Book Review: You Are Not So Smart

I like to think that I know just how advertisers are trying to sway my thoughts and opinions and gain my buying power. I also like to think that I am in complete control of such things as my thoughts, opinions, and buying power. But, evidently, I am not so smart.

I like the color red. I also like to think that I know exactly why I like the color red. But, David McRaney says that I am not so smart.

I like to think that I am a good person who would rush to the help of others in an emergency. I also like to think that I can think quickly on my feet and would know exactly what to do in such an emergency. But the book I just read tells me that I am not so smart. (Sometimes I like to think that I would have no idea what to do in an emergency. Just so we’re clear that at least sometimes I’m smart. Maybe.)

I like having friends. I also like having Facebook friends. I like having more than 150 Facebook friends. But apparently, I am not smart enough to have more than that. You know—because I AM NOT SO SMART.

I could go on, but I will spare you, and let you read about it for yourself in David McRaney’s new book You Are Not So Smart (though I bet you were smart enough to figure out that that was the title already) which is based on his popular blog by the same name (that I wasn’t smart enough to hear about before now, but have now read daily since).

McRaney has taken his blog and moved it to book format with small, blog-sized chapters which announce a misconception (when you are around others, you feel as if everyone is noticing every aspect of your appearance and behavior) and a reality (people devote little attention to you unless prompted to). McRaney then uses psychological studies and examples to explain the misconception du jour and help us all understand exactly how not smart we are.

Fascinating stuff, people. I really enjoyed reading it. It’s the kind of stuff that I can really eat up because it is just so interesting.

That said, I found myself being just the teensyist bit angry at the lack of control I have in my life. Everything around me is apparently manipulating my thoughts and views and I am so unaware of it that I make up lies and reasons to explain my actions. I also don’t like how psychology and the brain are the everything. Some of the studies and misconceptions/truths don’t match up with my religious views. Especially my beliefs that God answers prayers and that the Holy Ghost can lead and guide us through personal revelation. I’m sure that my brain does play a part in that, but I don’t think it’s ALL my brain.

But then, I am not so smart.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for this review.

This post contains affiliate links.

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Huh, sounds interesting. Although, I do know what to do in an emergency. That much is true. 🙂


I hope my library has it so I can read it. I'm off to check out the blog now. I already know I'm slowly losing my mind!


Well, one thing is for sure, we always have ALOT to learn!

Life in the circus

I always feel like people are judging me as a mother when my children misbehave.


You are that smart. I play against you in Words With Friends. I know. And I didn't realize that you had two violinists. You are a brave soul.


One of the things you mentioned is where I am usually not so smart… I know that people don't always notice all the details about me and that if I bring them up then they will, but sometimes it just comes out and I totally regret it later. Why did I have to point out something about myself that was bothering me? Or how I am out of breath or how I keep dropping the magnets while teaching the Relief Society lesson? I know I shouldn't but sometimes, "I am not so smart."


What if I can't think of any ways I'm not so smart? Does that mean I need that book the most? Probly.

But the truth is I can think of lots of ways and can't pick just one. How about my lack of smarts when it comes to members of the opposite sex. I could use lots of help there:)


I know I'm not so smart every time I put something in my mouth I shouldn't. Even right now as I'm writing about it I'm eating junk at 11:04 pm. NOT SMART!!!


I know what you mean about some things not QUITE matching up with your religious views – I think I'd feel the same way – but other parts of the book being really fascinating. I'm glad you enjoyed this one for the most part even if it did make you feel a little bit "not so smart." 🙂

Thanks for being on the tour!


I have never heard of this book before, but it looks awesome! I would love to win a copy of it. I don't like to be manipulated. In fact, that is one of the main reasons I don't like to watch romantic movies (ie chick flicks). It would be illuminating to see how wrong I am about this.


I am totally not so smart. This morning, I purchased an online game for $2.99 just for 700 swagbucks. Hey, I'm closer to an amazon gift card now!


I'm intrigued. 🙂 I know I'm not smart. lol


I am with Susette, it is not what comes out of my mouth that is not so smart, but what goes into it! Hmm,, where did I hide that extra candy? lol