Anatomy of an Epidemic
by Robert Whitaker. Crown, 2010

Whitaker, a longtime medical journalist, builds a disturbing and enthralling case that long-term prescriptions for psychiatric medications damage the brain and are directly responsible for the rising rates of mental illness in the U.S. —Karen Schrock Simring, contributing editor

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
by Ed Catmull, with Amy Wallace. Random House, 2014

As a child, Catmull, a co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, had two heroes: Walt Disney and Albert Einstein. His dual passions for artistry and technical wizardry were integral to Pixar's founding. Yet the company's growth from scrappy little studio to Hollywood mainstay kept threatening to throttle workers' creativity. In this book, Catmull shares the lessons he learned about inspiring employees to think freely even as a company grows. —Sandra Upson, contributing editor

Ha! The Science of When We Laugh and Why
by Scott Weems. Basic Books, 2014

Ever wonder what happens in your brain when you decipher the punch line of a joke? In Ha!, cognitive neuroscientist Weems divulges the answer to this question, along with many other scientifically backed factoids on the nature of humor. I discovered, for example, that the duck is the funniest animal in the English language and that my response to a joke could reveal personality traits. And best of all, Ha! left me with a score of groan-worthy wisecracks for amusing friends and family. —Daisy Yuhas, associate editor