Learning How to Learn: 70 Books Guaranteed To Accelerate Your Learning And Unlock Your Potential

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“All I have learned, I learned from books.” – Abraham Lincoln

Learning is a skill – one you can greatly improve. And whether you’re a student, hobbyist, employee or entrepreneur; whether you want to accelerate your learning and unlock your potential or you just want to read more this year, the 70 books listed below are an amazing place to start.

A quick note of thanks to Barb Oakley, Scott Young, Nasos Papadopoulos, Kalid Azad and Erik Hamre (blog coming soon!) for their adds – they’re all inspiring writers on “Learning How to Learn” and their blogs are well worth a visit! Thank you also to all of you who wrote in with suggestions – if there’s anything you think I’ve missed and deserves to be on the list, please do leave a comment.

In the coming years, I’ll be reading every book on this list, passing on the best ideas in articles and distilling the very best books into book crunches. If that sounds like something you’d like to join us for (and you’re not already signed up), use the form below to get free updates delivered right to your inbox!

But for now, without further ado – here’s the list!

THE TOP 10 MOST REVIEWED BOOKS

Got FOMO (fear of missing out)? Catch up with the crowd by starting with the 10 ‘most reviewed’ books on the list:

  1. Outliers, Gladwell (read the 3hr Note)
    The Story of Success
    Rated 4.1 over 394,300 reviews on Goodreads
  2. The Power of Habit, Duhigg (read the crunch)
    Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
    Rated 4.0 over 190,600 reviews on Goodreads
  3. Moonwalking with Einstein, Foer (read the 3hr Note)
    The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
    Rated 3.9 over 57,800 reviews on Goodreads
  4. Mindset, Dweck (read the 3hr Note)
    The New Psychology of Success
    Rated 4.1 over 44,300 reviews on Goodreads
  5. Flow, Csikszentmihalyi
    The Psychology of Optimal Experience
    Rated 4.1 over 36,200 reviews on Goodreads
  6. Grit, Duckworth
    The Power of Passion and Perseverance
    Rated 4.1 over 28,200 reviews on Goodreads
  7. Deep Work, Newport (read the crunch)
    Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
    Rated 4.2 over 25,100 reviews on Goodreads
  8. On Writing Well, Zinsser (read the crunch)
    The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    Rated 4.3 over 17,600 reviews on Goodreads
  9. Mastery, Greene (read the 3hr Note)
    Rated 4.3 over 16,700 reviews on Goodreads
  10. How the Mind Works, Pinker
    Rated 4.0 over 15,500 reviews on Goodreads

THE FULL “LEARNING HOW TO LEARN” BOOKLIST

Otherwise, here’s the full 70 book list on learning how to learn, organised by Goodreads rating and number of reviews. Good luck and enjoy!

