Recommended Reading

This is a list of books that should interest cognitive investors. I enjoyed reading all of these books.  They are well-written and discuss topics somewhat connected to those covered in Cognitive Investing.

The books on this list are grouped into 5 topics:
1. Behavioral Finance
2. Psychology and Brain Science
3. Economics
4. Investing
5. Miscellaneous

I have chosen some of the best from each group and compiled them into a “Top 15” list.  The full list of recommendations, organized by subject, follows the top 15.

Top 15 books (in alphabetical order by author’s name):

The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely

Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics by Eric D. Beinhocker

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

Make Your Brain Smarter: Increase Your Brain’s Creativity, Energy and Focus by Sandra Bond Chapman

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail – and Why We Believe Them Anyway by Dan Gardner

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on it by Ian Leslie

The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined by Salman Kahn

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

I. O. U. : Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay by John Lancaster

Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen

The End of Average: How to Succeed in a World that Values Sameness by Todd Rose

What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought by Keith E. Stanovich

Lost Connections: Uncovering the Causes of Depression–and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari

Complete list, organized by subject, alphabetized by author’s name:

Behavioral finance:

Snap Judgment: When to Trust Your Instincts, When to Ignore Them, and How to Avoid Making Big Mistakes with Your Money by David E. Adler

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter by Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler

Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior by Jonah Berger

Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently by Gregory Berns

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman

Mean Markets and Lizard Brains: How to Profit from the New Science of Irrationality by Terry Burnham

The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Risk Taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust by John Coates

Thinking in Bets: Making smarter decisions when you don’t have all the facts by Annie Duke

Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton

The Science of Fear: Why We Fear the Things We Shouldn’t–and Put Ourselves in Greater Danger by Daniel Gardner

The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life by Uri Gneezy and John A. List

Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average by Joseph T. Hallinan

How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis

The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing by Michael J. Mauboussin

Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition by Michael J. Mauboussin

The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow

The Little Book of Behavioral Investing: How not to be your own worst enemy by James Montier

Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much  by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir

Investment Madness: How Psychology Affects Your Investing…And What To Do About It by John R. Nofsinger

Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It) by William Poundstone

What Investors Really Want: Know What Drives Investor Behavior and Make Smarter Financial Decisions by Meir Statman

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard Thaler

Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich by Jason Zweig

Psychology and Brain Science:

The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely

The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely

How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett

Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney

Train Your Mind Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves by Sharon Begley

Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal about Getting it Right When You Have To by Sian Beilock

How the Body Knows Its Mind: The Surprising Power of the Physical Environment to Influence How You Think and Feel by Sian Beilock

Mind Over Mind: The Surprising Power of Expectations by Chris Berdik

Well Designed Life: 10 Lessons in Brain Science & Design Thinking for a Mindful, Healthy, and Purposeful Life by Kyra Bobinet

The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World by Anthony Brandt and David Eagleman

Maximum Brainpower: Challenging the Brain for Health and Wisdom by Shlomo Breznitz and Collins Hemingway

The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine

The Male Brain by Louann Brizendine

This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking   edited by John Brockman

Brain Bugs: How the Brain’s Flaws Shape our Lives by Dean Buonomano

Idiot Brain: What Your Head is Really Up To by Dean Burnett

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth about When, Where, and Why it Happens by Benedict Carey

The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brain Christian and Tom Griffiths

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

Make Your Brain Smarter: Increase Your Brain’s Creativity, Energy and Focus by Sandra Bond Chapman

Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Tranform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn by Cathy N. Davidson

The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli

The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge

The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity by Norman Doidge

Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart  by James Doty

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance  by Angela Duckworth

The Brain: The Story of You by David Eagleman

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman

Mindwise: How We Understand What Other Think, Believe, Feel, and Want by Nicholas Epley

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives by Cordelia Fine

Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail – and Why We Believe Them Anyway by Dan Gardner

Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience by Michael Gazzaniga

Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious by Gerd Gigerenzer

Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions by Gerd Gigerenzer

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Todd Gilbert

How We Know What Isn’t So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life by Thomas Gilovich

The Wisest One in the Room: How you can benefit from social psychology’s most powerful insights by Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross

Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan by Francesca Gino

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make us Human by Jonathan Gottschall

The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt

Lost Connections: Uncovering the Causes of Depression–and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari

On Second Thought: Outsmarting Your Mind’s Hard-Wired Habits by Wray Herbert

No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality by Judith Rich Harris

Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril by Margaret Hefferman

The Tell: The Little Clues that Reveal Big Truths about Who We Are by Matthew Hertenstein

Nonsense: the Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes

The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar

Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life by Steven Johnson

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind by Eric Kandel

Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life by Douglas T. Kenrick

The Rational Animal: How evolution made us smarter than we think by Douglas Kenrick and Vladas Griskevicius

The Learning Brain by Torkel Klingberg

Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal

The Eureka Factor: Aha Moments, Creative Insight, and the Brain by John Kounios and Mark Beeman

Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova

The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for it…Every Time by Maria Konnikova

Why Everyone (else) is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind by Robert Kurzban

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the  Age of Information Overload by Daniel Levitin

Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on it by Ian Leslie

Impulse: Why We Do What We Do Without Knowing Why We Do It by David Lewis

The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is not a Disease by Marc Lewis

Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected by Tania Luna and Leeann Renninger

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-control Works, Why it Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of it  by Kelly McGonigal

You are Not so Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself by David McRaney

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina

Brain Rules for Aging Well: 10 Principles for Staying Vital, Happy, and Sharp by John Medina

Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters: From Dating, Shopping, and Praying to Going to War and Becoming a Billionaire– Two Evolutionary Psychologists Explain Why We Do What We Do by Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa

Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior by Geoffrey Miller

The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control by Walter Mischel

Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change by Leonard Mlodinow

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow

The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and Why by Richard E. Nisbett

Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking by Richard Nisbett

Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan

A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention by Matt Richtel

How Risky Is It, Really: Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match the Facts by David Ropiek

The End of Average: How to Succeed in a World that Values Sameness by Todd Rose

Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin Seligman

Connectome: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are by Sebastian Seung

The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain by Tali Sharot

The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and IQ is Wrong by David Shenk

The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies–How we Construct Beliefs and Reinforce them as Truths by Michael Shermer

Blunder: Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions by Zachary Shore

Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation by Daniel Siegel

The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson

The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach

What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought by Keith E. Stanovich

Irrationality: Why We Don’t Think Straight by N. S. Sutherland

Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong by Alina Tugend

The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives by Shankar Vedantam

The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity by Paul Zak

The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd


Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism by George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller

The Fearful Rise of Markets: Global Bubbles, Synchronized Meltdowns, and How To Prevent Them in the Future by John Authers and Mohamed A. El-Erian

Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics by Eric D. Beinhocker

The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World was Created by William J. Bernstein

Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It  by H. W. Brands

How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities by John Cassidy

Paper Promises: Debt, Money, and the New World Order by Philip Coggan

Average is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World by Tyler Cowen

The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street by Justin Fox

Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert Frank

The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World by Tim Harford

I. O. U. : Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay by John Lancaster

The Tyranny of Dead Ideas: Revolutionary Thinking for a New Age of Prosperity by Matt Miller

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

Finance and the Good Society by Robert Shiller

Fool’s Gold: The Inside Story of J.P. Morgan and How Wall St. Greed Corrupted Its Bold Dream and Created a Financial Catastrophe by Gillian Tett

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein

The Support Economy by Shoshanna Zuboff and James Maxin


The Fundamental Index: A Better Way to Invest by Robert D. Arnott, Jason C. Hsu, John M. West, and Harry M. Markowitz

The Investor’s Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between by William J. Bernstein

The Wall Street Self-defense Manual: A Consumer’s Guide to Intelligent Investing by Henry Blodget

