Exploring Consciousness: Best Books on Consciousness and the Brain in 2024

Best Books on Consciousness

What are the Best Books on Consciousness? Consciousness denotes the awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings, ideas, memories, sensations, and environments. Consciousness is one’s awareness of themselves and the world around them. This awareness differs from one person to another.

If an individual can describe their experience, it is a part of their consciousness. It is an ever-changing experience. Consciousness constantly shifts and changes from one thing to the other. For instance, now, you are focused on reading a book. In the next moment, your consciousness will shift to a memory of your adventurous trip last year.

Again, you might think of going outside and having a burger. Changing your consciousness can bring in a shift in your perception, thinking, and understanding.

10 Best Books on Consciousness

Consciousness is a critical process to understand. Here is a list of famous books on consciousness that might make it easier to understand the topic.

1. Incognito, by David Eagleman

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
Used Book in Good Condition; Eagleman, David (Author); English (Publication Language); 304 Pages - 05/15/2012 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)
$18.00 −$3.57 $14.43

David Eagleman is an American neuroscientist, science communicator, and author. He is a professor at Stanford University and the CEO of NeoSensory. He also runs a non-profit organization called the Centre for Science and Law.

According to researchers and psychologists, the part of our brain that remains conscious is like the tip of the iceberg. So what does the rest of our brain or mind do?

Incognito is one of the best books on evolutionary psychology that gives you an answer to this question.

Eagleman surprises the readers by taking them deep into our subconscious brains in this book. Here, he explains the reasons behind not being able to keep secrets. He also describes why we hear our name in conversations that we are not even listening to.

This book explores the human brain by considering brain damage, dating, beauty, drugs, criminal law, etc.

2. The Road Less Travelled, by M. Scott Peck

Scott Peck served as the Assistant Chief Psychiatry and Neurology Consultant in the US Army. He held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the army. After retiring from the military, he started a private practice and wrote several books.

Dr. Peck’s The Road Less Travelled is a best-selling book on consciousness. This book has significantly impacted both our intellectual and spiritual lives. It helps the readers to understand the loving nature of every relationship.

The readers will take a new turn in their experience with the help of this book. The book also explains and differentiates between dependency and love. Besides, the readers will learn to be more considerate parents and discover their hidden potential.

The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology...
Great product!; M. Scott Peck (Author); English (Publication Language); 315 Pages - 02/04/2003 (Publication Date) - Touchstone (Publisher)
$18.00 −$4.71 $13.29

3. Humans, by Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips is an English painter, printmaker, and collagist. He has also authored some novels and poetry. Phillips has received several awards, including the John Moors and Frances Williams Memorial prizes.

Humans have evolved in the past seventy thousand years since their inception. They have established dominance in art, science, culture, trade, the food chain, etc. But sometimes, humans mess things up, and that changes everything.

Humans provide an extensive view of humankind, drawing together history, science, culture, and politics. From human destruction to their glory – this book has it all. The book states the stories of famous and historical personalities and communities like Lucy, General Zhou Shou, the Austrian army’s attacks, and much more.

This book describes how the simplest mistakes of human beings have psychologically changed the course of human evolution.

Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up
Amazon Kindle Edition; Phillips, Tom (Author); English (Publication Language); 270 Pages - 05/07/2019 (Publication Date) - Hanover Square Press (Publisher)

4. The Moral Animal, by Robert Wright

Robert Wright is an American author and journalist by profession. His writings primarily focus on history, science, politics, and religion. He is also a visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary and teaches Science and Religion.

The Moral Animal has become one of the best books on consciousness in the past few years. In this book, Wright explains different life features with the help of evolutionary biology. He discusses human and animal behavior and the mind and compares it with Darwin’s evolutionary theory.

He explains how our genetic strategies can significantly affect our everyday life. Wright also demonstrates the loving relationships among lovers, friends, and family. He explains psychological evolution through Darwin’s biological evolution.

The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New...
Wright, Robert (Author); English (Publication Language); 496 Pages - 08/29/1995 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)
$18.00 −$2.63 $15.37

5. The Better Angels of Our Nature, by Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker is a Canadian-American cognitive psychologist and linguist. He is a professor of Psychology at Harvard University. Pinker has specialized in the field of visual cognition and psycholinguistics.

We live in the most violent age with rising crimes, terrorism, and war. But Pinker has proved us wrong in his book The Better Angels of Our Nature. According to him, violence has declined compared to the beginning of human civilization. We had faced war, slavery, child abuse, infanticide, mass killings, horrific punishments, and so much more.

Combining psychology and history, Pinker reveals the actual kernel of human nature. He says it is essential to understand the inner motives of human beings. Everyone has two sides to their life – the inner demon and the other, the angel controlling one part. When the inner demon forces us to do something unethical, the angel turns us away from that path. And at the end, Pinker says that the angel successfully reduces human violence.

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
Used Book in Good Condition; Pinker, Steven (Author); English (Publication Language); 832 Pages - 09/25/2012 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)
$22.00 −$10.03 $11.97

6. Free to Learn, by Peter Gray

Peter Gray is an American research professor of psychology at Boston College. He is also a scholar and a motivational speaker. He is the founder and board president of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education.

In Free to Learn, Gray claims that it is important to let children learn independently. This will help them in their mental development and growth. If children are taught the same old learning method, they will find coping with the continuously changing world challenging.

So, children should learn from their surroundings or self-directed learning. This will help the children control their lives, solve different problems, and make friends. It will also help them be emotionally stable.

This book is excellent for parents and teachers who can guide their children and help them evolve psychologically. This book is one of the most-rated new books.

