For Everyone:

‘The Brain’ by David Eagleman

An absolutely wonderful book succinctly explaining how our brains work in a very easy to understand approach. I have recommended this book to everyone: colleagues, friends, patients.


For Medical Students:

‘Psychiatry at a Glance’ (Katona, Cooper & Robertson)

Written by those who taught me in psychiatry as a medical student in the 90′s at University College London and updated regularly. A very concise summary covering the basics of psychiatry in one slim volume, managing to fit each chapter on to one page with a facing page of illustrations.

‘Psychiatry’ (Oxford Medical Publications)

For students wanting a bit more detail than ‘Psychiatry at a Glance’ then I recommend this book which is more comprehensive yet remains simple in approach.


For Trainees in Psychiatry:

‘Psychiatry: An evidence-based text’ (Hodder Arnold Publication)

Probably the most comprehensive book I have seen which covers every aspect of the MRCPsych exam content. It’s not a lightweight book and is not cheap but as a trainee I would have loved to have had a ‘one book covering everything’ rather than the myriad of books I had.


For Therapists:

‘Complexity and Group Processes: A Radically Social Understanding of Individuals’ (Ralph D. Stacey)

Out of all the hundreds of books I have read on psychotherapy and analytic theory during my career and various trainings, this book stands out as the most impressive by far. Written by Ralph Stacey, a business analyst who then trained as a Group Analyst, the book brings together elements from psychoanalysis, systems theory, chaos theory and introduces complex systems theory as a way of understanding how we function as social beings. This book will transform the way you think about interpersonal life.