Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How Not To Be Wrong: The Art of Changing Your Mind” as Want to Read:
How Not To Be Wrong: The Art of Changing Your Mind
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How Not To Be Wrong: The Art of Changing Your Mind

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  217 ratings  ·  35 reviews
'Simply Brilliant' THE SECRET BARRISTER
'Passionate and brilliantly argued' DAVID OLUSOGA
'An admirably personal guide' MARINA HYDE
'Smart, analytical, self-aware and important' ALASTAIR CAMPBELL

THE INTIMATE, REVEALING NEW BOOK FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING, PRIZE-WINNING HOW TO BE RIGHT

There's no point having a mind if you're not willing to change it

James O'Brien has
...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 22nd 2020 by WH Allen
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How Not To Be Wrong, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How Not To Be Wrong

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  217 ratings  ·  35 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of How Not To Be Wrong: The Art of Changing Your Mind
Lou
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
In his best-selling How to Be Right, James O'Brien provided an invigorating guide to how to talk to people with bad opinions. And yet the question he always gets asked is: 'if you're so sure about everything, haven't you ever changed your mind?' In an age of us vs them, tribal loyalties and bitter divisions, the ability to change our minds may be the most important power we have. In this intimate, personal new book, James' focus shifts from talking to other people to how you talk to yourself abo ...more
Sid Nuncius
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought How Not To Be Wrong was excellent. I don’t listen to James O’Brien but I enjoyed his previous book, How To Be Right very much and tried this on the strength of it. It’s a very different book, but just as good and just as important.

The message of the book is summed up in its penultimate sentence: “I have finally learned that admitting to being wrong is infinitely more important than using skills and tricks and weapons and tools to look ‘right’, and that there is no point in having a min
...more
Scott
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"There is no point in having a mind if you never change it."

I enjoyed O'Brien's last book and was intrigued by the concept of this new writing and how he admits and accepts his wrong attitudes. The reflective and critical analysis of O'Brien's own experiences and opinions was a perfect introduction to exploring your own faults.

A brilliant example of how to critically analyse your own opinions and beliefs to become a better and more understanding human being.
Rosie
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very honest look at James O'Brien's personal views on a selection of topics, which he held passionately and insistantly and how he came to realise he was wrong and change his mind. There are some deeply personal, vulnerable and revealing things here, from his days at school to adult reactions to obesity and the legitamate confusion of trans issues.

His recounting of his corperal punishment as a young boy at boarding school are honestly heartbreaking and it's a very interesting look at how that
...more
Courtney Goodridge
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A really honest book from James O’Brien. It’s fair to say that O’Brien is an intellectual idol of mine. However, if I had discovered him earlier in my life (as he describes in his book), I would’ve disliked him greatly. Some of his opinions and standpoints were grossly wrong, but he admits that in the book. It’s refreshing to see somebody analyse their old opinions and how they came to change their mind. His last book taught me not to stop at “what I think”, but to go further and explain “WHY I ...more
Stevie
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks
I very much enjoyed James’ first book, but struggled with this one. I thought parts of it were great and it was excellent to see a man being so open about therapy and his feelings. It lost me in the second half - he spent a lot of time listing all his previously awful opinions (and as I am not a radio listener this was the first time I heard them) which I found distasteful. Parts of this book were also clearly intended to be jabs at Piers Morgan and his ilk, which I found uninteresting to read - ...more
junkyard
I WAS SO MUCH OLDER THEN, I’M YOUNGER THAN THAT NOW.
The author starts off with a W B Yeats quote, “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”( Could this apply to Trump supporters I wonder? ) He has the analogy of “footballification” where we are split into 2 tribes where we are totally biased. This is seen where no common ground is found and disagreement turns to enemy and even hatred. The author has his own program on radio where he invites people to phone
...more
Steve
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review is available along with many others on my blog: https://livemanylives.wordpress.com/

“Opinions are made to be changed – or how is truth to be got at?” - Lord Byron

James O’Brien has made a career of being forcefully right on his radio show and exposing the holes in the often firmly held beliefs of people phoning in. In this latest book, however, he turns his interrogative skills onto himself and his own opinions and in doing so presents something that is universally helpful.

