. 

Abraham Lincoln, His Speeches and Writings

By Roy Basler, Carl Sandburg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Abraham Lincoln, His Speeches and Writings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This volume presents nearly 250 of Lincoln's most important speeches, state papers, and letters in their entirety. Here are not only the masterpieces,the Gettysburg Address, the Inaugural Addresses, the 1858 Republican Convention Speech, the Emancipation Proclamation,but hundreds of lesser-known gems. Alfred Kazin has written that Lincoln was "not just the greatest writer among our Presidents . . . but the most telling and unforgettable of all American'public' writer-speakers," and it's never been cleaner than in this comprehensive edition.


Mathematical Puzzles

By Peter Winkler,

Book cover of Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur's Collection

Dennis E. Shasha Author Of The Puzzling Adventures of Dr. Ecco

From the list on to help you to think logically.

Who am I?

I became a scientist because I enjoyed the puzzles in Scientific American. I loved the notion that through mere thought, one could solve a question that at first glance seemed impossible to solve. When I had to design methods to detect ephemeral failures in electronic circuits underlying a mainframe computer, I created a puzzle having occasional liars. When I thought about ways to understand global wars, I constructed a puzzle about bullies in a playground. Some of my puzzles have been very computational, some purely paper and pencil. Over the years, my puzzles have appeared in Scientific American, Dr. Dobb’s Journal, and the Communications of the ACM.

Dennis' book list on to help you to think logically

Discover why each book is one of Dennis' favorite books.

Why did Dennis love this book?

Peter Winkler is an outstanding theoretical computer scientist, which is another way of saying that he is a mathematician who loves combinatorics and logic. He brings the precision and clarity of a mathematician to both the presentation and the solutions of his puzzles. The book consists of great puzzles from the centuries. Professor Winkler has excellent taste.

Mathematical Puzzles

By Peter Winkler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Collected over several years by Peter Winkler, of Bell Labs, dozens of elegant, intriguing challenges are presented in Mathematical Puzzles. The answers are easy to explain, but without this book, devilishly hard to find. Creative reasoning is the key to these puzzles. No involved computation or higher mathematics is necessary, but your ability to construct a mathematical proof will be severly tested--even if you are a professional mathematician. For the truly adventurous, there is even a chapter on unsolved puzzles.


How to Solve It

By George Polya,

Book cover of How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method

Steven S. Skiena Author Of The Algorithm Design Manual

From the list on mathematical and algorithmic thinking.

Who am I?

I am Professor of Computer Science at Stony Brook University, and have spent the past thirty years thinking/teaching/writing about algorithms. Algorithms are the really cool thing about computer science, for they form the ideas behind any interesting computer program. And algorithms turn out to be the ideas behind many interesting aspects of life that have nothing to do with computers. I have written six books on algorithms, programming, gambling, and history –including the ranking of the historical significance of all the people in Wikipedia.

Steven's book list on mathematical and algorithmic thinking

Discover why each book is one of Steven's favorite books.

Why did Steven love this book?

Polya was a great mathematician who knew what counted (after all, he made major contributions to combinatorics, the mathematics of counting). He thought hard about what he was doing when working on problems in mathematics, developing a mental process that lead to creative breakthroughs and solutions. Polya’s problem-solving method is broadly applicable to domains other than mathematics, and this book features many nice puzzles to improve your thinking.

Algorithm design is challenging because it often requires flashes of sudden insight which seem to come out of the blue. But there is a way of thinking about problems that make such flashes more likely to happen. I try to teach this thought process in my books, but Polya got there first.


How to Solve It

By George Polya,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked How to Solve It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A perennial bestseller by eminent mathematician G. Polya, How to Solve It will show anyone in any field how to think straight. In lucid and appealing prose, Polya reveals how the mathematical method of demonstrating a proof or finding an unknown can be of help in attacking any problem that can be "reasoned" out--from building a bridge to winning a game of anagrams. Generations of readers have relished Polya's deft--indeed, brilliant--instructions on stripping away irrelevancies and going straight to the heart of the problem.


