Reading is brain food like no other, and reading is a great way to develop and sharpen your critical thinking skills. A while back we wrote about the 10 best inquiry-based learning books around. This time, we turn our attention to some of the critical thinking books that are worth a spot on your reading list.
These titles are great for gaining skill development, awareness, and appreciation for the importance of critical thinking skills. Such skills are vital to our learners’ success in and out of school. Not only that, they’re skills for everyone, and honing their edge can be a whole lot of fun with the right tools.
That’s what you’ll find and more in the bevy of brainy books on this shortlist. If there are others you’d like to recommend, we’d love to hear your experiences with them.
Now, read on in the name of critical thinking.
10 of the Best Books About Critical Thinking
The Critical Thinking Companion—Wabisabi Learning
Publisher: Wabisabi Learning
Book Description: The Critical Thinking Companion is packed full of cool tools, engaging games and activities, and lots of brain-boosting challenges in full colour. It’s a critical compendium for any modern teacher, including more than 25 challenging games and activities and 6 exciting project-based learning scenarios. You’ll also receive a full rubric framework for assessing critical thinking skills and many other resources for understanding and instruction. It’s got everything you need and more for developing and assessing critical thinking in your students.
Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills—Michael Kalle
Book Description: Think Smarter is filled with real-world examples that demonstrate how critical thinking works in action, in addition to dozens of practice exercises applicable across industries and functions.
Think Smarter is a versatile resource for individuals, managers, students, and corporate training programs.
Wait, What?: And Life's Other Essential Questions—James E. Ryan
Publisher: Harper Collins
Book Description: Using examples from politics, history, popular culture, and social movements, as well as his own personal life, James E. Ryan demonstrates how essential inquiries generate understanding, spark curiosity, initiate progress, fortify relationships, and draw our attention to the important things in life. At once hilarious and illuminating, poignant and surprising, Wait, What? is an inspiring book of wisdom that will forever change the way you think about questions.
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Description: Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions. Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence that the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn, but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms.
A Short Course in Intellectual Self-Defense—Normand Baillargeon
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Book Description: In A Short Course in Intellectual Self-Defense, historian and educator Normand Baillargeon provides readers with the tools to see through the spin and jargon of everyday politics and news reporting in order to decide for themselves what is at stake, and how to ask the necessary questions to protect themselves from the manipulations of the media.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
Book Description: Thomas Gilovich offers a guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life, documenting the cognitive, social, and motivational processes that distort our thoughts, beliefs, judgments, and decisions. In a rapidly changing world, the biases and stereotypes that help us process an overload of complex information inevitably distort what we would like to believe is reality. Awareness of our propensity to make these systematic errors, Gilovich argues, is the first step to more effective analysis and action.
Asking the Right Questions—M. Neil Browne & Stuart M. Keeley
Book Description: Asking the Right Questions helps students bridge the gap between simply memorizing or blindly accepting information, and the greater challenge of critical analysis and synthesis. Specifically, this concise text teaches students to think critically by exploring the components of arguments—issues, conclusions, reasons, evidence, assumptions, and language—and how to spot fallacies and manipulations and obstacles to critical thinking in both written and visual communication. It further teaches them to respond to alternative points of view and develop a solid foundation for making personal choices about what to accept and what to reject.
A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age—Daniel J. Levitin
Book Description: In A Field Guide to Lies, neuroscientist Daniel Levitin outlines the many pitfalls of the information age and provides the means to spot and avoid them. Levitin groups his field guide into two categories—statistical information and faulty arguments—ultimately showing how science is the bedrock of critical thinking. Faced with a world too eager to flood us with information, the best response is to be prepared. A Field Guide to Lies helps us avoid learning a lot of things that aren't true.
The Unlimited Mind—Zoe McKey
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Book Description: This book collects all the tips, tricks, and tactics of the most successful people to help you develop your inner smartness. The Unlimited Mind will show you how to think smarter and find your inner genius. It's a collection of research and scientific studies about better decision-making, fairer judgments, and intuition improvement. It takes a critical look at our everyday cognitive habits and points out small but serious mistakes that are easily correctable.
How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age—Theodore Schick & Lewis Vaughn
Book Description: How to Think About Weird Things helps students to think critically, using examples from the beliefs that abound in our culture to demonstrate the sound evaluation of any claim. It explains step-by-step how to sort through reasons, evaluate evidence, and tell when a claim (no matter how strange) is likely to be true. The authors focus on types of logical arguments and proofs, making How to Think About Weird Things a versatile supplement for logic, critical thinking, philosophy of science, or any other science appreciation courses.