The state
...more
Angie
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've enjoyed listening toJames O'Brien on the radio, regularly dismantling other people's opinions on a wide variety of subjects. Many of his viewpoints I agree with: the one's I don't I have sometimes found myself shouting frustratedly at the radio. Either way, it's entertaining.

This book follows on from his previous best seller How To Be Right, and his focus shifts from looking outward and always trying to win the argument to looking inside and discovering (partly via counselling) why he think
...more
Michael May
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honesty that Challenges

James O'Brien is a UK radio presenter who divides opinion. His latest book "How Not to be Wrong" is excellent. His willingness to admit mistakes and to change his mind while at no stage letting lazy thinking off the hook is what riles so many others. Interestingly, he takes this approach to his own opinions, something that is so difficult to do.
I could quote much from his book, but share just a few headline quotes...
"There should be no shame in admitting to be wrong."
"Fre
...more
Robert Cain
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
British commentator James O’Brien is currently one of the leading broadcasters in the nation with over 1.2 million weekly listeners. With “How Not To Be Wrong”, he goes in the opposite direction, turning the mirror towards himself and looking back on his own prejudices and contentious attitudes. In doing so, he makes the case for having a rethink and as the title suggests, it’s difficult to admit you were wrong; the writer does so many times here.

The book is very much a response to “How to be Ri
...more
Victoria
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2020
In his bestselling How To Be Right, James provided an invigorating guide to how to talk to people with bad opinions. And yet the question he always gets asked is ‘If you’re so sure about everything, haven’t you ever changed your mind?’
Coloured with stories of changing minds from the incredible guests on his podcasts and callers to his radio show, and spanning big ideas like press regulation and brexit, through to playful subjects like football and dog-ownership, How Not To Be Wrong is packed wit
...more
Lou Barber
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book opens with the line that 'there is no point having a mind if you never change it'. In a world that is increasingly polarised and blind to anyone else's opinion, this is a much needed look at how healthy it is to admit that you are sometimes, if not often, wrong. A personal journey into therapy following the ill-health of a loved one, this is an honest account of one man's ability to be proved wrong by other people's lived experiences. Tackling subjects such as discrimination, obesity, ...more
Heidi
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed James O'Brien's first book, How To Be Right… in a World Gone Wrong, but I had a hard time with this one. I liked the more personal approach in this book when talking about contentious topics like stop-and-search, laying bare how and why he changed his opinions about the topics in question, but I felt like the tone sometimes shifted more into a sort of public self-flagellation for committing the crime of wrongthink.

I liked how O'Brien talked about being in therapy and how/why it
...more
Michelle B
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
James O’Brian’s second book is brilliant. It is aptly started with the sentence, ‘there is no point having a mind if you never change it’. What may seem like a weakness to some, is actually a real strength.
James comes to the book having gone through a process of self-examination and therapy. This has had a profound effect on him and coupled with the impact of many of the callers to his show, he has changed his opinions on many subjects. I would say this has changed the author for the better.
How
...more
Steve Angelkov
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
I used to listen extensively to O'Brien and his coverage of Brexit on LBC News Radio.

His style of unpicking a nonsensical viewpoint was very refreshing, from a radio station that had Nigel Farage and Nick Ferrari on it.

His MO is a fact based proposition, which I think the mainstream media should adhere to more, holding contributors accountable for throw away unsubstantiated comments.

The net outcome of this however, can be a condescending interviewing style, if statements cannot be 'fact check
...more
Jae
Nov 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm very clearly not the intended audience for this book--I'm not only not British, I had never heard of this British radio-call-in-show-turned-author until I read a retweeted tweet thread by him about this book a few weeks ago. But my faith in humanity (especially white dude humanity) has been badly shaken in 2020, and I figured that a book that consisted entirely of one dude walking the readers meticulously through some of the times he was wrong on the air (and why he made those mistakes at th ...more
Chiara Pinto
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a book about being able to change your mind rather than dig deeper and get more entrenched when you feel threatened. It feels more vital than ever in this time of tribalization and echo chambers to actually be able to talk to each other, empathize and reach compromises rather than being stuck in our own little silos. James illustrates it with examples of where in hindsight he got things wrong and also suggest useful question to ask ourselves. He is also a huge advocate for therapy as bei ...more
David Pain
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Tedious and dull. Love JO'B and listen to him most days but this is not a good read.

