Books Worth Reading from TED Speakers 2014

If you enjoy TED talks, take a look at their books worth reading list for 2014 by Thu-Huong Ha.

I was surprised by the effectiveness of checklist in making changes in behaviour stick as described by Dr. Atul Gawande in The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.

Here are some of my favorites.


Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008
Recommended by: Susan Cain (TED Talk: The power of introverts)
“This book illuminates the kind of life we should all be living. Csikszentmihalyi argues that one of the highest states of being is the state of flow — when you’re totally engaged in an activity, riding the narrow channel between boredom and anxiety. I talk about this book a lot, and try to live by it even more.”
See more of Susan Cain’s favorite books.

Math and stats

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don’t, by Nate Silver
The Penguin Press HC, 2012
Recommended by: Nic Marks (TED Talk: The Happy Planet Index)
“If you are a statistician, or use statistics in your work, then this is an outstanding book you should read.”
See more of Nic Marks’ favorite books.


The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande
Picador, 2011
Recommended by: Brian Goldman (TED Talk: Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about that?)
The Checklist Manifesto is Gawande’s bestselling book about medical errors that come from not knowing enough and errors that come from not doing the right thing. The book is essential reading for people who want to understand why health care is not as safe as it could be and how to change that.”
See more of Brian Goldman’s favorite books.

Mind and brain

Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013
Recommended by: Alex Laskey (TED Talk: How behavioral science can lower your energy bill)
“Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, who gave the TED Talk ‘The riddle of experience vs. memory,’ explores how behavioral economics and cognitive biases influence our everyday decision making.”
See more of Alex Laskey’s favorite books.


Give and Take, by Adam Grant
Penguin Books, 2014
Recommended by: Shawn Achor (TED Talk: The happy secret to better work)
“This Wharton professor shows how giving at work can lead to greater happiness and success.”
See more of Shawn Achor’s favorite books.

Thrive, by Arianna Huffington
Harmony Books, 2014
Recommended by: Andy Puddicombe (TED Talk: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes)
“This book covers mindfulness in quite some detail, but also looks at the wider impact of our addiction to technology, overly active minds and increasingly busy lives. It offers some excellent commentary on mindfulness, along with some very sound advice.”
See more of Andy Puddicombe’s favorite books.

The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle
Arrow Books, 2010
Recommended by: Dan Pink (TED Talk: The puzzle of motivation)
“A savvy and snappy compilation of some of the best research on talent. I’ve given away more than a dozen copies of this one — including to my own kids.”
See more of Dan Pink’s favorite books.

Check out the full list at Books worth reading from