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make...
Hardcover Book; Gray, Peter (Author); English (Publication Language); 288 Pages - 03/05/2013 (Publication Date) - Basic Books (Publisher)
$27.99 −$21.00 $6.99

7. Spiritual Science, Higher Conscious Thinking and How to Access the Universal Consciousness, by Aage Nost

Aage Nost is an American doctor, politician, and writer. 1975 he started a flight school named Arrowhead Airways, Inc., his partner. He was also an Accident Prevention Counsellor for the Federal Aviation Administration.

This book discusses the power of the mind and its importance to our existence. The author explains time travel, immortality, spiritual healing, photographing ghosts, meditations, etc.

According to biblical and non-biblical records, the book also provides insight into Jesus and his existence. The author also talks about the creator of the Bible, universal consciousness, and the true potential of our minds.

The book gives a detailed explanation of heaven and hell, death, reincarnation, and Karma. In short, the book provides techniques to improve physically and spiritually.

Spiritual Science, Higher Conscious Thinking, and How to...
Nost, Aage (Author); English (Publication Language); 334 Pages - 01/29/2015 (Publication Date) - Outskirts Press (Publisher)
$25.95 −$3.09 $22.86

8. Conscious, by Annaka Harris

Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the...
Hardcover Book; Harris, Annaka (Author); English (Publication Language); 144 Pages - 06/04/2019 (Publication Date) - Harper (Publisher)
$23.00 −$8.71 $14.29

Annaka Harris is an American author. Her writings mainly focus on neuroscience, meditation, consciousness, and philosophy of mind. She was also the co-founder of Project Reason, a non-profit science education group.

We all have these several questions in mind – What is consciousness? Why does it exist, and how does it arise? Why is it that everyone has consciousness? Conscious wonderfully explains all these questions to the readers.

The book discusses the philosophies and scientific findings of consciousness. This book makes our limited understanding of consciousness clear. It explains the whereabouts of consciousness and the reasons for its rise. Whether it is an illusion or a natural phenomenon – the book has an answer.

Additionally, the book discusses artificial intelligence and its relation to consciousness. This book offers some compelling arguments and allows the readers to change their ideas about consciousness.

9. The Soul of an Octopus, by Sy Montgomery

Sy Montgomery is a naturalist, author, and scriptwriter. Her writings for children and adults have earned her several awards. Montgomery was awarded two honorary Doctorate degrees.

The Soul of an Octopus discovers the physical and emotional world of the Octopus. Octopuses are generally sophisticated but intelligent creatures. And they make a significant bonding with human beings.

Montgomery has visited aquarium tanks in New England, French Polynesia coral reefs, and the Gulf of Mexico to befriend octopuses. She came across many octopuses, like curious Kali, gentle Athena, joyful Karma, and others. But all of them had different personalities. They showed their skills and intelligence in countless ways.

Scientists are curious about the problem-solving skills and color-changing techniques of octopuses. The author illustrates a unique and beautiful love story between her and the octopuses. This book describes the journey of how two different minds meet each other.

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the...
Montgomery, Sy (Author); English (Publication Language); 272 Pages - 04/05/2016 (Publication Date) - Washington Square Press (Publisher)
$18.99 −$10.27 $8.72

10. The Nature of Consciousness, by Rupert Spira

Rupert Spira is a renowned English potter and studio potter. He also teaches internationally on the “direct path.” It is a method of spiritual self-inquiry through speech and writing. He has published several books on spiritual learning.

We believe that consciousness is derived from matter. And this is the foundation of our world culture. The Nature of Consciousness describes how materialistic assumption is the leading cause of human suffering.

The book also explains the reasons for conflicts between different communities and nations. As a result of these conflicts, our environment is facing moral degradation. This book reveals all the misconceptions related to consciousness.

The book suggests we must know consciousness’s presence and primary and true nature to expel these misconceptions.

The Nature of Consciousness: Essays on the Unity of Mind and...
Spira, Rupert (Author); English (Publication Language); 296 Pages - 06/01/2017 (Publication Date) - Sahaja (Publisher)
$21.95 −$5.06 $16.89


In its purest form, consciousness is the awareness of internal and external existence. But this phenomenon remains a mystery and controversial despite countless research and analyses. It is a state of mind that helps us differentiate between right and wrong, the good and the bad.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which part of the brain is associated with consciousness?

The brain is divided into three major regions – Cerebrum, Cerebellum, and Brainstem. The cerebrum is the most significant structural unit of the brain. It is part of the forebrain or prosencephalon.

The cerebral cortex, the outer portion of the cerebrum, processes sensory and motor information. Its other primary function is to enable consciousness in our minds. To know more, read our collected best books on consciousness.

2. What is the relationship between consciousness and the brain?

Consciousness is a physical process that is controlled by the brain. But the process does not take place in the brain. Human consciousness arises at the intersection of three elements of animal behavior. These elements are – communication, play, and the use of tools. Combining these three elements gives rise to awareness, creating consciousness in humans.

3. What is the conscious and unconscious mind?

Sigmund Freud divided the mind into three different levels –

  • The Preconscious mind
  • The Conscious mind
  • The Unconscious mind

The conscious mind carries all our thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and memories. We are aware of this state of mind. We can talk and think logically when we are at this level.

The unconscious mind is like a container that reserves our feelings, thoughts, desires, and memories. These are stored outside our conscious minds, and we are unaware of this state. The contents of the unconscious mind are very unpleasant, like anxiety, pain, conflict, etc.

4. What is consciousness in psychology?

Consciousness refers to an individual’s awareness of their thoughts, beliefs, feelings, sensations, and environment. In other words, consciousness is one’s awareness of themselves and their world. One needs to be awake and aware to experience consciousness. This awareness is different for every individual. You can learn more from the mentioned ten best books on consciousness.

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Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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