Cluster reading

Saw this TED talk featuring Lisa Bu, talking about reading books in pairs, which is a very nice idea. Over the last year, or really since I started reading exclusively on my Kindle, I’ve been trying to do something similar, either reading in pairs, or triads, or full clusters.

It is definitely the case that with the amount of good books published these days, a lot of them will reference the same examples and the same research. It is therefore quite fun to read them in clusters and compare how they treat similar subjects.

One cluster I’ve enjoyed recently is the Kahneman cluster, featuring various books on system 1 and 2 thinking, and the shortcuts the brain takes when operating under system 1. Maria Konnikova, in her very illuminating Mastermind, calls them System [Sherlock] Holmes and System Watson. Other good recent books that refer to many of the phenomena identified by Kahneman and Tversky (as well as Cialdini) and are worth reading at the same time are e.g. Sunstein and Thaler’s Nudge and Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise.

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