My top picks for Psychology books: from Novice to Expert

The thing with me is that I have a bug, an academia bug. Holidays away from studying just give me more incentive to keep studying, or at least in the loop of my course – not out of force, but out of love!


If you agree with my nerdiness, I’ve done some researching into new Psychology-esque books to read. I thought that it would be helpful for those with a liking of Psychology, all the way to those who know it like the back of their hand, to have some reading suggestions of the greatest subject in the world! [obviously a non-biased opinion…]


For the “I know some psychology but not why it’s relevant” lot: You’re Not as Smart as you Think – David McRaney


I have just started reading this one (alongside Moby Dick, which I will DEFINITELY finish at some point), and recommend it to those who want to know more about why Psychology is relevant in the real world. It is a book filled of theories to explain why our brain is flawed, thus giving you scientific evidence for our blunders as a human species.

As well as entertaining, it gives you great insight and (from what I’ve read so far) is a easy read that you can get through in a couple of days!


For the “I want to know more about Psychology” people: Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman


In my second year Cognitive lectures I’ve learned a lot about Daniel Kahneman, the most notable achievement within his multitude of studies is being a Nobel Prize winner within the sub-category of Neuroeconomics. Even more impressive that he’s one of the ONLY Nobel Prize winners among the field of Psychology!

The essence of the book is focusing on how we think: one way is quick, impulsive and emotional – while the other side is slow, calm, and logical. The book ponders on the thought of using ‘slower’ thinking to better our decisions in life. By the sounds of it I’ll be picking up this book myself!


For the “I want to delve deeper into the happenings of psychology” guys: The Mind of a Mnemonist – A. R. Luria


This book focuses on ‘abnormalities’ within the brain that can cause people to behave and act differently to others. Specifically, Luria focuses on a case study of a hypermnestic (enhanced memory) subject, due to a condition called synaesthesia.

From the angle of writing, it shows how the brain is as complex as we could ever imagine, and how people’s differences can enhance opportunities for them in the future (as he later became a professional mnemonist due to his gift). In sum: inspiring and educational!


For the “I really want my knowledge fix” psychology lovers: The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat – Oliver Sacks


There’s a lot I (and many other people I know who have read this book) can say about Oliver Sacks, but this book nails how much of an inspiring writer and neurologist he is. The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat is one of his most popular books, and if you haven’t read it and studying Psychology, READ IT NOW!

The book itself bases off Luria’s book, but has many more case studies and unheard of conditions that are both fascinating and thought-provoking. I’ve read this book twice now, once when I was doing A2 Psychology (and didn’t know a lot of the terminology that Sacks was using), and last year (in which I found a new kind of understanding and love for the book that confirmed my love for Neuropsychology). Hands down, this is an amazing book. Get it and love it too.


Until next time. x

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