Books to Make You Bright

Get a little smarter this winter!

December 5, 2022

Is there anything more satisfying that a great book that entertains and makes you smarter? This list of books will do just that.

Dive into the science of the human mind, language, YouTube algorithms, chemistry, fascinating corners of history—and more!

Need more enlightenment? Check out last year’s list!


Thinking 101 by Woo-Kyoung Ahn

Thinking 101
How To Reason Better To Live Better

Woo-Kyoung Ahn

Yale Psychologist Woo-kyoung Ahn explains why our judgment is so often wrong-and offers actionable strategies to help us respond to real-life challenges as individuals and as societies at large.

Ten Tomatoes That Changed The World by William Alexander

Ten Tomatoes That Changed The World
A History

William Alexander

This entertaining, and meticulously researched, microhistory of the most popular vegetable in America, which is now redefining the very nature of farming, is a fascinating story complete with heroes, con artists, conquistadors and the Mafia.

Pretty Good House by Dan Kolbert, Emily Mottram, Michael Maines, Christopher Briley

Pretty Good House
A Guide To Creating Better Homes

Dan Kolbert, Emily Mottram, Michael Maines, Christopher Briley

Pretty Good House provides a framework and set of guidelines for building or renovating a high-performance home that focus on its inhabitants and the environment–but keeps in mind that few people have pockets deep enough to achieve a “perfect” solution. The essential idea is for homeowners to work within their financial and practical constraints both to meet their own needs and do as much for the planet as possible.

The Blue Zones American Kitchen by Dan Buettner

The Blue Zones American Kitchen
100 Recipes To Live To 100

Dan Buettner

With wisdom from more than fifty food experts, chefs, and cooks around the country, the best-selling Blue Zones Kitchen author follows the acumen of heritage cooks who have passed their recipes from generation to generation, uncovering the regions and cultures that have shaped America’s healthiest food landscapes.

The Biggest Ideas In The Universe by Sean Carroll

The Biggest Ideas In The Universe
Space, Time, And Motion

Sean Carroll

A theoretical physicist, and a genius for making complex notions entertaining, shows how physics offers deep insights into the workings of the universe, in this inspiring introduction to a way of seeing that will resonate across cultural and generation boundaries for many years to come.

The 12-Hour Art Expert by Noah Charney

The 12-Hour Art Expert
Everything You Need To Know About Art In A Dozen Masterpieces

Noah Charney

Provides a fun, full-color, crash course in art appreciation in a down-to-earth, quirky, and personal manner by one of the world’s best-known art historians.

How To Have Difficult Conversations About Race by Kwame Christian

How To Have Difficult Conversations About Race
Practical Tools For Necessary Change In The Workplace And Beyond

Kwame Christian

How to Have Difficult Conversations About Race equips you with the skills you need to make crucial conversations about race easier and more productive.

Minimalista by Shira Gill

Your Step-By-Step Guide To A Better Home, Wardrobe, And Life

Shira Gill

Making organization fun and easy, the creative force behind a lifestyle brand and popular blog, for the first time, shares her complete took kit based on five steps that redefine minimalism as having the perfect amount of everything.

If Nietzsche Were A Narwhal by Justin Gregg

If Nietzsche Were A Narwhal
What Animal Intelligence Reveals About Human Stupidity

Justin Gregg

In this thought-provoking and entertaining book, a scientist reveals how human intelligence may actually be hindrance, and how the animal kingdom, in all its diversity, gets by just fine without it.

Grow More Food by Colin McCrate, Brad Halm

Grow More Food
A Vegetable Gardener’s Guide To Getting The Biggest Harvest Possible From A Space Of Any Size

Colin McCrate, Brad Halm

The owners of the Seattle Urban Farm Company explain how to boost garden productivity through interactive tools that can help home gardeners know how, when and what to plant, evaluate crop health and store the harvest.

Wire-Wrapped Jewelry For Beginners by Lora S Irish

Wire-Wrapped Jewelry For Beginners
Step-By-Step Illustrated Techniques, Tools, And Inspiration

Lora S Irish

Wire wrapping is a quick and easy technique that will take your jewelry making to the next level. A little wire, a few simple tools, and some brightly colored beads are all you need to start creating your own intriguing fashion statements.

The Puzzler by A. J. Jacobs

The Puzzler
One Man’s Quest To Solve The Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, From Crosswords To Jigsaws To The Meaning Of Life

A. J. Jacobs

The New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically goes on a journey to understand the enduring power of puzzles: why we love them, what they do to our brains, and how they can improve our world.

The Infographic Guide To Grammar by Jara Kern

The Infographic Guide To Grammar
A Visual Reference For Everything You Need To Know

Jara Kern

An infographic guide breaks down the complicated rules and guidelines for writing the English language and makes them clear and straightforward.

Nfts by Tiana Laurence, Seoyoung Kim


Tiana Laurence, Seoyoung Kim

In this book, you’ll learn how you can get in the mix and start making your own digital commodity moves. Find out where to buy and sell NFTs, how they work, and how to build your own tokens. Don’t wait a moment longer. Jump into the NFT arena now and hold on if you can!

