These books provide valuable mental models for thinking about the world.
Risk Savvy by Gerd Gigerenzer
Gigerenzer is a German psychologist, and he has spent his career studying human decision-making. Risk Savvy shows us how misinformed the conclusions of even experts, such as lawyers and doctors, often are and provides a framework for making better choices in the face of uncertainty. It will teach you how to be risk literate.
Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver
Building the habit of thinking in probabilities is the most effective way to make predictions about anything, but it’s not easy. In an age of data overload, we need the skills to understand which variables are relevant and which ones aren’t. Silver, who rose to fame for his impressive predictions in the 2008 US Presidential election, decodes the difference.
Lateral Thinking by Edward De Bono
De Bono is one of the most prolific writers on the art and strategy of thinking. Lateral thinking is a method of solving problems indirectly, termed and invented by De Bono himself. It relies on a more creative and less structured approach than critical thinking. This book is a little dated, and it’s not exactly a page-turner, but it’s worth scanning through to grasp the concept.
Creative Confidence by Tom & David Kelley
Written by the brothers who lead the prestigious design and consulting firm IDEO, this book breaks down the myth that creativity manifests in only a select group of people. And more importantly, it clears up any confusion on what creativity actually is. With easily digestible principles, Creative Confidence shows how anyone can better build and solve.
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward Burger & Michael Starbird
This is a short and concise book written by two mathematics professors. The title explains the general idea. They dissect the process of effective thinking into five simple steps, and each step is practical and to the point. Their experience has its roots in the world of academia, but the methods have application far beyond. It’s a reminder of the power of thinking deliberately.