Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Book Reviews: Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova

On the jacket:

No fictional character is more renowned for his powers of thought and observation than Sherlock Holmes. But is his extraordinary intellect merely a gift of fiction, or can we learn to cultivate these abilities ourselves, to improve our lives at work and at home?
We can, says psychologist and journalist Maria Konnikova, and in Mastermind she shows us how. Beginning with the “brain attic”—Holmes’s metaphor for how we store information and organize knowledge—Konnikova unpacks the mental strategies that lead to clearer thinking and deeper insights. Drawing on twenty-first-century neuroscience and psychology, Mastermind explores Holmes’s unique methods of ever-present mindfulness, astute observation, and logical deduction. In doing so, it shows how each of us, with some self-awareness and a little practice, can employ these same methods to sharpen our perceptions, solve difficult problems, and enhance our creative powers. For Holmes aficionados and casual readers alike, Konnikova reveals how the world’s most keen-eyed detective can serve as an unparalleled guide to upgrading the mind.


Psychology interests me a lot, since the time I studied it in college. I didn't learn much as it was a pass subject and my major was Economics, but the interest remained. I am familiar with a few of the studies mentioned in the book, and what I read about for the first time, captured my attention to no end. The even more interesting bit here, being, how the author used Sherlock Holmes as an example in explaining these studies. 

Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes is a book that takes time to finish. Some places you would find repetitions, but once you are done reading the book, the repetitions will all make sense to you. It's like a lot of small puzzles in the form of case studies and one by one, they all fall in place.

This book is not to tell you why Holmes did what and how, rather the angle is just the opposite where the author tells you situations and uses instances from Holmes' mysteries to help you understand. It's scientific and logical. The book is enthusiastic as well. I did not want to put it down, until my hunger for knowing more was satiated.

If mysteries and the mind intrigue, you will love this book!

Raing: ****/5

[This review is for Random House India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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