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns by John C. Bogle

The Little Book that Saves Your Assets: What the Rich Do to Stay Wealthy in Up and Down Markets by David M. Darst and James J. Cramer

The Lies about Money by Ric Edelman

Investing: The Last Liberal Art by Robert Hagstrom

Debunkery: Learn It, Do It, and Profit from It-Seeing Through Wall Street’s Money-Killing Myths by Ken Fisher and Lara Hoffmans

Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security by Laurence Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller, and Paul Solman

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, Expanded Third Edition by Peter D. Kaufman, Ed Wexler, Warren E. Buffett, and Charles T. Munger

Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything 1966-2012: Collected and expanded by Carol Loomis

Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen

The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money by Carl Richards

I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Irrational Exuberance by Robert J. Shiller

Automate This: How Algorithms came to Rule our World by Christopher Steiner

Unconventional Success: A Fundamental Approach to Personal Investment by David F. Swensen

The Physics of Wall Street: A Brief History of Predicting the Unpredictable by James Owen Weatherall

Miscellaneous categories:

Virtually You: The Dangerous powers of the E-Personality by Elias Aboujaoude

Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter

The Half-life of Facts : Why Everything We Know has an Expiration Date by Samuel Arbesman

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything by Ulrich Boser

Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

The Social Animal by David Brooks

The Social Atom: Why the Rich Get Richer, Cheaters Get Caught, and Your Neighbor Usually Looks Like You by Mark Buchanan

Ubiquity: The Science of History . . . or Why the World Is Simpler Than We Think by Mark Buchanan

The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere by Kevin Carey

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction by Rebecca Costa

The Real Story of Risk: Adventures in a Hazardous World by Glenn Croston

Abundance: The Future is Better than you Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler

How Not To Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg

Risk Intelligence: How to Live with Uncertainty by Dylan Evans

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life by Len Fisher

Wrong: Why experts* keep failing us–and how to know when not to trust them *Scientists, finance wizards, doctors, relationship gurus, celebrity CEOs, … consultants, health officials and more by David H. Freedman

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

Calculated Risks: How to Know When Numbers Deceive You by Gerd Gigerenzer

Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick

Future Crimes: Everything is Connected, Everyone is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make our Children Happier, More Self-reliant, and Better Students for Life by Peter Gray

Mastery by Robert Greene

The Math Myth and Other STEM Delusions by Andrew Hacker

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Does Measurement Measure Up?: How Numbers Reveal & Conceal the Truth by John Henshaw

Eyes Wide Open: How to Make Smart Decisions in a Confusing World by Noreena Hertz

World Peace and Other Fourth Grade Achievements by John Hunter

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined by Salman Kahn

The Wizard and the Prophet: Two remarkable scientists and their dueling visions to shape tomorrow’s world by Charles Mann

Reality is Broken: Why Games Make us Better and How they can Change the World by Jane McGonigal

Head in the Cloud: Why Knowing Things Still Matters WHen Facts Are So Easy to Look Up by William Poundstone

A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science by Barbara Oakley

Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential by Barbara Oakley

Don’t Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style by Randy Olson

Houston, We have a Narrative : Why Science Needs Story by Randy Olsen

Mistreated: Why We Think We’re Getting Good Health Care–And Why We’re Usually Wrong by Robert Pearl

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley

The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley

Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception by Charles Seife

Virtual Unreality by Charles Seife

The Fortune Sellers: The Big Business of Buying and Selling Predictions by William A. Sherden

Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirky

‘The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail–but Some Don’t by Nate Silver

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter

An Optimist’s Tour of the Future:  One Curious Man Sets Out to Answer “What’s Next?” by Mark Stevenson

Outnumbered: From Facebook and Google to fake news adn filter-bubbles – the algorithms that control our lives by David Sumpter

Superforecasting : the Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson

Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle

Future Minds: How the Digital Age is Changing our Minds, Why this Matters, and What can we do about it by Richard Watson

Everything is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer by Duncan Watts

Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread From the Data by Charles Wheelan

American Mania: When More is Not Enough by Peter C. Whybrow

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