Fun Psychology books
I usually don't read psychology books for fun. Part of this tendency is recent. I now tend to read non-fiction in short bursts and graphic novels and mysteries for longer periods of time. I have noticed a sharp decline in the intellectual caliber of my leisure reading that oddly starts with the birth of my son (much as I have noticed a drop in the pretentiousness of my movie and television choices - everything looks good after Elmo). But I also generally don't like to relax by reading about what I think about all day (it's the same reason I haven't seen any of the movies or documentaries that people assume I've seen that focus on a creative person).
There have been three recent psychology books, however, that I've actually enjoyed. I often have two quite disparate pet peeves about psychology books. Peeve # 1: The author is a journalist who doesn't fully understand the nuances of psychology research, or misinterprets or generalizes, or hyperbolizes (not all journalists do this, of course!). Peeve #2: The author is a fellow psychologist and I end up getting distracted by wondering whether I could write my own pop book (I am fully aware that this smacks of narcissism). Sometimes, however, there are books that are so good (and, usually, a little out of my own expertise) that I can put aside my own pettiness and just enjoy them. The recent revision of Movies and Mental Illness (by Danny Wedding, Mary Ann Boyd, and Ryan Niemiec), for example, is on an area I do some thinking/writing about, but it is so much better than anything I could have done that I am happy to just enjoy. The three I am going to briefly discuss are aimed for a more general audience (I do highly recommend the Movies book, also), and each is quite different.
Psychology and the Real World (Morton Ann Gernsbacher, Richard Pew, Laetta Hough, and James Pomerantz, Eds.) is a great starter book for undergrads. It's a series of brief essays by superstars in their respective fields (such as Paul Sackett, Henry Roedigger, Paul Ekman, Elizabeth Loftus, Howard Gardner, Peter Salovey, and Robert Sternberg).