Recommended Reading

Here are a few books I've read that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in learning about how to make more sense of modern fitness: thinking critically, sharpening their bullshit detectors, or just getting some base knowledge in the fields of fitness and nutrition.

Of course, you can read more about all three of those topics in my brief ebook, BS Detection 101.  Grab that for free, no email required by clicking here!

As a note, some of these are affiliate links.  What that means is that if you purchase something off of them, I get a small cut.  It doesn't increase the cost or change anything for you.  I stand by these recommendations and I feel you'll get more than your money's worth of value out of them. 

Critical Thinking

Bad Science - Ben Goldacre

Layman-Friendly:    Stars3

Overall:   Stars5

Can be a bit of a tough read in certain parts, especially if you're unfamiliar with some of the concepts he goes over.  However it is still a fantastic read that gives great, understandable explanations for WHAT defines science, where studies can go wrong, and how you can spot it.  Highly recommend.

Read this shocking free chapter for an idea of what you'll get.


Do You Believe In Magic? - Paul Offit

Layman-Friendly:  Stars5

Overall:   Stars5

Similar in theme with Bad Science, this book is more of the same goodness as above but with (I think) more layman-friendly content. (Though both do a good job)

Good explanations for how and why we reach erroneous conclusions and how they get perpetuated.



How to Lie with Statistics - Darrell Huff

Layman-Friendly:   Stars4

Overall:   Stars4

Many of the polls you read in the headlines about American's opinions on things are crap.  This books details the many mistakes (intentional or not) one can make doing a statistical analysis.

This book was written in the 50's, so it's comically out-dated at parts, but the content - frustratingly enough - still applies today.



The Demon-Haunted World - Carl Sagan

Layman-Friendly:   Stars4

Overall:   Stars5

This is one of my favorite books of all time.  Learn about logical fallacies, more on UFO's than you ever cared to know, and logical explanations to age-old conspiracy theories.

Sagan is a master storyteller and does a great job conveying difficult concepts in a way that's much easier to understand.  That said he can get a tiny bit verbose at times (not that it's a bad thing).  If you buy any book off this list make it this one.


Marketing & Advertising Tactics

Cashvertising - Drew Whitman

Layman-Friendly:   Stars5

Overall:  Stars3

What better way to arm yourself against deceptive marketing tactics than to read a book targeted to marketers?

This book is very brief and to-the-point.  It's written very well, and my low "Overall" score is just for the bad taste it sometimes left in my mouth.

You'll find so many tactics you're blasted with everyday you'll wonder why you didn't see them sooner.


Influence - Robert Cialdini (FREE Download)

Layman-Friendly:   Stars4

Overall:  Stars4

The definitive guide for marketers on why people buy and how to get them to buy from you.  Cialdini outlines the "Six Principles of Influence" successful salespeople use to get you to buy happily and willingly.

Best part about this book is that you can get it right now FOR FREE!  There are actual physical versions of the book as well if you're like me and hate reading books on your computer.



Seducing the Subconscious - Robert Heath                   (FREE download)

Layman-Friendly: Stars4

Overall: Stars4

A great read on how advertising doesn't always work on a level we perceive - simply because we don't remember a commercial or what it says doesn't mean it didn't leave it's mark on you.

This is a steal being a free download and all.  Lots of brain food here and will get you thinking deeper about advertisements you see and what effect they could be having!


Salt, Sugar, Fat - Michael Moss

Layman-Friendly:   Stars5

Overall:  Stars4

Gives some surprising insights into the food industry and how it develops / markets products to us.

A bit scary in some parts, but was pretty eye-opening to me that there was an entire industry devoted to calibrating levels of salt/sugar/fat to the most precise levels for maximum cravings.



The End of Overeating - David Kessler

Layman-Friendly:   Stars4

Overall:   Stars3

Similar in content to the book above, though I thought Salt, Sugar, Fat was more enjoyable.

This book differs in that it offers suggestions for how to stop overeating on these foods that are engineered to be irresistible.  My lower rating is that I don't agree with some of the suggestions, and the suggestions themselves aren't very concrete or actionable.

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