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Download Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes Audiobook, by Maria Konnikova Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (602 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maria Konnikova Narrator: Karen Saltus Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2013 ISBN: 9781469086200
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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.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Maria Konnikova’s bright and brilliant new book is nothing less than a primer on how be awake, a manual on how to work ourselves free of our unconscious biases, our habitual distractions, and the muddle of our everyday minds. Holmes fan or not, the reader will find Mastermind to be bracing, fascinating, and above all—and most important—hopeful.” 

    Daniel Smith, New York Times bestselling author of Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety

  • Mastermind is the book I didn’t realize I was waiting for...surprising and ingenious...a gift to all readers interested in Conan Doyle, mysteries, and scientific thinking, as well as those who simply want to be more self-aware about the inner workings of our minds.”

    Matthew Pearl, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A delightful tour of the science of memory, creativity, and reasoning, illustrated with the help of history’s most famous reasoner, Sherlock Holmes himself. Maria Konnikova is an engaging and insightful guide to this fascinating material.”

    Steven Pinker, New York Times bestselling author of The Better Angel of Our Nature

  • “Far from elementary, Maria Konnikova’s new book is a challenging and insightful study of the human mind, illustrated with cases from the career of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes himself would have been proud to author this fine work!”

    Leslie S. Klinger, New York Times bestselling author of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes

  • “In Mastermind, psychologist Maria Konnikova writes that anyone can tap into Holmes’ abilities. Based on modern neuroscience and psychology, the book explores Holmes’s aptitude for mindfulness, logical thinking and observation. Konnikova shares strategies that can lead to clearer thinking and habits that can help people become more self-aware and engaged with others.”

    Washington Post

  • “Ingenious...thoughtful...covers a wide variety of material clearly and organizes it well.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Steven Pinker meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in this entertaining, insightful look at how the fictional London crime-solver used sophisticated mental strategies to solve complex problems of logic and detection...[A] practical, enjoyable book, packed with modern science.”

    Boston Globe

  • “A treatise on how the Watsons of the world can smarten up...culled from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original works and cutting-edge psych research.”

    New York Post

  • “Weav[es] together the fictional detective’s cases and modern day neuroscience...important for solving cases or simply staying sharp as we age.”

    Psychology Today

  • “Using Holmes and Watson as both muse and metaphor, [Konnikova] shows us some of modern psychology’s most important lessons for using our minds well.”

    Carl Zimmer, author of Soul Made Flesh

  • “This fascinating look at how the mind works—replete with real-life case studies and engaging thought experiments—will be an eye-opening education for many.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A clearly written guide to the mysteries of logical deduction.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Konnikova...debuts with a bright and entertaining how-to aimed at helping readers engage in the awareness described by psychologists from William James to Ellen Langer...Will enthrall Baker Street aficionados while introducing many readers to the mindful way of life.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Oleksiy Kononov | 2/4/2014

    " It's definitely not a bedtime reading. It's not a work of fiction nor is it a commentary of The Sherlock Holmes stories. It's rather a serious psychology book which might be difficult to read for non experts in the field. If you're a big fun of Sherlock Holmes (who isn't after all?), I bet you'll be disappointed like I was. If you study forensic science, psychology or yoga, maybe you'll like it a little bit more, but will have to struggle with the reading... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Poma | 2/1/2014

    " Sorry this book just couldn't keep my interest. The subject matter is intriguing but the execution was boring. I don't doubt the author's passion but her tendency to repeat the same thought over 4-5 sentences was too much for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa | 1/21/2014

    " I felt like the author repeated herself and it wasn't very organized. I also didn't like the fact that she had direct quotes but no citation to lead you to the source--unless it was for a Sherlock Holmes story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janet | 1/11/2014

    " I find it annoying when "scientific" evidence is presented to help prove facts, but no notation is provided except a brief suggested reading at the end of the book. Where are the footnotes or endnotes? Where is the specific study that Konnikova is referencing? Also, I have not read a lot of Doyle and I felt like that was another detriment. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tom | 12/25/2013

    " Simplistic and lacking research behind many of the suppositions, the book is more homage to Holmes and Doyle than how to improve thought process. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vaibhav Gupta | 12/19/2013

    " Brilliant analysis of how Sherlock Holmes' mind works. Although Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character, a lot can be learned from him which applies to real life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pcox | 12/17/2013

    " Clever way to do an instructional book. I read a lot of these and didn't come away with any revolutionary thoughts but didn't feel like I wasted my time either. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ed | 12/6/2013

    " Elementary hokum. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Collin | 11/9/2013

    " This may actually come in handy. My brain already feels like it's more prepped to observe and deduce and be more Holmesy already. Her writing style is really good for a nonfic, and it blends the technical and the psychological to make it equally entertaining and helpful. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ruben | 10/12/2013

    " Sleights of Mind has been a far more interesting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trever | 8/4/2013

    " Interesting book, the book has a good premise but seems to wander at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christian Duchateau | 8/2/2013

    " Super-interesting, a must read for Holmes fans or anyone looking to simply boost their brain power. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Yasmin Gamal | 6/17/2013

    " I thought the book was quite promising in the beginning, but it started getting repetitive and boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Khuyen | 2/26/2013

    " Because ive read Thinking Fast and Slow.She doesn't talk of anything new.Just reinforce my belief in gathering a good knowledge capital,observe without bias,forming hypothesis and deduce logically. Some practical advice like letting ideas sink in and our subsconscious brain work are quite useful "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisaal | 2/11/2013

    " Couldn't get through the first chapter--I think this person was paid by the word. Very repetative. "

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About the Author

Maria Konnikova writes the “Literally Psyched” column for Scientific American and formerly wrote the popular psychology blog “Artful Choice” for Big Think. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, Paris Review, The Observer, Scientific American Mind, and Scientific American, among other publications. She graduated from Harvard and is currently pursuing her doctoral candidacy in psychology at Columbia. She lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Karen Saltus has narrated television and radio commercials, audiobooks, textbooks, multimedia, film, and voice prompts for interactive telephone applications. She began her career thirty years ago at a radio station in Portland, Maine. She later became a creative director for a station in Massachussetts. In 1994 she became a full-time freelance voice-over talent.