Blinkist Staff Picks (32 books)
Curated by Blinkist
We have blinked over 1500 books for you, here are our personal favorites.
470
Mindset

Mindset (2006) discusses the differences between people with a fixed mindset versus those with a growth mindset. Our mindset determines the way we deal with tough situations and setbacks as well as our willingness to deal with and improve ourselves. This book demonstrates how we can achieve our goals by changing our mindset.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“These blinks really make a compelling case for why you shouldn’t take failure personally, and never think you’re done learning."

– Ben H, Head of Editorial at Blinkist

Carol Dweck
470
The Black Jacobins

The Black Jacobins traces the remarkable history of the revolution in the French colony of San Domingo (modern day Haiti). It describes the events that helped the revolution become the first successful slave rebellion in history.

In particular, The Black Jacobins views the events through the prism of the revolution’s greatest figure, Toussaint L’Ouverture. It shows how he, a former slave who was inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, successfully defeated the European empires and helped to destroy the brutal practice of slavery in San Domingo.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“One of my favorite things about Blinkist is that it helps you learn about topics you might not delve into otherwise. In my case, without these blinks I probably never would have known about this fascinating bit of Haitian history.”

– Ben H, Head of Editorial at Blinkist

C.L.R. James
470
The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit explains how important a role habits play in our lives, from brushing our teeth to smoking to exercising, and how exactly those habits are formed. The research and anecdotes in The Power of Habit provide easy tips for changing habits both individually as well as in organizations. The book spent over 60 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“Having tried and failed several times to pick up good habits like morning meditation, I found these blinks really helped me understand the root of the problem.”

– Ben H, Head of Editorial at Blinkist

Charles Duhigg
470
Influence

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (1984) explains in detail the fundamental principles of persuasion that get us to say yes, including how they are used against us by compliance professionals like salespeople, advertisers and con artists. Knowing these principles will allow you both to become a skilled persuader yourself and to defend yourself against manipulation attempts.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“I love all the quirks and oddities of human behavior showcased in these blinks, they make for great conversation!”

– Ben H, Head of Editorial at Blinkist

Robert B. Cialdini
470
59 Seconds

59 seconds (2010) lays out some handy tips and insights backed by scientific research. Apply them today, and experience the change you want in your life.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“I love these blinks because of their surprising, and surprisingly easy to use, tips. The email technique to catch liars is one of my favorite little hacks ever.”

– Ben S, Audio Lead at Blinkist

Richard Wiseman
470
Daily Rituals

Daily Rituals (2013) is an entertaining and illuminating collection of the daily routines of great minds and artists. Including the work habits of people such as Jane Austen, Ludwig van Beethoven and Pablo Picasso, it offers insights into the best ways to maximize efficiency and prevent writer’s block, as well as tips on how to get by in the creative world.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“Just the morning routines alone would make these blinks worthwhile, but I especially love hearing about some of the eccentricities of my favorite artists – like Beethoven and his coffee beans.”

– Ben S, Audio Lead at Blinkist

Mason Currey
470
Hatching Twitter

Hatching Twitter tells the story of the four men responsible for Twitter as we know it. It’s a tale of backstabbing, superstar glory and billions of dollars that chronicles the drama and defining decisions that made Twitter what it is today.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“Who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy?! I love how these blinks tell the story of Twitter in a way that now I really feel like I understand the stories of Ev and Jack.”

– Ben S, Audio Lead at Blinkist

Nick Bilton
470
The Sports Gene

The Sports Gene takes a look at the physiological traits that are beneficial in various sports, and at their hereditary background. It also examines why people in certain parts of the world have evolved in their particular way, and how this is beneficial in the realm of certain sports.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“In comparison to the famous 10,000-Hour rule, these blinks opened my eyes to some of the other ways people become great. Plus, I had a great time talking to Epstein about the book on the Blinkist podcast.”

– Ben S, Audio Lead at Blinkist

David Epstein
470
The Creative Habit

In The Creative Habit (2003) internationally acclaimed choreographer Twyla Tharp shares the approaches, habits and routines that keep her creativity honed and active. Drawing on her own experiences with creative projects and overcoming creative hurdles, she offers simple exercises and specific examples that can help you tap into your individual creativity and achieve your goals.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“I’ve never forgotten these blinks’ tips on creativity. I even used a system similar to the box of index cards mentioned in the third blink when working on a freelance project.”

