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The Little Blue Reasoning Book: 50 Powerful Principles for Clear and Effective Thinking (3rd Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Brandon Royal
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

For Reasoning Aficionados From All Walks of Life!

This guidebook addresses one of the most critical yet seldom taught skills. Reasoning skills help us make sense of the world, including how to better make decisions, tackle opportunities, evaluate claims, and solve problems. Interwoven within the book’s five sections – Perception & Mindset, Decision Making, Creative Thinking, Analyzing Arguments, and Mastering Logic – reader’s will discover 50 reasoning tips that summarize the common themes behind classic reasoning problems and situations. Appendixes contain summaries of fallacious reasoning, analogies, trade-offs, and a review of critical reading skills. A wealth of examples, charts, and insightful problems makes The Little Blue Reasoning Book an invaluable guide for any individual wanting to further sharpen his or her thinking skills.

Enjoy the benefits of your own self-paced reasoning course:
*Gain insights into the four classic mindsets and how each influences one’s outlook.
*Make better decisions by framing problems with quantitative tools.
*Employ creative thinking to bypass “roadblocks” and unlock novel solutions.
*Evaluate claims by challenging the strength of key assumptions.
*Use logic to break down arguments in a clear, easy-to-understand manner.
*Review the 10 classic trade-offs to speed recognition of core issues.
*Read with added clarity, whether your goal involves pleasure or profit.

Editorial Reviews


"A wonderful work that shows how reasoning is challenging, yet engaging, rewarding and fun. Because reasoning involves people, it is an art as well as a science. And to remind ourselves just why it's not always easy to mix the two, we owe a cheerful salute to Nobel prize-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann who observed: `Think how hard physics would be if particles could think.'"
—Dr. William A. McEachern, author, award-winning teacher, and founding editor of The Teaching Economist

From the Publisher

This book – a winner at the International Book Awards and gold medal winner at the President’s Book Awards – is suitable for high school, community college, or university students, as well as any individual wanting to improve his or her core essential reasoning and thinking skills.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent choice for anyone who thinks, or wants to December 30, 2010
By C Lemky
This is the kind of book I wish I had in high school. No one teaches the art of thinking but every once in a while we have to give our brains a tune-up. One of my favorite topics is how the four classic mindsets influence how we view the world. I love how the following problem says so much about the way we think and how every answer choice is both right and wrong:

Which of the following five sports is least like the other four?

A) Baseball
B) Cricket
C) Soccer (Football)
D) Golf
E) Ice Hockey

This is indeed an interesting question highlighting the possibility of multiple solutions and subjective interpretations. Not only would such a question never be chosen for an IQ test, but it also hints at ambiguity so often present whenever individuals make choices.

Most people find themselves choosing choice D insofar as golf is primarily an individual sport while the other sports are team sports. Golf is also the only sport here in which a lower score beats a higher score. Some pontificate whether the distinction rests on the degree to which golf is more mental than physical while the other four sports are more physical than mental. Certainly physical speed is of obvious importance in all sports except golf.

Choice E is likely the next most popular answer. Ice hockey is essentially a winter sport, whereas the other sports are typically played in warmer weather. In ice hockey, players use skates, whereas in the other sports players use sporting shoes. Ice hockey is also played with a puck, the others, with balls! (Pun intended -- ice hockey is notorious for being one of the roughest of sports and the only one listed above where you can legitimately "check" another player.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A trite and disorganized collection of lists February 4, 2013
By David
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on the awards it had won and the number of very positive reviews on Amazon. Which leads me to say, I guess there's no accounting for taste. It's true that the book is fairly comprehensive in its scope, covering perception issues, creativity, analysis, and formal logic, along with a bundle of lists in appendix form.

