Recent Reading Here At Casual Kitchen

I've been plowing through books like a crazed banshee lately, and I wanted to share with readers four more noteworthy titles culled from my recent reading.

1) You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney
An excellent book containing pretty much every single cognitive bias known to man, each explained in plain English using clear (and often hilarious) examples. At the risk of revealing too much of my personal geekery, I took eight full pages of notes from this book. A great resource for readers who want to outwit their cognitive blind spots.

2) Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
Of course it's pure coincidence that I'm listing this book today. Like most married couples, Laura and I are in a never-ending battle to try and figure out how to get along. This book gave us a striking and useful paradigm for how to think about our relationship. Essentially, men and women look for different things in a relationship: men seek respect, women seek love. The context of the book is Judeo-Christian, but you'll find insights here whatever your faith.

3) The Number by Lee Eisenberg
This was an unusual and surprising book, and it wasn't at all what I expected. I thought it would literally teach readers how to calculate "your number"--by which I mean the specific amount of money you'd need in order to quit working, forever.

But The Number was more than just that: it was also about the psychology behind how people think through this issue: How will I get to my number? Is my number right? Can I discuss this with my friends? Am I dwelling on this too much--or too little? What will I do when I get to my number? What will I do if I can't get to my number? And so on.

This author thinks he's funnier than he really is, but don't let that distract you from a worthwhile book. This was a quick read with some extremely thought-provoking ideas.

Which leaves me with a question for readers: Do you know what your number is? How did you come up with it?

4) Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey
Last book. Spark explains how regular, intense exercise can help solve an astonishing number of psychological challenges, ranging from social anxiety, ADD/ADHD, depression, addiction, learning and memory issues, even panic and anxiety disorders. Particularly interesting were the chapters on depression, ADHD and addiction, and the specific biochemical and psychological effects brought on by exercise that help these conditions. This book was a challenging but altogether fascinating read, and I hope to discuss the ideas in Spark in more depth here at CK in the future.

Readers: what are YOU reading lately that you'd recommend to me?

Related Posts:
Three Books In Three Days
Review: Wheat Belly by William Davis
Review: The Mindful Carnivore
Review: The End of Overeating by David Kessler

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Owlhaven said...

OK, I've gotta read the first one-- I put it on my amazon list. You're not an INTJ, are you? I can't remember if I've asked you before. That's what I am, and I'm fascinated by psychology. I am currently reading and enjoying 'Parenting from the Inside Out' a major theme of which is better self-understanding.


Daniel said...

Thanks for the book rec Mary! I've never taken the Myers-Briggs test, but if you were to ask Laura she'd say I'm an ENTP. Whatever that means. :)

But, yes, You Are Not So Smart was quite a useful book.

What other titles would readers recommend?


Joanne said...

I DEFINITELY want to read the Spark book! Anything to self-serve my exercise-crazed existence. :P

Daniel said...

I think you'll like it Joanne!


Hughes ap Williams said...

"Life at Home in The Twenty-First Century 32 Families Open Their Doors" offers a chance to nose around in 32 other homes and compare your own home and belongings to them. The term is ethnoarchaeology - exploring our homes, our lifestyles, our belongings, and how we actually live.

Casual Kitchen fans may be even more interested in the sections that show how much and what food is in each home, how we cook, how much time we spend cooking, what we actually cook...and more.

Daniel said...

Thanks for the tip, Hughes! I'll check it out.


Ronda said...

Oh, I love book reviews! That first one I simply MUST read. I've always been fascinated with subliminals--wrote a termpaper on them years ago. L&R is an old favorite, need to check out Spark. Not much interested in the Number--I don't have a number and don't need one. I am not a fan of retirement--do what you want now! :) I read mostly fiction, but one non-fic that was fascinating to me was The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian.

Daniel said...

Thanks for the book suggestion and the feedback Ronda!