– Ben S, Audio Lead at Blinkist

Twyla Tharp
470
Antifragile

Some things seem to improve if they are placed in environments of volatility and unpredictability. Antifragile analyzes why this is the case. It suggests that this quality has been vital for the progress of human civilization since ancient times.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb takes a critical look at modern society and its aim to smooth out life by interfering in systems like the economy. Far from making society a better place, this interfering nature is destroying the volatile environment essential for antifragility to take place.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“These blinks changed the way I think about systems and processes. They explain how, while most things break when they’re put under stress, a few, incredibly important things get stronger and stronger. If we want to build a world where things keep getting better, these blinks are critical reading.”

– Thomas, English Editorial Lead at Blinkist

Nicholas Nassim Taleb
470
The Sleepwalkers

Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers takes a fresh look at the outbreak of the First World War, focusing on the alliances established among Europe’s nations in the years leading up to 1914. In his compelling and masterful account, Clark examines the decisions, both big and small, that led to the outbreak, and investigates the common belief that the war was an inevitability.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“These blinks present a clear and convincing explanation of how the world slid into the First World War. They suggest that the nations and empires of Europe ended up in conflict almost by accident. I found them fascinating, not only because of their description of politics 100 years ago, but also because of what they tell us about the world today.”

– Thomas, English Editorial Lead at Blinkist

Christopher Clark
470
Quirkology

Quirkology (2007) takes a uniquely scientific look at some common questions that are often dismissed as trivial: What kind of impact does astrology have on our lives? Is the number 13 really unlucky? Can a joke truly be harmful? And more!

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“These blinks are fantastic! They look into academic studies of the weird and wonderful to explain many of our quirks and peculiarities. For example, did you know you can tell a liar by the way they draw a “Q”? And that black cats are nothing to be feared? These blinks are just packed with fascinating anecdotes and examples.”

– Thomas, English Editorial Lead at Blinkist

Richard Wiseman
470
The Greatest Show on Earth

The Greatest Show on Earth (2009) tackles the arguments made by the creationists who deny that evolution is a scientific fact, and shows their criticisms to be false.

Richard Dawkins provides the evidence that explains how the wide variety of life on Earth has developed through the process of evolution by natural selection, a process first discovered by Charles Darwin in 1859.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“I love these blinks as they present the evidence for the evolution of life on Earth. By explaining phenomena like natural selection, gene mutation and convergent evolution, these blinks are a clear and memorable introduction to how the planet’s great spectrum of life developed.”

– Thomas, English Editorial Lead at Blinkist

Richard Dawkins
470
The Soul of an Octopus

The Soul of an Octopus (2015) is about a fascinating sea creature that few people appreciate. Octopuses may appear like alien creatures, with their tentacles and suckers, but in fact, they are brilliant, intriguing creatures.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“Before I read these blinks, I had no idea that octopuses were such intelligent creatures. Far from being simple, unthinking blobs, they are superb problem-solvers with unique personalities.”

– Thomas, English Editorial Lead at Blinkist

Sy Montgomery
470
Catch Me If You Can

Frank Abagnale’s story of swindling millions of dollars from unwitting victims while posing as a pilot, lawyer and professor is the stuff of legend. In Catch Me If You Can (1980), he tells his tale.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

I loved these blinks for their glimpse into the incredible life of con artist Frank Abagnale. Although he was a swindler and criminal, the part where he is thrown into solitary confinement still made me feel for him.”

– Clare, Editorial Quality Lead at Blinkist

Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding
470
Howard Hughes

This biography (1979) tells the remarkable life story of Howard Hughes, the world-renowned pilot, filmmaker, inventor, business tycoon and germophobe.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

An intriguing look at the extraordinary life of the eccentric billionaire and aviator. Most interesting to me was the tragic impact that Hughes's mental illness had on his life, which manifested in obsessive behavior, a phobia of germs and social isolation.”

