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Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Reveal Lab-Tested Secrets to Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants, and More!

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  253 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Blind Them…with SCIENCE!

How much better would your life be if you had an army of Nobel Laureates, MacArthur ‘geniuses’ and National Medal of Science winners whispering tips in your ear about your body language, or how to resist that impulse purchase you’ll regret tomorrow, or when to sell your car—or even helping you trick your spouse into doing the dishes? 

With this m
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 06, 2012 Ami rated it it was ok
Reviewing this book is conflicting. On the one hand, it provides insight into behavioral choices and evolutionary patterns. This alone promises the knowledge of being able to better understand and thus manipulate undesirable situations into more favorable outcomes. I'm positive that this alone is what drew so many readers to pick up this book and start reading. And certainly, some of the essays deliver such acumen. However, this book attempts to wrap complex concepts into a book that is insultin ...more
Jan 13, 2012 EeeJay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, net

Clearly one of the best books I've read this year (and the year's just started, yay!) - What I loved about this book is it's ability to suck you in right away in it's folds. I am a scientist and obviously this book made a lot of sense to me since I'm one of those people who question their lot in life. (If you wanna see my queries, here you go )But, I can also see people from all walks of life benefiting from this book. There's scientific info about health, wealth, love and life which would appe
Apr 19, 2017 Lauren rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfic, 2017-reads
Pop science books aren't usually my thing, but this one had its interesting points. Brain Trust consists of many little essays relating science to problem-solving. It definitely doesn't go into very much detail, but usually the author included some information that you could use to Google the science further if you were so inclined. I enjoyed my read, but I don't think a lot of the knowledge in the book will stick with me; maybe the parts about body language when flirting or eating within the sp ...more
Feb 24, 2016 Dwain rated it really liked it
I received this book for Christmas. Was a bit slow in starting it but, once I did, I found it most interesting. There are lots of insights into many of the things we do in everyday life. Tends to make you think differently about a lot of them. The book has puzzles every so often. I brushed them over and didn't really consider any of them. When I got to the end of the book I found all the puzzles answered and, in looking them over, I rather wished I had taken the time to try to figure them out as ...more
Rick Bavera
Mar 05, 2012 Rick Bavera rated it it was amazing
The book Brain Trust does a good job of talking about "trivial" things, like making paper airplanes, the colors needed on a map, delayed gratification, or how to scam-proof yourself. The items are "useful" trivia, and the author talks to various "experts" on the subjects he deals with, approximately 100, so that he can get the "scoop" on how to implement the ideas he explores.
The book also contains 18 puzzles/brain teasers, with solutions at the back of the book.

Good exercise in exercising your
Mar 12, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing
A book series that I enjoyed reading in the past was Imponderables, and this book reminded me a lot of those books with the added benefit of having studies back up the information that it provides. I found myself sharing much of the information I learned with my friends and family. If you enjoy learning random facts and information I highly recommend this book. I received this book as a first reads win.
Mar 16, 2012 Leslie rated it it was amazing
I like books like this every once in awhile. I feel like I'm learning soooooo much. Unfortunately, no sooner than I close the book, I manage to forget everything, almost.
I am then left with a vague, almost dream like memory of useless facts.

But because of my ever present optimism, I know that this time, I am over 100% smarter after reading this book.

Truth be told, this a great and fun read. I would recommend this book to all.
Nov 16, 2011 GONZA rated it really liked it
What happens when somebody that is very very good at something gives you adice over the thing he knows better? You'd probably have a book like this, full of many interesting advices and tips or only informations that could make your life easier!
Aug 22, 2012 Yawar added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 21, 2012 SantosGray marked it as to-read
I am really looking forward to this one!
Alex Boyle
Sep 02, 2012 Alex Boyle rated it it was ok
I decided to read this book because I found it sitting on a shelve in my dad's bedroom. And the cover looked fairly new so I looked at the date it was published; 2011. I felt in luck. I had been seeking for something that was published in 2011 or 2012.

As you guessed, Brain Trust fits under the category; 'A book written in 2011 or 2012' This category is interesting as you can compare the different ages of novels with each other. And see how some themes are more popular at different times. But I d
Sep 16, 2012 Specialk rated it did not like it
Shelves: audio
I mean, what was this?

Mini-essays on how to do certain things better using science. And okay, some of the science was sort of cool, but do you know how much is applicable to your life? Almost none. When talking about how to get better at Scrabble, we get one pseudo-usable piece of information (think about the value of the letters your leaving and what letters you might pull), but really, most hardcore Scrabble players are already doing this to some level. The other option? Memorize this list of
Mar 06, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I'm a total science geek, so I was really happy when I won Brain Trust on Goodreads. There were parts of this book that blew my mind, including "Eat for Eight Hours, Lose Weight", "How & When to Overrule Choice", Might As Well Face It: Addicted to Love". A couple of the sections were a little difficult to understand, but that's probably because I've got a non-scientific pea brain rather than any flaw of the author. In fact, I was in awe that he could explain such complicated scientific findi ...more
Long Nguyen
Feb 16, 2013 Long Nguyen rated it it was amazing
An enjoyable casual read, with doses of the author's personality popping into the writing every now and again. Perhaps a little too often at times, but that's hardly a penalty when moving between interesting topics. Perhaps the best way to be read is in small doses, which the short sections lend themselves to quite nicely.

