Tuesday Ten: International Day of Education

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

–Benjamin Franklin

The right to education is preserved in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It calls for free and compulsory elementary education.

Here are ten books to help you further your education.

#1 A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

  • 1988 on theoretical cosmology (branch of physics and metaphysics dealing with the nature of the universe) by English physicist Stephen Hawking
  • 213 pages
  • Stephen Hawking details important theories, discoveries, and phenomena from the world of physics in a way that is accessible to everyone with a basic 8th-grade education

#2 Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf

  • 2008 book by a professor of child development at Tufts
  • 336 pages
  • Details the journey of the reading brain over the past five thousand years as well as over the course of a child’s life

#3 An Incomplete Education: 3,684 Things You Should Have Learned But Probably Didn’t by Judy Jones

  • Originally published in 1987, but updated in 2006
  • 720 pages
  • Claims to pack “ten thousand years of culture into a single superbly readable volume”

#4 A Little History of The World E.H. Gombrich

  • First published in 1936 and translated into seventeen languages
  • 284 pages
  • Part of the bestselling Little Histories series and written for children, but can be read by an adult without feeling talked down to

#5 The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body by David Macaulay

  • The author did years of research including sitting in on anatomy classes and he “even reached inside the rib cages of two cadavers to compare their spleen sizes.”
  • 336 pages
  • the reading age range on Amazon is 3-12 years old, but many reviewers claim it would be more appropriate for an older teen due to the section on the reproductive system.

#6 The Way Things Work Now by David Macaulay

  • updated 2016 edition of The New Way Things Work (1998) and The Ways Things Work (1988)
  • 408 pages
  • From the publisher: shows how the developments of the past are building the world of tomorrow

#7 Mind Hacks: Tips & Tools for Using Your Brain by Tom Stafford; Matt Webb

  • Tom Stafford has a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, while Matt Webb has a background in new media
  • 394 pages
  • Specific operations of the brain are examined with each hack presented. Some of the hacks included in the book include, “Test Your Handedness” and “Boost Memory by Using Context”

#8 The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher by Julian Baggini

  • 100 one-page summaries of philosophical, theological, moral, and ethical dilemmas pulled from a variety of media.
  • 320 pages
  • Each chapter features a summary of the dilemma, an explanation, and possible solutions.

#9 Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, MD

  • Author is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
  • 304 pages
  • Details the effects of exercise on the brain including presenting evidence that exercise is a defense against things such as depression, ADD, addiction, menopause, and Alzheimer’s

#10 A Mind for Numbers by Barbara Oakley, Ph.D.

  • Written for students of math and science, but can be useful for everybody
  • 332 pages
  • The companion book to an online course on COURSERA “Learning How to Learn”

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