The 6 Phase Meditation Method by Vishen Lakhiani

The 6 Phase Meditation Method
The Proven Technique To Supercharge Your Mind, Manifest Your Goals, And Make Magic In Minutes A Day

Vishen Lakhiani

Leading a revolution in meditation, an entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author, after interviewing nearly 1,000 neuroscientists, monks, yogis and meditation experts over years of study, creates The 6 Phase Meditation Method, a magic-making, joy-creating, productivity-inducing protocol empowering you to get focused, find peace and manifest your goals.

How To Create A Wildlife Garden by Christine Lavelle, Michael Lavelle

How To Create A Wildlife Garden
Encouraging Birds, Bees, Butterflies And Bugs Into Your Outside Space

Christine Lavelle, Michael Lavelle

An inspiring and accessible award-winning book shows how simple gardening techniques can provide a dazzling plant display while helping the native wildlife.

Principles Of Web Design by Brian D Miller

Principles Of Web Design

Brian D Miller

Learn everything there is to know, from project planning through marketing and analytics, about Web design.

Long-Term Care by Nolo

Long-Term Care
How To Plan And Pay For It


This book is meant to help anyone who may need to make decisions about long-term care, either for themselves or for someone else. It discusses how to choose options for home care, assisted living, and nursing homes; how to get the most out of Medicaid, Medicare, and veterans’ programs; how to evaluate whether long-term care insurance is worth the significant expense; consideration of the special needs of loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s; and protecting loved ones from elder fraud.

Credit Repair by Amy Loftsgordon, Cara O'Neill

Credit Repair

Amy Loftsgordon, Cara O’Neill

The sensible strategies in this book will help the reader take control of their finances, clean up their credit report, and rebuild their credit. This book discusses how to prioritize debts and create a budget, reduce debts and cut expenses, negotiate with creditors, correct credit report errors and remove old information, add positive information to a credit report, adopt strategies to rebuild credit, and avoid identity theft and credit repair scams.

The Power Of Regret by Daniel H Pink

The Power Of Regret
How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward

Daniel H Pink

Drawing on research in social psychology, neuroscience and biology, as well as true stories and practical takeaways, this book lays out a dynamic new way of thinking about regret to help us live richer, more engaged lives.

The Neuroscience Of You by Chantel Prat

The Neuroscience Of You
How Every Brain Is Different And How To Understand Yours

Chantel Prat

Featuring real-world examples, tests and quizzes, this revelatory book, through unique and surprising research, shows how each brain is actually very different, both in structure and function, exactly why these variations are important and what it means for all of us.

The Sleep Prescription by Aric Prather

The Sleep Prescription
Seven Days To Unlocking Your Best Rest

Aric Prather

A licensed clinical psychologist who runs one of the world’s most successful sleep clinics shares the powerful solutions he uses to help his patients achieve healing and restorative sleep, in this book that teaches you how to get out of your own way over the course of seven days to sleep well.

Origin by Jennifer Raff

A Genetic History Of The Americas

Jennifer Raff

From celebrated genetic anthropologist Jennifer Raff comes the untold story-and fascinating mystery-of how humans migrated to the Americas.

How To Invest by David M Rubenstein

How To Invest
Masters On The Craft

David M Rubenstein

Rubenstein, who has spent more than three decades in the hypercompetitive world of private equity, now distills everything he’s learned about the art and craft of investing, from venture capital, real estate, private equity, hedge funds, to crypto, endowments, SPACs, ESG, and more.

Smart Brevity by Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, Roy Schwartz

Smart Brevity
The Power Of Saying More With Less

Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, Roy Schwartz

Sharing lessons learned from their decades of experience in media, business and communications, the co-founders of Axios present this writing and communications manifesto for the information age that teaches readers how to say more with less in virtually any format.

Good Arguments by Bo Seo

Good Arguments
How Debate Teaches Us To Listen And Be Heard

Bo Seo

A two-time world champion debater and former coach of the Harvard debate team discusses how competitive debating changed his life and find his voice and shows readers how they can improve communication with friends, family and colleagues.

Birding Basics by Noah Strycker

Birding Basics
Tips, Tools & Techniques For Great Bird-Watching

Noah Strycker

A colorful and comprehensive handbook packed with all the basic skills and knowledge you need to become a better birder.

Influenced by Brian Boxer Wachler

The Impact Of Social Media On Our Perception

Brian Boxer Wachler

This book unpacks what happens to our brains and our behaviors each time we click ‘Like’ or even just scroll for new content on social media. Through interviews with top influencers, the latest studies, and pop-culture anecdotes, and Dr. Boxer Wachler’s own expertise as both a scientist and an influencer himself, he reveals how influence works.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Universe by Jorge Cham, Daniel Whiteson

Frequently Asked Questions About The Universe

Jorge Cham, Daniel Whiteson

A physics professor and a popular online cartoonist use their signature brand of humor honed on their podcast “Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe” to provide short, accessible and lighthearted answers to questions about time, space, gravity, and wormholes.

My Hygge Home by Meik Wiking

My Hygge Home
How To Make Home Your Happy Place

Meik Wiking

Inspired by Danish design and traditions, this inspiring new book, featuring tips based on new research from The Happiness Institute in Copenhagen, shows you how to turn your home into a cozy sanctuary no matter how much space you have or what your budget is