Our guest Maria Konnikova is a New Yorker contributing writer. She covers science and psychology for The Atlantic, and The New York Times. We spoke to her about her book, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, a great overlooked crime novel, her favorite podcast, and lots more.

In each episode of Gweek, Dean Putney and I invite a guest to join us in a discussion about recommended media, apps, and gadgets. Our guest this week is Maria Konnikova. She's the author of the New York Times best-seller, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes and a contributing writer to The New Yorker, online, where she writes a weekly blog focused mainly on psychology and science. Her writing has appeared online and in print in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Slate, The Paris Review, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Boston Globe, WIRED, The Smithsonian, Scientific American MIND, and Scientific American, among numerous other publications. She formerly wrote the "Literally Psyched" column for Scientific American and the popular psychology blog "Artful Choice" for Big Think and is currently. She graduated from Harvard University and received her Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University. She lives in New York City and is currently working on her second book, The Confidence Game, on the psychology of the con, and completing her first novel.

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Here's what we talked about:


Don't Point That Thing at Me, by Kyril Bonfiglioli. I've recently discovered his work and it is brilliant and hilarious.

The Magician's Land, by Lev Grossman. Out in August. A conclusion to the trilogy that more than lives up to the first two.

The Gist, Slate's new podcast, with the wonderful Mike Pesca.


How to find four-leaf clovers

National Parks Passport


The Outfit, by Richard Stark. In the 3rd Parker novel, Parker goes up against the mob.

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[Image: 4-leaf clover CC BY-SA 3.0
Joe Papp