I have said that I love science books written for people who don't understand science. It takes a very special academic to pause from the rigors of real scientific research and publishing, to write books meant to bring the rest of us in on the secret. Again and again, I find these writers to be fascinating and oftentimes poetic.
Richard Wiseman attracted my attention with some video on youtube. It led me to his books 59 Seconds (self-help in a minute or less) and Good Luck (the science of luck). He also publishes a quirky little blog where he introduces readers to interesting illusions, puzzles and the latest in the world of psychology research. Sometimes he invites readers to take part in psychological studies.
He recently published Paranormality: Why We See What Isn't There and asked American readers of his blog especially to order it. It seemed that no American publisher would pick it up since too many Americans believe in the paranormal phenomena that he discusses. American publishers would not distribute because they thought no one would buy it.
Wiseman uses psychology to explain and understand about every paranormal phenomenon that you can think of: ghosts, mind-reading, dream prognosticating, seances, table tipping and all kinds of other spooky stuff. He writes using short chapters, stories about mediums, psychics, and hauntings from history, and gives great lessons in how to have your own psychic readings or out of body experiences. There is a great appendix to the book called The Superhero Kit where he gives you all kinds of tricks for impressing people at parties. Think spoon bending and predicting the card you picked will turn up. Amazing.