Or start with “Finding the story inside the painting.” Tracy Chevalier, author of The Girl with the Pearl Earring, believes people "are wired" to tell stories. As proof, she interrogates three different portraits: The Girl with the Pearl Earring by 17th century Dutch painter, Vermeer, Boy Building a House of Cards by 18th century French painter, Chardin, and an anonymous portrait by an unknown Tudor artist. Art aficionados and readers of Chevalier's novels will appreciate the way she spins a unique identity for each portrait's model.
As you might expect, many TEDtalk presenters have written books about their specialties. So after you've listened to Barry Schwartz talk about "Using our practical wisdom," you can check out Practical Wisdom. And after you've viewed Dan Ariely's podcast "Our buggy moral code," you can read The Honest Truth about Dishonesty. The same goes for A.J. Jacobs "How healthy living nearly killed me" (Drop Dead Healthy) and Steven Johnson's "The Ghost Map" (The Ghost Map.)