Saturday, 8 December 2012

The best psychology books of 2012

It's the season for Christmas book lists and we've trawled through them, looking for the psychology-themed tomes earning a recommendation.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by psychologist Jonathan Haidt - listed by the Sunday Times as one of their favourite thought-provoking books of the year (also chosen by the Guardian as a top psychology book).

In the same Sunday Times category was listed Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, which also won GoodReads vote for best non-fiction of the year.

In its list of the over-looked non-fiction books of the year Slate highlights The Wisdom of Psychopaths by psychologist Kevin Dutton: a "terrifically entertaining and chilling book".

Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad Doctors of Victorian England by Sarah Wise (Bodley Head, £20) - Sebastian Faulks for the Daily Telegraph recommended it, saying "it is an illuminating look at an area of social history that inspired Wilkie Collins among others".

Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired by Till Roenneberg was chosen by Brain Pickings as one of the best science books of the year.

This year's British Psychological Society book award went to Dorling Kindersley's The Psychology Book: "An innovative and accessible guide designed for readers new to psychology."

In Amazon's list of the best non-fiction books of the year was The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg.

Barnes and Noble listed Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon as one of the best non-fiction books of the year: "This crucial and revelatory book expands our definition of what it is to be human." (also chosen by the NYT as one of the 10 best books of the year).

The Guardian published a list of the best psychology books of the year, highlighting Beyond Human Nature by Jesse J Prinz: "shows how on most of the points on which evolutionary psychologists like to reflect, humans are shaped far more by their culture than by nature."

The Sunday Times chose Pieces of Light: The New Science of Memory by psychologist Charles Fernyhough as one of their favourite science books of the year: "a book about memory that is also a memoir".

The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Risk-taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust, by John Coates was listed by the Daily Telegraph as one of the year's best science books: "No one is better qualified to analyse the biology of banking than Coates, a trader turned neuroscientist."

Last but not least, James Gleick's The Information won this year's Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books: "tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness."
Post compiled by Digest editor Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer), whose Rough Guide to Psychology is still available from all good book shops. 


Kaitlyn S. C Hatch said...

I love lists like these!

Sarrah said...

Thanks Christian Jarrett for such a nice post. List of your books is fantastic. Further more you can also see this sit for the collection of "Psychology Books".

Anonymous said...

Love the list - shame there are no direct links to Amazon UK so I could add them to my Xmas wishlist! Perhaps in future?

Unknown said...

You left out The Strategic Intelligence of Trust, available at Amazon, and free for Kindle readers.

Anonymous said...

I like list like this too - it's a shame it's too late for my Christmas list. Maybe I'll use it for next year's.

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