There's a missing part of biography about the event that led him to therapy. I understand that he felt it inappropriate to share but it's like saying someone saying, "you won't believe what I heard today... Oh no I can't tell you".

Most of the book is James publicly self-flagellating in long form for previous views or comments. Even though addressing your own views is a good point, it does not make a good book in
...more
Sivvy
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another excellent book from James O’Brien. Whereas his first dealt with how to interact with those around you who hold different (and baseless) opinions on contentious topics, this one addresses an equally vital challenge of the modern world - how to change your mind. With contemporary society ever more divisive and polarising, the art of seeking out new evidence and changing your opinion as a result is alarmingly thin on the ground. Using his own experience and prejudices to illustrate his poin ...more
Helen
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Holding up a mirror to middle class views and how we have formed bias conscious and unconscious from our family, education and social setting. This is then fed into by the popular press and social media.
James makes for uncomfortable reading at time but challenges beliefs and where they come from. If you cannot agree to see an opposing side of a discussion this is not the book for you. Expands the thought process and hopefully gives you things to think about.
Laura Richardson
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was not sure what to expect with this book but found myself pleasantly surprised.

James O'Brien details how he has changed his opinions on controversial topics but he also explains his reasoning on why he held those opinions and why they have changed.

The pages turned themselves, this was a very easy read and thoroughly enjoyable,

This book also described James's personal life including his adoption and how that has shaped his life.
Tim
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A remarkably open and honest account by James O'Brian of where he now recognises he’s been wrong, sometimes badly wrong, in the past and how he came to change his mind. He’s still struggling with some social issues, but let’s hope he is able to come to a just conclusion on them in the fullness of time
Stacey Bookerworm
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
How Not To Be Wrong by James O’Brien is an open, honest and insightful book in which he tackles his opinions on uncomfortable and divisive topics.

Read more of our review here: http://www.bookerworm.com/reviews/645...
...more
Rebecca Higgins
Nov 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I’m a big fan of James O’Brien I listen to him everyday on LBC and I couldn’t wait to read this book and I was not disappointed. This book is honest and heartfelt and I would definitely recommend.
Susie
Nov 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I’ve never heard of this author before, so this is a first for me. Interesting book, with interesting views on things.

Thank you NetGalley for my complimentary copy in return for my honest review.
Jenn Gonnelly
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
A perfect read for the world today. I appreciated that a man I usually always agree with can teach me how to evaluate my thought process and give me more to think about. It was a brutally honest look at how our views require constant evaluation in this ever changing world.
MarmottanReads
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Much more thoughtful, reflective and compassionate than his last book. James O'Brien, with the benefit of therapy, explores how we can all really listen and take on board other people's viewpoints.
Thomas Downey
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting to read about the impact of his school days and the effect thy had on him and how he changed his views.
Mike Taylor
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very personal look at his own development and how he has learnt to question his previous views. Occasional dips into some of his interviews help illustrate.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Politically Homeless
  • Fake Law: The Truth About Justice in an Age of Lies
  • A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future
  • Wake Up: Why the ‘liberal’ war on free speech is even more dangerous than Covid-19
  • Shadow Over the Fens (DI Nikki Galena #2)
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
  • Sunburn: The unofficial history of the Sun newspaper in 99 headlines
  • From the Oasthouse: The Alan Partridge Podcast
  • Real Life
  • The Missing Piece
  • Please, Mister Postman
  • The Gatekeeper
  • New Body Plan: Your Total Body Transformation Guide
  • Lonely Planet Rome (Travel Guide)
  • Every Missing Thing
  • The Toll-Gate
  • The Places Left Unfilled
  • Crime on the Fens (DI Nikki Galena, #1)
See similar books…
94 followers
James Edward O'Brien is an English radio presenter and podcaster. He is one of the presenters on talk station LBC, presenting on weekdays between 10 am and 1 pm, hosting a phone-in discussion of current affairs, views and real-life experiences. He hosted a weekly interview series with JOE titled Unfiltered with James O'Brien. He has previously occasionally presented Newsnight for the BBC.

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
4 likes · 0 comments