A pert little compendium of rules, fallacies, and techniques for improving your reasoning powers--by a seasoned explicator (for kids, especially) of UFOs, ESP, and other mental phenomena. First Cohen explains how the mind works, its strengths and limitations--notably, the mind's tendency toward pattern-making as a means of making sense of overwhelming stimuli. This leads to vertical thinking, or proceeding from one logical step to the next, often at the expense of seeing the obvious solution. Instead, Cohen recommends lateral thinking, or working at the seemingly irrelevant until it produces a creative spark. (Open a dictionary at random, for instance, and free-associate from a word until you come up with new ways to look at a problem.) He also examines brainstorming--and what's required to make it work--in exceptional detail. And he neatly pins some of the more common mental traps: overgeneralization, mistaken identification of cause and effect, circular reasoning, and so on. The outlook on arguing is unusual and interesting. Cohen recommends walking away more often than not (usually, both parties become more firmly entrenched in their positions, and nothing is gained); but if you do decide to fight, he'll tell you unreservedly how (mislead with red herrings, etc.). Discussions of mental stress and how to beat it, of the right/left brain dichotomy, etc., round out an already well-rounded book.