Unfortunately, it's all downhill from the table of contents. Nearly every chapter of Royal's book is studded with jarring non sequiturs and jumps in subject, beginning with the `preface', which is simply a logic humorous logic puzzle with no explanation at all. That turns out to be perfectly representative of what's to come. Royal loves lists. He loves lists a lot more than he loves any other form of writing, apparently, since most chapters consist of more lists than anything else; the last half of the book is nothing but lists. I ought to have been warned by the subtitle promising "50 powerful principles," but many of these appear to be simply classroom exercises pasted wholesale into this book (chapter two, embarrassingly, spends a page and a half with a list entitled `How is a good idea like an Iceberg?'[sic] and says "You may write your answers on a separate sheet of paper"!) Nor are the book's problems merely structural, but cross over into issues of fact; his first chapter erroneously describes the `infinite monkeys' thought experiment as the "billion chimpanzee" "saying" and then gives it as support for his statement that "the magic of chance or coincidence reminds us that almost anything is possible." This, unfortunately, is not true, as the mathematics only work as the number of monkeys approaches infinity. A technical point? Maybe.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the book I wish I had in middle school July 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Royal does a superb job illustrating the basic principles of reasoning. I didn't take away much new from this book, having already completed college and some graduate study, but I have loved to have had this book in middle school and high school! I recommend this book highly to all young people or people who have little background in formal reasoning. Also, a great thing for parents to buy for their kids!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Mind Workout February 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is a great resource to exercise and improve thinking. Great examples of clear and effective thinking in many areas and done in an interactive way using the Kindle to make the learning fun.
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35 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Understanding how the mind works is the basis for a good argument. "The Little Blue Reasoning Book: 50 Powerful Principles for Clear and Effective Thinking" discusses the thought processes that we all go through and outlines the four classic mindsets, facing problems, overcoming them, and arguing for one's viewpoint. Thoughtful, insightful, and fascinating, "The Little Blue Reasoning Book" is well worth reading for application to all of life's problems, both big and small.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sound learning opportunity April 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I am really happy with this purchase. The book does what it says in the title a breaks down the way in which arguments are made and the sometimes poor ways in which we make decisions.

You will learn all about the ways in which to break down problems and determine the flaws that exist. I was hugely impressed with the mini case studies that readers need to work their way through to complete the book and there is a solid appendix for extra reference.

The only minor issue that I had was that some of the book reads as a text whilst other parts read as a business success guide. Its not really a drama but I found it to blunt the flow of the book a little. Importantly though I don't think that this subtractsss from the value contained within.

I supect for many (including me) that I will need a re-read in the near future and some notes to be taken to get the full value. I'm looking forward to commiting the principles to memory because the value of them is well illustrated.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I absolutely love this book. A must for any debator.
Published 1 month ago by L. Char
5.0 out of 5 stars This book deserves to be in schools
This book should've been available to all schools for better learning. Its really interesting facts that the author has written. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Errol
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little book
I tutored a young man last summer who was studying to become a police officer. We used this book in a number of ways as part of his training in deductive and inductive reasoning. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Dossie Terrell
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Primer on Critical Thinking
Note: I was given a complimentary copy of this book for review, however the version I was given is an older version under the title The Little Blue Thinking Book. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Julie Ann Dawson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Excellent book. I highly recommend keeping a copy nearby and taking notes as you read. Only one thing was wrong in the book. The Pope did not die in 1981. Read more
Published 15 months ago by R. Matthew Randquist
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Little Book
I chose this rating because the book made me laugh at the logical funny stories. It also helped me understand things a little clearer. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Candice M. Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars intelligent
It’s a lot better than I expected. Even the topics I already knew about had something new to offer. I’m very happy to own it.
Published 17 months ago by J. Lugo
3.0 out of 5 stars good resource
presented ideas in useful way. What more is there to say. I enjoyed the book and learned alot from it. It wasn't absolutely perfect but worth the money.
Published 19 months ago by sharyn h.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Resource for Schools, Students, and Teachers
While reading "Einstein: Out of My Later Years" on my Kindle last night, I veered off to browse for something on how to feel smarter than I really am, able to understand his... Read more
Published on December 14, 2012 by Perfesser W Limp
5.0 out of 5 stars The Little Blue Book of Reasoning
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. First, it explains various types of reasoning. It then poses various problems and then looks at how how to solve each of these problems using the... Read more
Published on October 6, 2012 by Jerry
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More About the Author

Brandon Royal is an award-winning writer whose educational authorship includes The Little Blue Reasoning Book, The Little Red Writing Book, The Little Gold Grammar Book, The Little Red Writing Book Deluxe Edition, The Little Green Math Book, and The Little Purple Probability Book. During his tenure working in Hong Kong for US-based Kaplan Educational Centers -- a Washington Post subsidiary and the largest test-preparation organization in the world -- Brandon honed his theories of teaching and education and developed a set of key learning "principles" to help define the basics of writing, grammar, math, and reasoning.

A Canadian by birth and graduate of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, his interest in writing began after completing writing courses at Harvard University. Since then he has authored a dozen books and reviews of his books have appeared in Time Asia magazine, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal of America, Midwest Book Review, The Asian Review of Books, Choice Reviews Online, Asia Times Online, and Brandon is a five-time winner of the International Book Awards, a five-time gold medalist at the President's Book Awards, as well as winner of the Global eBook Awards, USA Book News "Best Book Awards," and recipient of the 2011 "Educational Book of the Year" award as presented by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta.

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