Best Books About Learning & Studying

Table of Contents

BEST Books About Learning & Studying

I frequently recommend BEST Books About Learning & Studying to the students and teachers with whom I collaborate.

My top study and learning books are on a shelf behind my desk. These, in my opinion, are the best books on effective learning you could want.

I frequently recommend these books to the students and teachers I work with. These are the books I reach for daily when writing for the blog or preparing school presentations.

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for ways to help you or your students develop better study habits or to brush up on the science of learning so you can teach or study more effectively. Photographing these books and telling you a little bit about each of them would be fun.

Look no further if you’re looking for a great book about studying and learning memory techniques or student motivation. These are excellent gifts for bright students, excellent additions to school libraries or family bookcases, or simply among the most powerful investments you can make in your education or the education of a student or educator. Have I included your favorites? What books are you adding to your library? Let me know in the comments section!


Redirect explains the incredible power of changing the stories you tell yourself, with a fierce commitment to scientific evidence, to determine whether you succeed in many areas of life, including education.

This book is a true gem that should be on the shelves of every student and teacher.

To make the ideas in Make It Stick, well, stick, you should use Redirect!

When I first read this, many of Prof. Wilson’s ideas were new to me, and it quickly became my most-recommended book to students who work with me 1:1 on their study skills and exam technique.

The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance

Josh Waitzkin had already won his first National Chess Championship at the age of nine. After dominating the scholastic chess world for ten years, he broadened his horizons by taking Tai Chi Chuan martial art and eventually becoming World Champion.

When asked how he achieved the pinnacle of two seemingly unrelated disciplines, he replied:

“I’ve realized that what I am best at is not Tai Chi nor chess,” he says. “My strongest suit is the art of learning.”

Waitzkin takes readers on a journey to excellence in The Art of Learning. He reveals the inner workings of his daily method, demonstrating how a deliberate and conscientious approach to learning distinguishes success from failure.

Learning How to Learn

This well-known learning book has helped over two million students all over the world master subjects that they previously struggled with.

Although the book is aimed at children and teenagers, it contains practical strategies for students of all ages (aren’t we all?).

According to the book:

Why is it important to let your mind wander at times during the learning process?

  • How to Avoid “Routine Thinking” and Think Outside the Box
  • Why having a bad memory can be advantageous
  • Metaphors’ importance in developing an understanding
  • A simple but effective method for overcoming procrastination

After you understand how the brain works, you will be taught how to harness its power. Learning How to Learn is also available as a Coursera course. I enrolled myself and strongly recommended it!

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning

Make it Stick is an entertaining and informative book that takes you through the science of learning.

Weaving together stories from a diverse range of learners, including surgeons, pilots, gardeners, and university students, the authors vividly picture what happens when we successfully learn something.

Furthermore, they draw on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other fields to provide concrete strategies for becoming more productive learners.


Self-education is one of the most effective methods for “future-proofing” your career and increasing your competitive advantage.

Author Scott Young teaches you how to master hard skills that will allow you to stay relevant, reinvent yourself, and adapt to whatever the workplace throws you in Ultralearning.

As Scott explains, one common problem we face is believing that we already know the best way to learn. As a result, we rerun old routines and problem-solving methods. However, these are only sometimes effective.

To combat this, Ultralearning provides powerful strategies to help you break out of mental ruts, achieve higher retention levels, and achieve more of your goals.

The 4-Hour Chef

Tim Ferriss, the bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, has written a book about learning called The 4-Hour Chef. Despite its appearance, this book is much more than a cookbook.

Ferriss, a lifelong non-cook, uses cooking to explain “meta-learning,” a step-by-step process that You can use to master anything, from searing steak to shooting 3-pointers in basketball.

This book unearths the secrets of the world’s fastest learners, including chess prodigies, world-renowned chefs, pro athletes, master sommeliers, supermodels, and everyone.

How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

You’ve probably just now questioned your reading style. How to Read a Book is a living classic that explains why you should read books and demonstrates how to do so effectively.

It walks you through the various reading levels, from elementary reading to systematic skimming and inspectional reading to speed reading.

You’ll learn to read critically, “judge a book by its cover,” adapt to different genres, and extract the author’s intended message.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted

Deep work is focusing on a cognitively demanding task without distraction. It is essential for effective learning.

In this book, author and professor Cal Newport argues that cultivating a strong work ethic will yield enormous benefits in almost any profession.

He then presents a rigorous training plan for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill, presented as a series of four “rules.”

Newport doesn’t hold back; he touches on a few ideas that many people may be hesitant to hear.

However, if you can apply the principles he outlines, you’ll become more skilled at what you do and enjoy the sense of fulfillment that comes from being completely immersed in your work.

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It

If you’re looking for a book about language learning, I recommend this one.

Learning a foreign language can be difficult. We forget two old words for every new one we learn, making fluency appear out of reach.

