Monday, March 30, 2009

How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer

I've blogged about Lehrer's other book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist, before so I won't gush over it too much here, click over if you're interested.  I've talked my book group into reading it this year (October) and I contact Mr. Lehrer about discussion questions.  He emailed me back promptly (!!!) to say that he hoped to include discussion questions in the next edition of the paperback.  I'll take it!  Otherwise I have to make them up myself which I can do but it's a pain.

So, anyway, on to decision making.  If you don't think you can read science writing, I sincerely hope you'll pick up one or both of these books and give them a try.  Simply put, in this book Mr. Lehrer does a bang up job of explaining how the brain makes decisions.  From pilots to firefighters to professional poker players, brains perform some impressive stunts (specifically the frontal cortex).  The stories he uses to illustrate the form and function of the brain structures he talks about are clear and very easy to understand.  I will never look at my brain the same way again, nor will I trivialize my emotions as I have done in the past.  It seems that without your emotions, as inconvenient as they may sometimes be, you would be unable to make decisions about AnYtHiNg At AlL!

Short chapters, fascinating information, a fun, informal tone, and some hardcore science combine to make kickass reading.  I read this in two evenings and can hardly wait to go buy my own copy after I turn this one back in to the library!


Anonymous said...

i love books where i learn things! i'm a big non-fiction fan and the cover of this book alone merits my interest! thanks for pointing me in the direction of an author i haven't heard of before!

Holley T said...

Get both Proust was a Neuroscientist AND How We won't be disappointed!