Maria Konnikova

Welcome to my blog. I’ll do my best to update it regularly (or semi-regularly, at the least…) with news, writing updates, and other assorted thoughts. Read, enjoy, and please share your thoughts and comments. If you’re looking for psychology pieces at the New Yorker, you can find them here. If you’re looking for my old blog about literature and psychology, Literally Psyched, you can find it here.

Hour glass illustration

And the first week post-launch concludes!

January 11, 2013

It has been a busy week or so with MASTERMIND’s release. It started with a reading and book signing at BookCourt:

This 10-year-old wanted to know whether he was too young to think like Holmes. Never!

The reading was topped off by MASTERMIND’s first post-release reviews, including the Wall Street Journal (“ingenious” and “thoughtful…she covers a wide variety of material clearly and organizes it well”); the Boston Globe, “Steven Pinker meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in this entertaining, insightful look at how the fictional London crime-solver used sophisticated mental strategies to solve complex problems of logic and detection…practical, enjoyable book, packed with modern science”); the New York Post (“Required Reading”);  the Toronto StarCriminal Element; Katherine Ramsland’s Psychology Today blog; and Big Think.

MASTERMIND also received this wonderful recommendation from Maria Popova’s Brain Picking and a mention in the February issue of Vanity Fairin the “In Short” section, and was included in The Stylist‘s list of soon-to-be-cult books of 2013, Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Books for a Fresh Start for 2013, and Poets & Writers anticipated books of 2013. The book was also featured on GigaOm, including a series of video interviews that I had with Om Malik this December in San Francisco, and was reviewed by the Sherlockian blogs Better Holmes and Gardens and the Well-Read Sherlockian and the science blog Doing Dewey.

Then, a few additional excerpts ran, in Scientific American, io9, and BoingBoing, as did one original essay, in The Atlantic. There were also some profiles, including this interview for CNN, this profile  in The Scientist, this conversation The Scotsman, and some conversations in American Airline’s and Southwest Airline’s in-flight magazines, American Way and Spirit. I also completed a Q&A for Shelf Awareness’s Book Brahmin and one with Jonathan Gottschall, author of the wonderful The Storytelling Animal, for his blog on Psychology Today.

And then, there were the radio spots. On Monday, I spoke with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer.

Courtesy of Brian Lehrer show.

I also chatted with WAMC’s Joe Donahue and Veronica Rueckert for Wisconsin Public Radio’s ideas network, and had a conversation with Michael Cohen for WILS’s Capital City Recap.

It has been a busy week. Thank you all so very much for your incredible support–and I’m glad that even the felines are helping book sales. You are the best!!

Book Court and cat photography courtesy of the mighty photographic skills of Cara Zimmerman–who also happens to be the artist behind the site’s original images.


  1. Misha says:

    Excellent book! What ‘version’ of the movie do you prefer? Who is the best actor playing Holmes?

    Thank you

    • So glad you enjoyed the book! As for actors, I’m a big fan of the modern Holmeses. I was–and remain–a big proponent for Benedict Cumberbatch when the BBC Sherlock first came out. And I actually think that Jonny Lee Miller is doing a wonderful (and underrated) job in Elementary. He has really grown into and captured the character.

  2. Lynne Page says:

    I also love Benedict Cumberbatch (and Martin Freeman). Cumberbatch’s Holmes is focused with every cell of his being. Holmes missed out on some things because of his single-mindedness, but I think modern youth is missing out by rarely focusing on any one thing.


    Sherlock tamed that huge hound of the Baskervilles.

    He used coke some but skipped the hip flask or pills.

    When he studied orange pips

    or a man’s twisted lips

    With sharp focus, he shunned multi-tasker ills.

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