Matthew Syed Recommends His Top 5 Reads of 2019
The bestselling author of Bounce and Black Box Thinking gave us one of the most thought-provoking reads of the year with Rebel Ideas, a cogently argued advocacy of the immense benefits of collaborative thinking. Matthew Syed's favourite books of the year are similarly illuminating and listed just below.
This year, I’m hoping that I’ll find Phillipa Perry’s The Book You Wish Your Parents had Read under the Christmas tree along with the late Alan Krueger’s Rockonomics: What the Music Industry Can Teach Us About Economics (and Our Future), which sounds fascinating. If you’re stuck for ideas of what books to buy for your friends and family (or yourself) this Christmas, here are some of my favourites from this year:
Perez’s book on how gender bias in statistics has led to death and exclusion for women has been one of the most talked about books this year, and has influenced my own work on cognitive diversity. It presents a stunning and shocking picture of how objective data can actually be highly male-biased. A mind-changing read!
This deeply researched book on race science exposes the conscious and unconscious biases that have misled some in the scientific field. A righteous anger is peppered through Saini’s elegant writing bringing the reader face-to-face with uncomfortable truths. Exceptional science journalism.
The UK’s housing crisis is one of the biggest issues facing our society today. In his vivid and lucid book, Liam Halligan gives a no-holds barred account of the UK’s housing shortage and how we can potentially fix it - I found this a fearless and forceful read. Politicians need to read this book now.
Stereotypes can both define and misrepresent us and no more so when it comes to the issue of gender. Gina Rippon’s The Gendered Brain is an accessible and timely account that debunks a whole host of sexist stereotypes. Due to her work as a neuroscientist, this is a rigorous and detailed account on the debates surround sex, gender and the brain.
This thought-provoking book is about three pillars– the economy, the state, and the third pillar which is society - and how we can get the right balance between them so that society prospers. Rajan is a world-renowned and respected economist who argues that we need to revitalise the role of community in society in order to make the economy and government less fragile.
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