Syntactic Structures

By Noam Chomsky,

Book cover of Syntactic Structures

Dennis E. Shasha Author Of The Puzzling Adventures of Dr. Ecco

From the list on to help you to think logically.

Who am I?

I became a scientist because I enjoyed the puzzles in Scientific American. I loved the notion that through mere thought, one could solve a question that at first glance seemed impossible to solve. When I had to design methods to detect ephemeral failures in electronic circuits underlying a mainframe computer, I created a puzzle having occasional liars. When I thought about ways to understand global wars, I constructed a puzzle about bullies in a playground. Some of my puzzles have been very computational, some purely paper and pencil. Over the years, my puzzles have appeared in Scientific American, Dr. Dobb’s Journal, and the Communications of the ACM.

Dennis' book list on to help you to think logically

Discover why each book is one of Dennis' favorite books.

Why did Dennis love this book?

In the history of science, fields of studies have evolved from empirical to principled. In linguistics, field linguists had understood the need to construct grammars of languages they encountered. Noam Chomsky understood the need to place grammars into a mathematical hierarchy of formalisms, showing through brilliant counter-examples which grammatical constructs could be handled by each formalism. For example, Chomsky showed that finite state automata model noun phrases beautifully but fail with if-then sentences. He showed that context-free grammars handle if-then, but fail at passive constructions. The book offered a new way to think about language.

Syntactic Structures

By Noam Chomsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Noam Chomsky's first book on syntactic structures is one of the first serious attempts on the part of a linguist to construct within the tradition of scientific theory-construction a comprehensive theory of language which may be understood in the same sense that a chemical, biological theory is understood by experts in those fields. It is not a mere reorganization of the data into a new kind of library catalogue, nor another specualtive philosophy about the nature of man and language, but rather a rigorus explication of our intuitions about our language in terms of an overt axiom system, the theorems…


Alice in Wonderland

By Lewis Carroll, Illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer,

Book cover of Alice in Wonderland

Lance Lee Author Of Orpheus Rising: By Sam And His Father John With Some Help From A Very Wise Elephant Who Likes To Dance

From the list on YA/middle grade fantasy and their parents.

Who am I?

I don't write within received categories: our lives aren't lived in categories, but are full of varying realities, whether of home, childhood, marriage, parenthood, fantasy, dream, work, or relaxation, and more all mixed together. I can't write in any other way, however dominant a particular strand or age may be on the surface in a given work. Orpheus Rising may have a child hero, and a fantastic, elegant Edwardian Elephant as a spirit guide, but it let me tell a story of love lost and regained, of family broken and remade, of a father in despair and remade, themes of real importance in any life.

Lance's book list on YA/middle grade fantasy and their parents

Discover why each book is one of Lance's favorite books.

Why did Lance love this book?

We absorb this tale, like Peter Pan's, from childhood, and it provides us all with a leaning to light-hearted fantasy and a story pattern of leaving the real world and returning to it. An adventure may begin by going through a wardrobe as in the first Narnia novel, or into and out of Tom Bombadil's Old Forest in Tolkien. Alice goes down a rabbit hole. There are rabbit holes, wardrobes, forests, sailboats.... The world Alice gets to is full of strangeness appealed to me for Orpheus Rising whose characters have a similar variety.

Alice in Wonderland

By Lewis Carroll, Illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Alice in Wonderland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Alice sees the White Rabbit running by on the river bank, she follows him, tumbling down a Rabbit Hole into a magical world where nothing is ever as it seems...

Lewis Carroll's classic story has delighted children since 1865. One hundred and fifty years since its first publication, Hodder celebrates in style with this sumptuous new edition, illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer, whose dreamlike illustrations bring vibrant new life to Carroll's beloved characters. The original text appears complete and unabridged.

Rebecca Dautremer is the celebrated illustrator of The Secret Lives of Princesses.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in logic, critical thinking, and math?

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