Reading List: Think Like a Freak

UPDATED: May 21, 2024
PUBLISHED: July 12, 2014

What do King Solomon and David Lee Roth have in common? Are married people happy, or do happy people marry? Does more expensive wine taste better? Why are college applications so much longer than job applications? Intrigued? That’s the idea.

In their third collaboration, economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner, authors of the mega-selling Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, continue to reel in readers by posing provocative questions and deconstructing conventional wisdom about everything from carbon credits to charitable fundraising to school reform. This time the authors set out to help readers retrain their brains and release their inner freaks by learning to think “from a different angle, with a different set of muscles, with a different set of expectations… with neither blind optimism nor sour skepticism.” To illustrate the differences between conventional and “freak” think, Levitt and Dubner scrutinize modern conundrums:

• Why is it so hard for us to say, “I don’t know”?

• Why do “many frown so sternly at the idea of having fun”?

• Why does recent research indicate that “raw talent is overrated”?

Intriguing questions, unexpected answers and stellar storytelling make Think Like a Freak a fun, satisfying read.

by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

William Morrow; $28.99

Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.