Category Archives: Book Reviews

The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children by Alison Gopnik

Parents—a noun, something an individual may be—have existed for as long as there have been children. The idea of “parenting” as a verb, something one does, is a new, odd, and problematic cultural change for parents and children alike. Alison

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Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion by Paul Bloom

“Empathy can motivate kindness to individuals that makes the world better.” Paul Bloom, the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University, asserts this emphatically. Yet, Bloom makes a compelling case for reducing our reliance on empathy in

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Innovating Minds: Rethinking Creativity to Inspire Change by Wilma Koutstaal and Jonathan Binks

How can creativity and innovation give rise to positive changes in ourselves and the world around us? Wilma Koutstaal, University of Minnesota Professor of Psychology, and Jonathan Binks, who runs the organization InnovatingMinds4Change, tackle this challenging question in their book

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Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky

Humans are capable of horrifying aggression, dehumanization, destruction, and violence and at the same time inspirational altruism, compassion, and forgiveness. Drawing on an astounding array of evidence from across subfields within biology, neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology, Robert M. Sapolsky explains

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Bold Moves for Schools: How We Create Remarkable Learning Environments by Heidi Hayes Jacob and Marie Hubley Alcock

Today’s learners have different needs than those of yesterday. Educators and policy makers, therefore, need to rethink optimal learning environments. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, founder and president of Curriculum Designers, and Marie Hubley Alcock, president of the education consulting company Learning

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The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads by Daniel Willingham

Reading is a complex cognitive task. How is it that our minds are able to read? Daniel T. Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and acclaimed author, tackles that question in his book The Reading Mind:

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The Brain: The Story of You by David Eagleman

As an easy-to-read and engaging textbook or as a scientifically accurate and detailed popular psychology book, David Eagleman’s The Brain: The Story of You is an ideal book for people seeking to teach themselves an introduction to cognitive neuroscience and

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The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World by Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen

People are inherently information seekers. In today’s high-tech world this tendency can draw us to distraction and keep us from accomplishing our goals. Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco, and Larry Rosen, a psychologist at

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Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-about-me World by Michele Borba

Children and adolescents with greater empathy tend to be happier, more successful, more resilient, and more critical in their thinking. Dr. Michele Borba, educational psychologist and psychology expert on several TV programs, argues in Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in

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The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey

Imagine your son leaving for school with his homework forgotten on the kitchen table or your daughter’s soccer coach consistently giving her less playing time than you think she deserves. Jessica Lahey, middle school teacher, New York Times columnist, and

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