Book Review: Curious – Ian Leslie

curious-ian-leslieTitle: Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It
Author: Ian Leslie
ISBN: 9780465079964
Pages: 240
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Basic Books
Genre: Nonfiction, Psychology
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Where does our curiosity come from? Why is it important? Why do many people lose their sense of curiosity as they get older? In this exploration of the nature of curiosity, Ian Leslie takes a close look at the answers to these questions and discusses why curiosity is so crucial for our future.


As I’m becoming older, and feeling like more of an adult, I’m getting more interested in nonfiction about how we think, how we get things done, and why we think the way we do, so Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It seemed right up my alley. It’s a slim book, only about 200 pages long, but WOW does it pack a punch. I was riveted, hanging on every word of this book, tweeting out quotes from what felt like every page because it was so insightful and relevant.

Have you ever experienced that phenomenon where you learn about something that seems weird and wacky one day, something that you’ve never heard of, and in subsequent days, it seems like you’re hearing about it everywhere you turn? That’s an actual phenomenon, and something that Leslie goes into depth with in Curious. It has to do with the way our brains our wired, the way we acquire and store information, and how our curiosity feeds into that.

Indeed, Leslie grabs and analyzes data from many different sources in order to give as comprehensive a look as possible on curiosity, and he does it very well. This is such a fascinating book, mixing pop psychology, statistics, data, and all kinds of cultural research to tell the story of curiosity and why it is so important. And he 100% sells it; the reader comes away from this book knowing how important it is to stay curious, and to continue wondering why things are the way they are, and to not be afraid of trying new things, something that is all too easy with technology’s quick changes as we get older.

What’s the most remarkable about Curious, though, is how readable it is. It’s a fast read, which is rare for this type of nonfiction. The anecdotes and stories make this book incredibly entertaining; even though you’re reading about science, it doesn’t feel that way. If you enjoy nonfiction, or if you’re looking for a place to start with this type of book (Curious‘s length makes it a very attractive candidate), you should absolutely seek this book out.

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  1. As an incurably curious person I must buy this book! Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Swapna.

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