– Clare, Editorial Quality Lead at Blinkist

Donald L. Barlett & James B. Steele
470
Men Explain Things To Me

Men Explain Things To Me (2014) is a collection of essays that examine the range of misogyny in our culture, from everyday microaggressions to legal systems that fail to punish rape. Solnit explains how sexism perpetuates itself, and what we can all do to eliminate it.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

These blinks were interesting to me as someone who grew up being taught that everything was equal between men and women, then found herself experiencing a world that told a different story. These blinks represent an informative brief covering subtle sexism and sexual and physical abuse against women.”

– Clare, Editorial Quality Lead at Blinkist

Rebecca Solnit
470
The Genius of Birds

The Genius of Birds (2016) is all about the incredible intellect of these winged creatures. These blinks explain the many ways birds display their intelligence, from tool making and navigation to memory and song.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

From pigeons being able to pick out a Monet from a group of paintings to sparrows lining their nests with cigarettes, these blinks enlightened me about the winged beasts we share our world with.”

– Clare, Editorial Quality Lead at Blinkist

Jennifer Ackerman
470
The Sleep Revolution

These blinks are about the importance of a basic human necessity that we often brush aside: sleep. Getting enough sleep isn’t just about feeling better in the morning – it improves your work performance, health and even your personal relationships. Similarly, sleep deprivation isn’t a by-product of hard work; rather, it prevents you from reaching your full potential. The Sleep Revolution (2016) explains why sleep is so critical, and what you can do to get more of it.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“These blinks are a sobering exploration of the dangers of sleep deprivation and workaholism. They’re especially poignant today, where our studies and careers seem to demand more and more work and less and less sleep. I loved the tip about putting all screens away by 9 p.m. every night.”

– Clare, Editorial Quality Lead at Blinkist

Arianna Huffington
470
A History of the World in 6 Glasses

A History of the World in 6 Glasses (2006) is a look at human history through an unusual lens: our favorite drinks. These blinks outline the global rise of beer, wine, alcoholic spirits, tea, coffee and soda, and how they each played into major historical developments as they spread around the world.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“My favorite blinks are those that describe fascinating micro-histories of everyday things you might consider boring at first sight. In these blinks, I learned that some of the most common drinks have had a huge impact on historical events.”

– Laura, German Editorial Lead at Blinkist

Tom Standage
470
The Hidden Life of Trees

Trees are engaged in countless complex cycles and they constantly struggle for water, light and their own survival. This struggle has led to some astonishing abilities: trees communicate with one another, give each other assistance, collaborate with fungi and other creatures, have memories and have even developed their own version of the internet!

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“Everybody is talking about the secret lives of animals, but no one thinks about trees. As a forest-lover, these blinks fascinated me. I always knew there’s more to trees than what meets the eye.”

– Laura, German Editorial Lead at Blinkist

Peter Wohlleben
470
The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique presents a simple yet effective method of structuring your workday. This method helps to overcome your lack of motivation by cutting large or complex tasks into small, manageable chunks. Using these techniques, you will gain more control over your work, thus making you a more effective worker and work more rewarding.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“This is the one and only productivity system that always works for me. Whomever I tell about this technique immediately applies it to their lives. Its simplicity makes it genius.“

– Laura, German Editorial Lead at Blinkist

Francesco Cirillo
470
Drunk Tank Pink

Drunk Tank Pink probes the hidden psychological and social influences that shape the way we see, think, feel, and act in the world.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“I am always interested in the subtle things that shape people’s behavior. From pink prison cells to your initials, these blinks present astounding facts on what influences the human mind.”

– Laura, German Editorial Lead at Blinkist

Adam Alter
470
Through the Language Glass

Through the Language Glass (2010) explores the many ways in which language both reflects and influences our culture. By exploring the different ways that languages deal with space, gender and color, the book demonstrates just how fundamentally the language you speak alters your perception of the world.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“These blinks take you through history and around the world in search of answers to the age-old question of how the languages we speak affect the way we think and act. Really fascinating stuff!”