Polyglot Gabriel Wyner teaches his method for turning foreign sounds into familiar sounds in Fluent Forever.

You will discover how to:

  • Instead of translations, connect sounds and spellings to imagery.
  • Each month, use sophisticated spaced-repetition techniques to memorize hundreds of words.
  • Retrain your tongue to speak a foreign language accurately.
  • It is the most exciting aspect of brain hacking: taking insights from neuroscience and linguistics and applying them to learning a foreign language in a fun and efficient manner.

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens

How We Learn is an enthralling book that delves into what we know about learning and memory today and how we can use them to improve our lives.

Benedict Carey, an award-winning science reporter, sifts through decades of education research and landmark studies in the book to uncover the truth about how our brains absorb and retain information.

  • He answers questions like, “Is a dedicated desk in a quiet room truly the best way to study?”
  • Can changing your routine help you remember more?
  • Is there ever a time when distraction is beneficial?
  • Is it necessary to repeat?

Carey also discusses why teachers should give final exams on the first day of class, why it’s an excellent idea to interleave subjects when learning a new skill, and when it’s better to stay up late studying rather than cram early in the morning.

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

Anders Ericsson has made a career out of studying chess champions, violin virtuosos, Olympians, and memory experts.

Peak distills three decades of fascinating research to dispel the widely held belief that most “prodigies” or experts achieve what they do through innate talent.

He brings to light their rigorous and often arduous practice routines.

Ericsson provides a proven blueprint for outstanding performance, whether you want to stand out at work, improve your athletic or musical abilities, or help your child achieve academic goals.

Moonwalking With Einstein

The science and art of remembering everything is based on a journalist’s training to become a “memory athlete.” A thrilling ride with some excellent explanations of memory science and why our memories are so important to who we are.

It’s a lot of fun and very inspiring, but be cautious when applying the messages to your learning – studying for a test requires different memory skills than memory athletics.

Outsmart Your Exams

Most students waste marks on exam day due to poor time management, avoidable errors, poor essay / question-answering technique, anxiety-induced performance dips, or simply failing to fully utilize memory’s almost magical powers of recall. Through the psychology of memory and performance, this book explains how to avoid all that and get every last mark you deserve on the test, transforming exam performance from a lottery to a science. I can’t give you my opinion on this one because it’s mine, can I?! Let me pass this along to a couple of Amazon reviewers:

“A fantastic set of tools for accessing the exam itself, which I would recommend to anyone looking to significantly improve their results.” (Keller, Alexander)

“A masterful tour guide… I thought I knew a lot about exam technique, but I learned several new things that I will share with students – should be on every student’s shelf!” (Dr. Aled Walker, Cambridge Fellow)

“This book outlines several quick wins that make a big difference, all based on sound scientific evidence – I would wholeheartedly recommend this guide as a dependable companion to see students through exams at school, university, and beyond.” (Teacher at a Department of Education Research School in the United Kingdom).

Learning How To Learn & A Mind For Numbers

Dr. Barbara Oakley has dedicated her life to teaching students how to learn effectively; these books reveal the secrets that even the most dedicated and successful students wish they’d known sooner. A Mind For Numbers is aimed at older students, such as high school and university level (NB: not just if you’re studying Math(s) / engineering), whereas Learning How To Learn is more for younger children, such as middle school and below.

Eat That Frog – For Students

Ingenious strategies for overcoming procrastination and regaining control of your time, allowing you to complete your to-do list and excel in your classes. I’ve long admired Brian Tracy’s efficient techniques for mastering time and getting things done. So I was thrilled to see him release a special edition of his 2.5 million bestsellers, rewritten from the ground up for students.

The Procrastination Equation

Chris and Cal, the other authors in this section, are great guys; well-informed, innovative, and brilliant writers whose books I highly recommend.

But I liked The Procrastination Equation because it’s a rare productivity book written by a research scientist. In his career, Dr. Steel set out to solve the mystery of why we procrastinate, and his findings are fascinating and actionable.

Deep Work

Our frazzled mind is attempting and failing to do a thousand things at once – if you can cut out the distractions and focus, you will get FAR more quality work done. Cal Newport made his name with the “deep work” concept, which profoundly impacted my life.

As my dislike of distraction grew, I could accomplish more and produce better work. In the process, I only slightly irritated my dear wife.


As you can see, there is a great deal to learn about learning! Hopefully, this list will help you get started on your research.

Reading any of these learning books can provide an excellent return on investment if you identify ways to apply the insights in your life immediately.

At the very least, these books will allow you to investigate your learning style, allowing you to analyze better and comprehend your previous academic performance.

But that’s not all; you’ll also learn strategies to help you perform better the next time you try to learn a new skill.

If you need an extra push and someone who can guide you through knowledge instead, then check my courses.


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