  1. 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades, Frank (read the 3hr Note)
    (While Studying Less)
    Rated 4.4 over 1,500 reviews on Goodreads
  2. Learning How to Learn, Shah (read the 3hr Note)
    Psychology and Spirituality in the Sufi Way
    Rated 4.4 over 200 reviews on Goodreads
  3. The Neuroscience of Intelligence, Haier (read the 3hr Note)
    Rated 4.4 over <100 reviews on Goodreads
  4. On Writing Well, Zinsser (read the crunch)
    The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    Rated 4.3 over 17,600 reviews on Goodreads
  5. Mastery, Greene (read the 3hr Note)
    Rated 4.3 over 16,700 reviews on Goodreads
  6. Peak, Ericsson, Pool
    Secrets from the New Science of Expertise
    Rated 4.3 over 5,400 reviews on Goodreads
  7. Black Box Thinking, Syed
    Why Some People Never Learn from Their Mistakes – But Some Do
    Rated 4.3 over 3,200 reviews on Goodreads
  8. High Performance Habits, Burchard
    How Extraordinary People Become That Way
    Rated 4.3 over 1,000 reviews on Goodreads
  9. The Master and His Emissary, McGilchrist
    The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World
    Rated 4.3 over 900 reviews on Goodreads
  10. Neuroscience, Bear, Connors, Paradiso
    Exploring the Brain
    Rated 4.3 over 900 reviews on Goodreads
  11. Deep Work, Newport (read the crunch)
    Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
    Rated 4.2 over 25,100 reviews on Goodreads
  12. Tools of Titans, Ferriss
    The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
    Rated 4.2 over 12,800 reviews on Goodreads
  13. A Mind for Numbers, Oakley (read the crunch)
    How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)
    Rated 4.2 over 6,100 reviews on Goodreads
  14. The Inner Game of Tennis, Gallwey
    The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance
    Rated 4.2 over 5,300 reviews on Goodreads
  15. Make It Stick, Brown, Roediger, McDaniel
    The Science of Successful Learning
    Rated 4.2 over 5,100 reviews on Goodreads
  16. Tribe of Mentors, Ferriss
    Short Life Advice from the Best in the World
    Rated 4.2 over 4,400 reviews on Goodreads
  17. Mastery, Leonard
    The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment
    Rated 4.2 over 4,200 reviews on Goodreads
  18. Fluent Forever, Wyner
    How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It
    Rated 4.2 over 3,400 reviews on Goodreads
  19. Unlimited Memory, Horsley
    How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive
    Rated 4.2 over 2,700 reviews on Goodreads
  20. Effortless Mastery, Werner
    Liberating the Master Musician Within
    Rated 4.2 over 1,200 reviews on Goodreads
  21. Developing Talent in Young People, Bloom
    Rated 4.2 over <100 reviews on Goodreads
  22. Essentials of Human Memory, Baddeley
    Rated 4.2 over <100 reviews on Goodreads
  23. Outliers, Gladwell (read the 3hr Note)
    The Story of Success
    Rated 4.1 over 394,300 reviews on Goodreads
  24. Mindset, Dweck (read the 3hr Note)
    The New Psychology of Success
    Rated 4.1 over 44,300 reviews on Goodreads
  25. Flow, Csikszentmihalyi
    The Psychology of Optimal Experience
    Rated 4.1 over 36,200 reviews on Goodreads
  26. Grit, Duckworth
    The Power of Passion and Perseverance
    Rated 4.1 over 28,200 reviews on Goodreads
  27. So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Newport
    Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love
    Rated 4.1 over 14,000 reviews on Goodreads
  28. The Art of Learning, Waitzkin
    An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance
    Rated 4.1 over 9,800 reviews on Goodreads
  29. Spark, Ratey
    The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
    Rated 4.1 over 7,600 reviews on Goodreads
  30. On Intelligence, Hawkins, Blakeslee
    How a New Understanding of the Brain Will Lead to the Creation of Truly Intelligent Machines
    Rated 4.1 over 4,900 reviews on Goodreads
  31. The Little Book of Talent, Coyle
    52 Tips for Improving Your Skills
    Rated 4.1 over 4,200 reviews on Goodreads
  32. Pragmatic Thinking and Learning, Hunt
    Refactor Your Wetware
    Rated 4.1 over 3,200 reviews on Goodreads
  33. How Learning Works, Ambrose et al
    Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching
    Rated 4.1 over 700 reviews on Goodreads
  34. Design for How People Learn, Dirksen
    Rated 4.1 over 700 reviews on Goodreads
  35. Visual Intelligence, Herman
    Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life
    Rated 4.1 over 500 reviews on Goodreads
  36. How the Brain Learns, Sousa
    Rated 4.1 over 300 reviews on Goodreads
  37. Learning How To Learn, Novak, Gowin
    Rated 4.1 over <100 reviews on Goodreads
  38. Transfer of Learning, Haskell
    Cognition, Instruction, and Reasoning
    Rated 4.1 over <100 reviews on Goodreads
  39. The Power of Habit, Duhigg (read the crunch)
    Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
    Rated 4.0 over 190,600 reviews on Goodreads
  40. How the Mind Works, Pinker
    Rated 4.0 over 15,500 reviews on Goodreads
  41. Talent is Overrated, Colvin
