‘Think Like a Freak’ by Steven D. Levitt and Steven J. Dubner

The cult book Freakonomics quickly became a symbol for using quantitative analysis to challenge conventional wisdom. Authors Steven D. Levitt and Steven J. Dubner famously linked the legalisation of abortion in the 1970s with the fall in crime in the US 20 years later (and raised a few eyebrows in the process).

In their third book of the series, the duo offer to ‘retrain our brains’ so that we too can ‘think like a freak’. Levitt and Dubner offer insight into their approach to problem solving that involves embracing the upside of quitting, asking questions like a child and realising that cold hard incentives rule our world (and always have). They encourage us to combine taboo-busting ideas with rational thought to produce often surprising results. Probably best of all are the quirky anecdotes that are littered throughout the book. Learn about the life saving properties of poo, the secrets of a Japanese hot-dog-eating championship and why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of where they come from. Read Malcolm Gladwell’s review of the ‘Think Like a Freak’ here.