Thursday, November 10, 2011

TLC Book Tour Stop and Giveaway: You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney

Title: You Are Not So Smart
Author: David McRaney
Publisher: Penguin
Publish Date: October 27, 2011
Source: TLC Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're looking for a light psychology read.
  • You like books that make you say "Oh, I've never thought about it that way."
  • You like books that will give you lots of things to talk about at a party.
What's the Story?:

From "You believe you are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is, but journalist David McRaney is here to tell you that you're as deluded as the rest of us. But that's OK- delusions keep us sane. You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self-delusion. It's like a psychology class, with all the boring parts taken out, and with no homework.
Based on the popular blog of the same name, You Are Not So Smart collects more than 46 of the lies we tell ourselves everyday, including:
* Dunbar's Number - Humans evolved to live in bands of roughly 150 individuals, the brain cannot handle more than that number. If you have more than 150 Facebook friends, they are surely not all real friends.
* Hindsight bias - When we learn something new, we reassure ourselves that we knew it all along.
* Confirmation bias - Our brains resist new ideas, instead paying attention only to findings that reinforce our preconceived notions.
* Brand loyalty - We reach for the same brand not because we trust its quality but because we want to reassure ourselves that we made a smart choice the last time we bought it.

Packed with interesting sidebars and quick guides on cognition and common fallacies, You Are Not So Smart is a fascinating synthesis of cutting-edge psychology research to turn our minds inside out."

My Two Cents: 

I always like a book that I know I'm going to be thinking about and spouting out facts from long after I close the book; You Are Not So Smart is definitely one of those books. The subject of the book is psychology based but McRaney writes in such a way that these ideas are accessible to everyone even if you don't have a degree in psychology.  I found myself saying "Wow" a lot throughout the book.

I like to think of myself as a pretty rational person. I think most of us think that we're pretty rational. McRaney points out that in some subtle ways and some not so subtle ways that we may not be as rational as we think we are. I know that McRaney has definitely made me a lot more conscious of the things that I'm thinking, feeling, or doing. For instance, have you ever been in a situation where you're talking something like an old movie to a friend and then all the sudden you keep seeing it everywhere. They're talking about it in tv. There's an article online. That old movie is suddenly everywhere. McRaney points out that we have a tendency to focus on that information and therefore we seemingly see it everywhere.  Cool, eh?

Anyhow, McRaney goes through all sorts of different studies that have been done to separate our commonly held beliefs versus  the truths.  Some of the studies were hard to read about (let's put it this way; some psychologists were not so kind and gentle) but it helps to make McRaney's point. This book is amazingly fascinating!

Don't Forget to Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Monday, October 17th:  Sara’s Organized Chaos
Tuesday, October 18th:  Simply Stacie
Wednesday, October 19th:  Luxury Reading
Thursday, October 20th:  Girls Gone Reading
Friday, October 21st:  Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, October 24th:  Overstuffed
Tuesday, October 25th:  Today’s Path
Wednesday, October 26th:  Unabridged Chick
Thursday, October 27th:  1330V
Wednesday, November 2nd:  He Geek/She Geek
Thursday, November 3rd:  Acting Balanced
Monday, November 7th:  Bibliosue
Wednesday, November 9th:
Thursday, November 10th:  A Bookish Affair
Monday, November 14th:  Books, Movies, and Chinese Food


Thanks to the TLC tours, the author and the publisher, I have a copy of You Are Not So Smart to give away!

- You must be 13 and over
-  Open to US/CA residents only
- You must be a follower of A Bookish Affair
- Giveaway ends November 1

Just fill out the form below:


  1. I just saw this one on Goodreads last night and thought it looked interesting. This is going on my TBR pile!

  2. I think I've seen this around before, but this is the first review I've actually paid any attention to. It looks great though, I'll definitely be wishlisting this one!

  3. I'm so glad this turned out to be such a fascinating read! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  4. Yay, thanks for this awesome giveaway! I was waiting to hear your thoughts on this one and it sounds like a fantastic book :)

  5. Interesting! I feel like I heard about this book on NPR. Or... maybe I'm not as smart as I think.

  6. @lsl_scrapper I love when books leave you with a lot of things to think about!

  7. @Hanna I loved it! You should definitely enter the giveaway. It's a great book!

  8. @Sarah I thought I may have seen an article on it on NPR's website(I don't usually get to listen to NPR... :( ).


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