Psychology was the easy way to learn in college — sorry, psych majors — and Maria Konnikova’s Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes ($16) is the fun way to bone up your brain skills as an adult. In our age of lean diets and expensive gym memberships, we do often forget about that pink, fleshy master and commander of ourselves: our brains, that is. Ahem. Mr. Holmes would not be pleased with our skills of deduction, indeed, and so Konnikova’s book does both our noggins and an epic literary figure a great service.
Konnikova, a psychologist and writer for such publications as the New York Times and The Atlantic, frames her modern profession within Sir Doyle’s fictional world of intrigue and high-risk riddles, explaining first how we can improve ourselves through Holmes’ “brain attic” technique, or the way he stores and catalogs memories. Ultimately, the goal of the book is to aid in problem solving, creativity and cognitive intuition.Though if you want to use it as a training tool to become a modern-day Sherlock, we advise going with a supermodel Watson. A smart supermodel, of course.