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Level Up Your Brain Game with the Top 10 Books That Make You Smarter

Feeling intellectually stagnant? Spark your curiosity and become a smarter, more informed you with Blinkist's top 10 books that make you smarter. Explore history, science, finance, and more - all in bite-sized summaries that fit your busy schedule.
by Chris Allmer | Mar 26 2024
Level Up Your Brain Game: Top 10 Books That Make You Smarter

Ever feel like your brain is stuck on repeat? Wish you could learn new things and challenge yourself intellectually? You’re not alone! Reading is a superpower for boosting brainpower, but with countless books out there, where do you start?

And that’s where Blinkist comes in, like your superhero sidekick for reading. We squeeze the big ideas from the best books into short summaries that you can read or listen to. This way, you get the main points and can decide if you want to dive deeper or jump to the next thing. You’re the boss!

And guess what? Today, we’ve got a special treat for you: The Top 10 Books That Make You Smarter. We’re not saying you need them; we’re suggesting that it never hurts to optimize your daily routine, your career, or your personal life.

The Top 10 Books That Make You Smarter


1. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

With this book summary, you’ll gain a richer understanding of history by exploring events through the lens of those often silenced. This fosters critical thinking skills and a nuanced appreciation for social justice issues and the complexities of human history.

You want to dive deeper into the American story? Blinkist offers a curated collection exploring the forces that shaped our nation, from the founding fathers to contemporary challenges. Read the story of America here.

2. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Wanna learn more about literally everything? Bill Bryson’s book takes you on an exciting trip through science, from the huge bang of the universe to tiny bugs. It’s fun, makes you think, and shows how amazing our world is. 

Did you know? If you could squeeze out all the empty space from the atoms making up every human on Earth, the entire human race would fit into an apple! (Look, this book already made you a bit smarter.)

3. Focus by Daniel Goleman

In this Blinkist book summary, you learn that focusing is like a mental muscle. The more you work it, the stronger your ability to make smart decisions and do better in every part of your life. Mastering focus is like gaining a mental superpower!

Daniel Goleman, the bestselling author renowned for his contributions to emotional intelligence, will guide you on how to develop this muscle, making it smarter and more efficient.

4. How We Learn by Benedict Carey

By understanding how your brain learns, you can develop effective study habits and optimize your learning process. This book discusses surprising factors that influence learning, like sleep and spaced repetition, empowering you to become a more informed and effective learner.

Fun Fact: Did you know that studies have shown that chewing gum while studying and then again while taking a test can improve memory and test performance? So, next time you’re hitting the books, don’t forget to grab your favorite gum for a little memory magic!

5. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

When it comes to finance, there may be just one person out there who truly knows how to make you smarter and teach you about money. You’ll discover how the rich approach money differently. This book empowers you to make informed financial decisions and build long-term wealth.

Want to discover more books like Rich Dad Poor Dad? Swing by our article and check out 20 awesome books that mirror this standout in personal finance.

Remember, wealth creation involves assets generating income, not just a high salary. Financial literacy is a cornerstone of personal empowerment. And if you want to learn more about Mr. Kiyosaki himself, check out this article: Thousands Swear By the Lessons in Rich Dad Poor Dad: I Gave It A Go

6. Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide To Money by Dave Ramsey

With Dave Ramsey’s summary, you’ll gain a holistic approach to financial well-being. This book can make you smarter with practical steps for budgeting, saving, managing debt, and investing. 

Taking control of your finances reduces stress and empowers you to achieve your financial goals, making you more informed about managing your resources.

And if you want to take your net worth to the next level? Then follow the advice in these best investing books, so you can add some commas in your account statements in no time. Check out our list of Master Your Money with Today’s Best Investing Books.

7. If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? by Raj Raghunathan

That’s quite a good question, isn’t it? You can read all the books that make you smarter, but who guarantees you’ll also be happier? In this book summary, you’ll learn to recognize negative thought patterns and habits that hinder your happiness.

Simple shifts in mindset and behavior can significantly improve your overall well-being. This newfound self-awareness empowers you to make smarter choices for your mental and emotional health.

8. The Greatest Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Although the book focuses on happiness, the core concept of harnessing the mind’s potential can be applied to spark creative problem-solving and innovative thinking, expanding your mental agility.

Think of it as a mental gym, where you pump up your problem-solving skills and flex your innovative thinking muscles. So, when life throws challenges your way, you’re not just equipped to handle them—you’re ready to tackle them with a creativity and make smart decisions.

9. How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell

This leadership guru argues success hinges on more than just positivity – it’s about cultivating a mindset of strategic thinking, embracing challenges, and empathizing with others. 

Learn from historical figures and successful contemporaries, and discover the mental roadblocks holding you back.

And mastering these skills requires discipline. But no worries, we also got your back in this field of personal development. Blinkist offers a curated collection of the best books on discipline, providing key strategies for personal growth in concise summaries. 

10. Being Time Smart: Ashley Whillans

And coming in at number ten on our list of the top ten books that make you smarter is “Being Time Smart” by Ashley Whillans, featured on “Beyond the To-Do List” hosted by Erik Fisher. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking—podcasts aren’t books, but stick with me on this one!

Join the conversation as Ashley Whillans, Harvard professor and speaker, explains the importance of a time audit and shares insights on how to thrive in the world of remote work. 

So, if you’re craving some real talk on productivity and meaningful living, hit play on “Bing Time Smart” and get ready to level up your time management skills. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on this podcast gold!

Blinkist and What We Have Learned From the 10 Books That Make You Smarter

There you have it! Our top ten picks for books that will equip you with valuable knowledge and empower you to become a smarter, more well-rounded individual. Remember, this is just the beginning of your intellectual journey.

The beauty of Blinkist is that it gives you a taste of these incredible books and more than 7,500 others. With our library, you can explore a broad array of topics and discover what sparks your curiosity.

Are you ready for a lifelong learning adventure? You can now sign up for your exclusive free 7-day Blinkist trial and get free access to all the books and podcasts in our “Top 10 books that make you smarter” reading list.

Start your free 7-day trial

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