    What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
    Rated 4.0 over 14,400 reviews on Goodreads
  42. How to Read a Book, Adler, Van Doren
    The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading
    Rated 4.0 over 11,900 reviews on Goodreads
  43. The 4-Hour Chef, Ferriss
    The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life
    Rated 4.0 over 8,300 reviews on Goodreads
  44. Bounce, Sted (read the crunch)
    Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success
    Rated 4.0 over 4,800 reviews on Goodreads
  45. The Practicing Mind, Sterner
    Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life — Master Any Skill or Challenge by Learning to Love the Process
    Rated 4.0 over 4,400 reviews on Goodreads
  46. Why Don’t Students Like School?, Willingham
    A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom
    Rated 4.0 over 2,800 reviews on Goodreads
  47. A More Beautiful Question, Berger
    The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas
    Rated 4.0 over 2,500 reviews on Goodreads
  48. The Memory Book, Lorayne, Lucas (read the crunch)
    The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play
    Rated 4.0 over 1,500 reviews on Goodreads
  49. Attention and Effort, Kahneman
    Rated 4.0 over 300 reviews on Goodreads
  50. The Gold Mine Effect, Ankersen
    Crack the Secrets of High Performance
    Rated 4.0 over 200 reviews on Goodreads
  51. Principles of Psychology, James
    Rated 4.0 over 200 reviews on Goodreads
  52. Remember, Remember, Cooke
    Learn the Stuff You Thought You Never Could
    Rated 4.0 over 100 reviews on Goodreads
  53. The Road To Excellence, Ericsson
    The Acquisition of Expert Performance in the Arts and Sciences, Sports, and Games
    Rated 4.0 over <100 reviews on Goodreads
  54. Moonwalking with Einstein, Foer (read the 3hr Note)
    The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
    Rated 3.9 over 57,800 reviews on Goodreads
  55. How We Learn, Carey
    The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens
    Rated 3.9 over 3,300 reviews on Goodreads
  56. The Rise of Superman, Kotler
    Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance
    Rated 3.9 over 2,500 reviews on Goodreads
  57. Mind Performance Hacks, Hale-Evans
    Tips & Tools for Overclocking Your Brain
    Rated 3.9 over 800 reviews on Goodreads
  58. Learn Better, Boser
    Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything
    Rated 3.9 over 400 reviews on Goodreads
  59. Train Your Brain For Success, Seip
    Read Smarter, Remember More, and Break Your Own Records
    Rated 3.9 over 200 reviews on Goodreads
  60. Accelerated Learning for the 21st Century, Rose
    The Six-Step Plan to Unlock Your Master-Mind
    Rated 3.9 over 100 reviews on Goodreads
  61. The Accelerated Learning Handbook, Meier
    A Creative Guide to Designing and Delivering Faster, More Effective Training Programs
    Rated 3.9 over 100 reviews on Goodreads
  62. Use Your Perfect Memory, Buzan
    Dramatic New Techniques for Improving Your Memory
    Rated 3.9 over 100 reviews on Goodreads
  63. Accelerated Learning Techniques for Students, Kahn
    Learn More in Less Time
    Rated 3.9 over <100 reviews on Goodreads
  64. Self-University, Hayes
    The Price of Tuition Is the Desire to Learn: Your Degree Is a Better Life
    Rated 3.9 over <100 reviews on Goodreads
  65. Practice Perfect, Lemov, Woolway
    42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better
    Rated 3.8 over 900 reviews on Goodreads
  66. Hacking Your Education, Stephens
    Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will
    Rated 3.8 over 600 reviews on Goodreads
  67. Quantum Learning, Deporter
    Unleashing the Genius in You
    Rated 3.8 over 400 reviews on Goodreads
  68. The Power of Mindful Learning, Langer
    Rated 3.8 over 400 reviews on Goodreads
  69. Expert In A Year, Priestley, Larcombe
    The Ultimate Table Tennis Challenge
    Rated 3.8 over <100 reviews on Goodreads
  70. Micromastery, Ewiger
    Learn Small, Learn Fast, and Find the Hidden Path to Happiness
    Rated 3.7 over <100 reviews on Goodreads

NOTES

This list is a collection of the very best books I’ve come across in my learning as well as suggestions from other writers (and learners) in the field. I’m definitely interested in improving it so if you spot a mistake or you’ve read a book that you think deserves to be on the list, leave a comment!

Thanks for stopping by and good luck on your learning adventure!

Arthur
Arthur is a learning-freak, slow-thinker, and writer who loves helping curious, busy people digest chewy topics fast. One of his passions is language learning. Send yourself his Free Ultimate Language Learning Guide today to save you or a friend thousands of dollars and hours on your journey to fluency.

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Although it is specific to law students, Your Brain and Law School focuses on both learning theory (and practical applications to study) as well as dealing with cognitive biases that might interfere with the learning process. Let me know if you need more information from the author…