4 Books That Will Make You Smarter (And More Interesting)

4 Books That Will Make You Smarter (And More Interesting)

Emily was making fun of me at a party recently for my strange reading habits. “He reads books about salt!” She loudly proclaimed to a group of laughing people.

It didn’t bother me really, because I love learning about lots of different things. Leaders are readers. I’m a leader and I want to be able to relate to people. Thankfully, because of lots of random books I’ve read I’m rarely at a loss for a subject to talk to anyone about.

Here’s a list of four books that I regularly find myself referring back to in conversation. Read them. They’ll make you a lot smarter and more interesting. (Click on the book title for a link to the book on Amazon.com)

  1. Foreign to Familiar by Sarah Lanier

This book is short, but power-packed. It breaks culture down into hot vs. cold-climate cultures and high and low context cultures. It’s fascinating because you’ll even see the culture difference here in the United States. It’ll help you understand your Latino and European friends a lot better too. Super quick read.

  1. Crossing the Tracks for Love by Ruby K. Payne

This book is mind-blowing. It unpacks the different ways socio-economic class affects your views on everything from food to entertainment to personal introductions. It also talks about recognizing these socio-economic differences in relationships and the confusion it causes. I recommend this book to a lot of people. So much so that I’ve stopped lending out my copies, I’ve lost four good books that way!

  1. Oranges by John McPhee

A friend of mine who I greatly respect recommended this book, so I figured, What the heck, I’ll check it out. I did and loved it. It’s a book about oranges. Yes, seriously. But it talks about citrus in general. Fascinating stuff. Example: Did you know that lemon tress can produce oranges over time? Just read it, you’ll be glad you did and you’ll have intriguing stuff to talk about next time the conversation gets dull.

  1. Eternity in Their Hearts by Don Richardson

Written by an anthropologist, this book looks at the belief in one God and traces it across the world to every major culture that has ever existed. It’s a bit of a heady book, but it’ll keep you riveted and you’ll learn tons about different global cultures. You’ll feel smarter just reading it.

Get out there and get smarter and more interesting.

Any suggestions on other books to make us look smarter are greatly welcomed. Just leave them in the comments below.