10 Nonfiction Books That Will Make You Smarter

10 Thought-Provoking Nonfiction Books That Will Make You Smarter

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, reading is a relaxing activity to do. When you pick up a piece of fiction, you dive into another world that has nothing to do with the stresses of your life. So when it comes to nonfiction books, it is easy to shy away from them. Don’t let nonfiction books fool you. There are plenty out there that have nothing to do with your personal life or the work you do. You may find that a nonfiction book still gives you escape from reality you want in a way you’ve never considered. As a bonus, you get to learn more and expand your knowledge on various topics.

Take a look at these ten nonfiction books that will make you smarter, just in time for the school year!

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie


A classic piece of nonfiction that everyone should read. Dale Carnegie’s time-tested advice has helped millions gain the success that they strive for. Within these pages, you’ll learn ways to make people like you, get others to agree with your thinking, and ways to change others without losing them as a friend. All of these are tough situations that many find themselves in. With Carnegie’s advice, it won’t be so difficult anymore.





The History of Knowledge by Charles Van Doren

historyofthinkingEvery idea, every invention, every thought mankind has had lie within 448 pages of this encyclopedic guide. The History of Knowledge is easy to understand and explains how humans got to be where they are today. It also goes on to explains climates, social conditions, and politics that helped shape our society. It is a thought-provoking read that’s perfect for any book club!





The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

moneyThe Total Money Makeover isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme by any means. Dave Ramsey gives it to you straight and doesn’t sugar-coat anything. If you’re in debt, he’ll show you how to get out of debt. If you’re saving for a house but still want to enjoy life, he’ll explain how to do it. In The Total Money Makeover, Ramsey teaches good money habits that are realistic to follow. You’ll gain the smarts you need to go through life without worrying about finances. 





A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking


At one point or another, you’ve probably asked the same question that we all ask, “How did the universe begin?” Genius Stephen Hawking offers more thought-provoking questions and potential answers in his book, A Brief History of Time. Hawking explains the big bang theory, black holes, and even God in plain English so that those who know nothing about science can understand. An excellent read if you are looking to challenge your thoughts about the wonderous universe we live in.





What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

whatifAnother nonfiction book to pick up if you are looking for something to challenge your mind is, What If by Randall Munroe. Get ready to get the answers to some of the strangest questions someone could think of. One of the funniest books available that has plenty of research to back up the answers to a question like, “If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last?” Curious to know the answer, then you’ll want to pick up this read to find out!





Moonwalking with Einstein Joshua Foer


Ever wish you had a better memory? Author Joshua Foer wanted to. His quest to improve his memory took him on a yearlong journey. Foer basis his findings off of research on memory and the history of remembering.







Thinking, Fast and Slow by Dan Kahneman

fastandslowDan Kahneman defines that there ate two systems that drive our thoughts. The first system is fast and emotional, while the other is slow and logical. Only by understanding the two systems, can you begin to make better decisions. An enlightening book that also gives you the techniques that will help when you encounter a “mental glitch.”






Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson


Foodie and author Bee Wilson goes way back in time to how humans used to eat and how it shaped their culture. From cavemen to the Renaissance and beyond, Wilson discusses the history of our kitchens and culinary tools. A wonderful and witty piece that shows how the kitchen tools we have now shouldn’t be taken for granted!






Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

hiddenTalk about a story that will empower any woman to be who she wants to be! Hidden Figures tells the story of the African American women who helped NASA calculate the numbers that would launch rockets into space. The story takes place when America was still segregated and these talented mathematicians, referred to as computers, were separated from their fellow coworkers. If anything at all, watch the film!





The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

manandhatThe title alone is intriguing! The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat explores neurological disorders and the power of the human spirit. The title of the book comes from one of Oliver Sacks most interesting cases where a man literally confused his wife for a hat. The Man Who Mistook His Wife answers questions society has about the secrets lie behind the human mind.





Interested in reading all of these books before you step into your first lecture? When you take one of our speed reading courses, you’ll learn practical strategies to enhance your comprehension so you can remember more of what you read. Check out all of our courses today and see how when you work with us at Iris Reading, you can do more in less time.

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  • JR Doner

    Looking forward to the courses and love the various book recommendations.