The best books on psychology 📚

Browse the best books on psychology as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

By Fyodor Dostoevsky, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky

Why this book?

The classic 19th Century novel about a young man who commits a murder and is then forced to confront what he’s done. What’s the value of a human life? The cost of taking one? Can he live with his actions or will his guilt destroy him?

From the list:

The best books on the psychology and emotions behind human violence

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Book cover of Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy

Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy

By Kit Yarrow

Why this book?

Marketing psychologist Kit Yarrow explains how technology has rewired our brains, making us more individualistic, isolated, emotional, and distrustful. This is not a pessimistic book—it’s a practical guide to addressing customers’ desires and insecurities in a time of deep cultural shifts. Not only has she done her homework, but she also presents the results with lightness and clarity.

From the list:

The best books on brand strategy

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Book cover of The Principles Of Psychology

The Principles Of Psychology

By William James

Why this book?

In my view, this is the finest book on consciousness ever written. William James was one of the leading minds of late 19th and early 20th century America. His book, published in 1890, was written as a textbook for his psychology class at Harvard. At that time “psychology” was understood to be the study of consciousness. Here James introduces consciousness as a “stream of thought,” an idea that later influenced many 20th century thinkers, including American philosopher Alfred North Whitehead and early quantum physicist Niels Bohr. It is written with an elegance and clarity of style to…

From the list:

The best books on consciousness beyond the brain

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Book cover of The Psychology of Making Life Interesting

The Psychology of Making Life Interesting

By Wendell White

Why this book?

The title appeals to me, and the list of books I love is overwhelming. I’m rounding out my recs with this out-of-print, self-help book published in 1939 that I came across it in a second-hand bookstore. You can open the guide to almost any page and find something simple and deep, or if not, old phraseology like, Preventing Unwholesome Behavior Due to Tedium, is amusing. Technology may be changing the way people meet and how we process information, but we have most of the same emotional needs as before.

From the list:

The best books about young people finding themselves without a phone

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Book cover of The Outsider

The Outsider

By Colin Wilson

Why this book?

This book was life-changing for me. During my teenage years, I felt depressed and alienated. I read The Outsider just after my 20th birthday, and it changed my view of myself and gave me a new sense of my path in life. Outsiders are people who can’t accept the materialist values of ordinary society. They feel an urge to live more fully, to grow, to expand their consciousness. They may simply be frustrated social outcasts. However, some Outsiders express themselves creatively or find paths of self-transformation. They may become mystics, developing inner harmony and a heightened vision of reality.…

From the list:

The best books on spiritual psychology

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Book cover of Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century

Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century

By Edward F. Kelly, Emily Williams Kelly, Adam Crabtree, Alan Gauld, Michael Grosso, Bruce Greyson

Why this book?

A few years ago, I was writing a book called Spiritual Science and when people asked what it was about, I responded, “I’m trying to write a popular version of Irreducible Mind.” Irreducible Mind is a magnum opus – an attempt to move psychology beyond its present narrow limits, so that it can incorporate phenomena such as mystical/spiritual experiences and psi. More than anything, the book shows how the materialist worldview adopted by most modern academics is massively flawed, since it’s unable to explain a massive range of human experiences. Irreducible Mind is the first in a series of…

From the list:

The best books on spiritual psychology

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