Although the theories and research presented is very summarized, the topics discussed are readily available for the most part online should any one choose to dive deeper. It is
Jun 04, 2012 Marcia rated it really liked it

Another addition to the pop "brain science" books I've been enjoying this year. This is a series of 1-5 page essays based on interviews with brilliant scientists. I did not know that behavioral economics was a field! There's a nice mix of psych and behavior with more physical sciences, and it is really fascinating. The author has a nice, self-deprecating sense of humor, and brings it all down to laymen's terms. From eating to speed dating, to making a goal in soccer or folding a world record pa
Lukas Lovas
Aug 04, 2012 Lukas Lovas rated it really liked it
Very interesting stuff.
This book is fast paced, sometimes funny, and most important...interesting. It jumps fast from one topic to the next...from neurology to mathematical puzzles to aerodynamics of paper airplanes...and back to serious stuff in psychology.
If any of the mentioned facts interest you, the author included searchwords by which you can find pertinent data or videos on the internet. If some facts bore worries...the next chapter will come soon.
All in all...well written, if a
Jul 16, 2012 Zahir rated it it was ok
An entertaining, but also kind of overly simplistic read. More than anything, reading this book felt more like reading someone's personal blog.

Have to give the author credit for exploring scientific studies in the areas of behavioral science, physics, etc. and then trying to explain the concepts in plain English to lay people. Instead what he winds up doing is making snarky comments and what he believes are witty quips. The scientific concepts are interesting, but many for many of them his expl
Jun 16, 2016 Metta rated it liked it
This book is a collection of life hacks that are supported by scientific experiments. You learn the different tips and tricks to handling different issues in your life. There are many lifestyle hacks that got to do with keeping yourself healthy, and helping you lead a better life.

Sundem also explained many psychological effects that are very commonly used in marketing and policies today. The book is a very condense and simplified guide to the many curious things in life that is happening around
May 01, 2012 Carolyn rated it liked it
This is an interesting book full of live short vignettes about things that various scientists have discovered. I found several of them intersting, but a very few of them applicable to my life. The most interesting one to me was one about the captchas (little oddly printed words that you have to type when creating a new account for something on the internet) and how they are being used to decode old texts. Several of the vignettes were about gambling or other things that I'll never do. But there ...more
May 11, 2016 Edward rated it liked it
Though it looks like that the author is just collecting random experiments to let us know that science can be applied in all situations. But I don't think that's what the author wanted. I wouldn't try to escape tickets by fawning the police using probability and psychology. But after reading this book you do have a brand new idea about how things could be done differently. With the mathematical way of shooting, you can possibly made up that 0.1 foot disadvantage in a game. I do recommend this bo ...more
Mar 04, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Science lovers
Recommended to Amy by: won it in a giveaway :)
It was a really enjoyable read. The author has a very humorous writing style that helped make the reading funny and entertaining. Some of the "secrets" were really interesting to read about. Some were a little over my head and I didn't really care for. But you can't like everything. Also, the secrets were in very short sections (usually only a couple pages long at most) so it easy to read one more section quick before a class or during a commercial break on my TV show. Definitely an interesting ...more
Feb 22, 2012 Velvet rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This book is filled with nuggets of information, little bite-sized articles, which make it great for sharing with others and is addictive enough that it's impossible to put down. I made the mistake of loaning it out before I was finished with it, and these two friends (one an English teacher and the other a math teacher)have enjoyed it so much, I can't get them to return it. I received this as a Goodreads giveaway, but I think I'm going to have to PURCHASE another copy just so I can finish it.
Keith Mcnichols
Not as informative as I thought it might be. Essentially a bunch of soundbites, most of which you have heard or read before. As it's been a while since I read the book my memory might not be ass good as it should be, but I think some of the items were pretty much old wives' tales and some were lacking in supportive evidence. There were some interesting chapters, but, as I said most of it are things that you would already know.
Jan 22, 2014 Kayla rated it liked it
My husband and I enjoyed the book overall. Of course, the evolutionary bias was obvious, hence the 3 star rating. It was actually obvious to us that what was attributed to evolution just reaffirmed the design of the Creator. Some topics made total sense while others were surprising. If you like random facts, this book is right up your alley.
Mar 13, 2012 Natalie rated it really liked it

I had a blast reading this book and learned a bunch of information about new topics I'd never even considered before. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is that a couple of the essays Seemed like throwaways. The puzzles were fun and I'll definitely be referencing the notes I made!
Skye Williams
Feb 29, 2012 Skye Williams rated it liked it
Shelves: give-aways
Brain Trust was a fun read! The writing was light and witty.

Some of the entries weren't as interesting as others, but that has more to do with my personal taste than how well they were written. With such a large verity there is sure to be an lest one for everyone to enjoy.
Daniel Sperry
Feb 11, 2013 Daniel Sperry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book has lots of inspiring ideas and also talks about some misconceptions.

It was on my favorites list for a while.
Dropped out because it has no single powerful message.

I do recommend it.
Especially if you haven't been reading other books on brainhacking os lifehacking.
Feb 28, 2012 Melanie rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I wont this book as a goodreads giveaway and as a person who loves random facts this book really drew me in. Although I wouldn't recommend reading this book cover to cover it is great in short bursts. So if you like random fact please do read on.
Terri Light
Jul 01, 2012 Terri Light rated it really liked it
This was the Monopoly Game of books. Once you start it, it is hypnotizingly trivial and yet compelling. Ranging from interesting to weird to hilarious, the essays within yield some interesting tidbits.
Travis McKinstry
Dec 18, 2016 Travis McKinstry rated it it was ok
Definitely a great idea for a book, not so awesome in practice.

The author does talk about some very fascinating topics and science approached ways to solve them or speculate about them but they don't go into depth enough and don't explore topics that are applicable for many people.
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Garth works at the intersection of math, science, and humor, with a background including a growing list of bestselling books, a Magna Cum Laude pre-med/music degree from Cornell University, and math-for-hire for mobile app and tech companies. In addition to conferences, colleges, and bookstores, you may have seen Garth's work on the Science Channel, where he's a frequent onscreen contributor, onli ...more
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