I have an annual book reading average of 30+ and 2021 was no different. So, I thought I'd post (for the first time) my top ten books of the year. I tend to read a diverse array, from philosophy and epistemology to science and current issues. So, not in any particular order..
This book written by Rob Brotherton (@rob_brotherton) was a fantastic read on why people believe in conspiracy theories, and how we are all prone to nonsensical thinking - it's not just an affliction of people on the fringes of society wearing tinfoil hats
In a similar fashion, Michael Shermer (@michaelshermer) tackles the psychology and neurobiology of why we believe in pseudoscientific nonsense and unsupported claims
Massimo Pigliucci (@mpigliucci) takes us on a philosophical and epistemological trip to understand how we diffrentiate science from bunk and other nonsensical claims and ideologies
Lee McIntyre (@LeeCMcIntyre) gives an excellent account of his experiences interacting and having conversations with science deniers (flat earthers, climate change denialist etc.). He gives pointers on how best to rationally engage in discourse with them from his own experiences
From a statistical, mathematical and logical perspective, Carl Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom) & Jevin West (@jevinwest) provide an excellent guide on how to assess poor, manipulated and nonsensical data
A well written and witty compendium by Steven Novella (@stevennovella) which, chapter by chapter, takes you through everything science, pseudoscience and critical thinking and provides rational reasons as to why scepticism is something with which we all should practice
Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) has written an excellent and somewhat provocative perspective exploring how both the human mind and culture have evolved. He also provides a case for why the field of evolutionary psychology should be taken seriously by other disciplines
The Social Leap written by William von Hippel (@BillvonHippel) explores how our behaviours might at times seem irrational in our current world, but yet might have in fact evolved for specific purposes to help early humans and our hominin ancestors survive
Written by David Buss (@ProfDavidBuss), this book was a very interesting read to say the least. His thesis provides a biological, psychological and evolutionary case for many of our sexual desires and mating strategies
This book, written by Gary Wilson (who recently passed), was a random book I picked up because it was on sale and was a short read. However, it was probably the most surprising book I had read this year. It provides a solid argument for the damaging effects of excessive porn use
I think an honourable mention, just outside my top ten, should go to Rationality by Steven Pinker (@sapinker). He discusses why rationality matters and how it is the best pathway to human progress

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