a mind of its own
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In recent years, we've heard a lot about the extraordinary workings of our hundred-billion-celled brain: its amazing capacities to regulate all sensation, perception, thinking, and feeling; the power to shape all experience and define our identity. Indeed, the brain's power is being confirmed every day in new studies and research. But there is a brain we don't generally hear about, a brain we might not want to hear about . . . the "prima donna within."

Exposing the mind's deceptions and exploring how the mind defends and glorifies the ego, Dr. Cordelia Fine illustrates the brain's tendency to self-delusion. Whether it be hindsight bias, wishful thinking, unrealistic optimism, or moral excuse-making, each of us has a slew of inborn mind-bugs and ordinary prejudices that prevent us from seeing the truth about the world and ourselves. With fascinating studies to support her arguments, Dr. Fine takes us on an insightful, rip-roaringly funny tour through the brain you never knew you had.

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Helen Dunmore
"A fascinating, funny, disconcerting and lucid book … you'll realise that your brain can (and does) run rings around you."

The Times
"Fine [is] a cognitive neuroscientist with a sharp sense of humour and an intelligent sense of reality."

Dr Christian Jarrett, BBC Focus Magazine
"[a] witty survey ... this natty, well-referenced book would make an ideal gift for anyone interested in psychology."

Publishing News
"A light and amusing introduction to the brain and how it works on our perceptions and actions."

Human Givens Journal
"Fine ... describes with wit and clarity, and without wasting a
single word, the brain's capacity to mislead and distort. It is an
expert, valuable, if whistle-stop, guided tour of what cognitive
psychology reveals to us about the human condition."

Los Angeles Times
"remarkably entertaining"

Alexander McCall Smith
"This is one of the most interesting and amusing accounts of how we think we think - I think."

Dr Tom Stafford, The Psychologist
"accessible … with an easy style and light wit. … A Mind of Its Own is a fun introduction to some of the factors that can distort our reasoning."

"an unsettlingly entertaining tour. ... An edifying exploration, wryly
and ruefully expressed."

University College London Book Reviews
"accessible and witty"

Philip Pullman
"Witty and informative"

Caryl Rivers
"A Mind of Its Own manages to combine thorough research with charm and wit, not an easy task."

The Daily Telegraph
"An entertaining tour of current thinking"

Alain de Botton, The Sunday Times
"Consistently well-written and meticulously researched"

Scotland on Sunday
"Engaging, intelligent"

Brian Clegg, Popular Science (website)
"Excellent ... Fine's very engaging and chatty style ... will delight many readers ... Fine has got it just right. Although she is an academic, she writes like a human being ... All in all this short and enjoyable book is a must for anyone who wants to get a better understanding of what their brain gets up to when they aren't watching it. First class." Five stars

Entertainment Weekly
". . . provocative enough to make you start questioning your each and every action."

"Fine writes with clarity and humour ... [and] offers many insights ...
Although her style is light-hearted and conversational, making for easy
reading, there is a serious side to A Mind of Its Own. It's certainly
worth a read and will probably surprise you."

New Zealand Management
"Dr Fine has a way with words … She also has a light touch and sense of humour rarely displayed by those with an alphabet of letters after their name."

Rita Carter (author of 'Mapping the Mind' and 'Exploring Consciousness') website review
"[A Mind of Its Own] pulls the evidence together in a particularly neat and revealing way ... Cordelia Fine writes clearly and elegantly and even made this reader laugh out loud (in public)."

The Herald
"This is a delightful book, which manages to explain serious science simply, and with humour. It should be required reading for anyone who thinks they are in control of their faculties, if only to shatter that illusion. ... Fine's academic credentials are solid, yet she manages to write for an audience that extends far beyond the circles of experimental psychologists."

Mail & Guardian
“Fascinating stuff.”

Psychology Today
“Fine … catalogs [our] mental scramble in wry, spirited prose. Fine is
ever entertaining on the bigotry and pigheadedness of those nearest and
dearest to her … [she] succeeds marvelously at a tricky task – exposing
the psychological hijinks and hijacks that propel us forwards.”
London Book Review (website)
"... it's entertaining, and it's written in an engaging and none too
serious style, but it packs a punch all the same. ... Fine writes with a light touch, there's a gentle humour and a peppering of homely anecdotes throughout the book."

Science Books & Films
"We humans often behave in irrational ways, and in this volume, Cordelia Fine explains and elaborates many of them in a clear, engaging, humorous style. . . . Fine has an excellent knack for selecting good examples from the psychological research and presenting the information clearly and entertainingly."

"Filled with quotable stories and interactive ways of how our brain has a buoyant ego of its own and is not the objective tool we might like to believe."

Library Journal
"Fine is that rare academic who's also an excellent writer. Highly
recommended ..."

Dr Bruce Ritson. The Academical
"excellent, witty and informative … [Fine] has an admirable gift for making complex issues stimulating and understandable without losing contact with the underlying painstaking research on which this understanding is based. … This book is kindly, recognizes our human fallibility, and is a delight to read."

The Irish Times
"Fine’s flair for the humorous and anecdotal makes this a delightful read."

Damian Thompson, Mail on Sunday
"[Fine] succeeds brilliantly, cherry-picking the most intriguing
facts from hundreds of academic papers and wrapping them in witty,
self-deprecating prose."

"Clear, accessible writing makes [Fine] a science writer to watch."

The Guardian
"Fine’s style is chirpy … [with] many affectionately amusing scenes"

Publishers Weekly (U.S.)
"Fine documents a wealth of surprising information about the brain in this readable account that adopts a good-humored tone about the brain's failings without underestimating the damage they do."

Good Reading Magazine
"[a] little gem of a book". Highly recommended.

Professor Brint Montgomery, Science & Theology News
"one of the most engaging books on social psychology"

Adèle Geras (website)
"Marvellous … knowledgeable and funny … terrific. Don't miss it."

Rachel McAlpine (website)
"This funny, wicked little book is a must."

The Adelaide Review
"entertaining ... [Fine's] research is broad and judiciously employed and
her arguments lucid."

Radical Faith (website)
"a really good read ..."

Daily Yomiuri
“A Mind of Its Own … holds its own as a thought-provoking read.”

Shape magazine
“Brilliant and witty neuroscientist Cordelia Fine … explains how we constantly con ourselves and are all slightly delusional in the interests of protecting our fragile egos. In an accessible and humorous manner, she takes us on a tour of the brain, where you’ll discover plenty of things you’ve always wanted to know, and some you didn’t!”

Financial Mail
"If you think you are in control of your brain, you won't after reading Cordelia Fine's A Mind of its Own …. The neuroscientist employs the latest research to take us on an amusing and enlightening tour of the brain … "

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