– Erik, Editorial Production Manager at Blinkist

Guy Deutscher
470
Bourbon Empire

Bourbon Empire (2015) takes you on an exciting journey through time, revealing the complex history of America’s famous corn-based whiskey. Learn how this tipple survived the dry period of Prohibition, numerous corruption scandals and competition from overseas spirits while making its mark in politics and society.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“Pour yourself a glass of bourbon and read or listen to these blinks. They really give you a sense of the long and gritty history of this most American of spirits.”

– Erik, Editorial Production Manager at Blinkist

Reid Mitenbuler
470
Cod

Cod (1997) charts the rise and fall of the codfish. A major commodity in the European market during the discovery of the New World, cod went on to cause national conflicts and, due to overfishing, eventually became vulnerable to extinction. Find out how this fish changed the world only to end up on the verge of oblivion.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“Having fished a lot of cod as a kid, I was thrilled to learn what an important role this once-so-common fish has played in shaping world history.”

– Erik, Editorial Production Manager at Blinkist

Mark Kurlansky
470
Benjamin Franklin

In Benjamin Franklin (2004), you’ll discover the life and passions of one of America’s most respected and beloved personalities, from his early days as an essay writer to his budding scientific career to finally his inspirational role as one of the founding fathers of the United States of America.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“I learned a lot from these blinks, not only about the fascinating life of the multi-talented Franklin, but about the struggle for independence and the founding of the United States.”

– Erik, Editorial Production Manager at Blinkist

Walter Isaacson
470
Fox

To simply explain the fascinating animal known as the fox in biological terms wouldn’t do it justice. This mysterious animal has long been the subject of countless stories and myths and cultures around the world have developed their own unique perception of the animal. Fox (2006) dives into these many myths and stories, and also shows how the fox continues to influence our language and culture.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“I love foxes – they’re so adorable and smart, but have a bad reputation. These blinks explain why foxes are said to be sly and were hunted for centuries, as well as how they’re rooted in human culture. These blinks will make you feel foxy!”

– Robyn, German Editorial Production Manager at Blinkist

Martin Wallen
470
Nonviolent Communication

These blinks introduce the principles of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) as a compassionate way of being with ourselves and others. Through simple techniques, you can learn how to consciously change your language and thinking to forge better quality relationships with others.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“Nonviolent communication is not only a tool to learn how to achieve a more peaceful communication style, but also uncovers why we misunderstand one another every now and then. My favourite blinks!”

– Robyn, German Editorial Production Manager at Blinkist

Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD
470
The Blue Zones

The Blue Zones (2012, first published in 2008) whisks you through the regions of the world with the highest concentrations of healthy centenarians. By examining how people in these regions live and interact, we gain insight into how to extend our own lifespans.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“If you’re eager to learn about far-flung spots around the world, and, on top of that, are curious to listen to what the oldest among us have to say about living a long and healthy life, I recommend The Blue Zones. The communities featured in these blinks have one unique thing in common: the longevity of their residents. Read on to find out what sets them apart from the rest of the planet.”

– Emily, User Engagement Lead at Blinkist

Dan Buettner
470
Spam Nation

Spam Nation reveals how a handful of spammers and other cybercriminals have created a hugely profitable, yet largely illegal, industry. Concerns over spam, however, go deeper than the annoyance of a few email scams, as individuals, companies, governments – even societies – are put at risk.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“I love how these blinks put faces on the tons of evil emails that get stuck in your spam filter every day. As it turns out, much of the world’s spam and cybercrime can be traced to a handful of Russian hackers.”

– Erik, Editorial Production Manager at Blinkist

Brian Krebs
470
Where Good Ideas Come From

Where Good Ideas Come From examines the evolution of life on Earth and the history of science. This New York Times bestseller highlights many parallels between the two, ranging from carbon atoms forming the very first building blocks of life to cities and the World Wide Web fostering great innovations and discoveries.

In addition to presenting this extensive analysis, replete with anecdotes and scientific evidence, Johnson also considers how individual and organizational creativity can be cultivated.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“I love these blinks because they combine so many different layers of abstraction, from carbon atoms combining to form molecules to entire cities buzzing with creative collisions.”

– Ben H, Head of Editorial at Blinkist

Steven Johnson
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