Books about Beautiful questions

Each of the three books highlight different aspects of how to make the most of our innate questioning abilities

A More Beautiful Question cover 2024A More Beautiful Question

The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas
(10th anniversary edition, Bloomsbury, 2024; first published in 2014)

Ten years ago, I published the book A More Beautiful Question as an in-depth exploration of why and how questioning is such a powerful force in our lives. The book told stories of amazing breakthroughs that began with a simple—yet beautiful—question. It introduced readers to “master questioners” who use the power of inquiry to create, innovate, and influence. And it showed how all of us can learn to use questioning as a tool to bring about change and transformation in our work, our lives, and in the world around us.

The book launched in 2014 without a lot of fanfare, but gradually, and primarily through word of mouth, became an international bestseller, now published in seven languages around the world. A More Beautiful Question has been embraced by:

  • the NASA space program and the U.S. Army (which has used the book to train commanding officers)…
  • innovation-hungry companies, such as Starbucks, Disney, Pfizer, Microsoft, and many others…
  • educators around the world, inspired by the book’s ideas on how to encourage more curiosity and inquiry in young people…
  • and hundreds of thousands of other readers from all walks of life, many of whom have written to me over the years to tell me that the book had a profound effect on their thinking and their lives.

As the 10th anniversary approached, I asked myself: How might I inject fresh momentum into this book? And how might I expand upon my efforts to reach the many, many curious questioners out there who would undoubtedly be interested in this book if only they knew of its existence?

The answer to those questions is now at hand: The new, expanded 10th anniversary edition of AMBQ.

It takes all the best parts of the original book and adds several new chapters that address the challenges and issues of the 2020s, including:

The many updates to the book notwithstanding, its central message has not changed: Questioning can be a powerful force in our lives, one that can spark learning, innovation, change, and growth. To get to the breakthroughs and answers we’re all seeking, we must start by asking thoughtful, imaginative, “beautiful” questions.

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“Questions have literally moved mountains, powered rockets, and instantly developed images. Warren Berger focuses on what he calls ‘Beautiful Questions’ … that can lead to game-changing answers and results. These are questions that, once raised, tend to get people thinking in a different way.”

The Atlantic

“A fascinating look at the power of questioning to ignite change.”


“One closes Berger’s book newly conscious of the significance of smart questions.”

The New York Times Book Review  

“Why don’t we ask enough questions? Why do we ask so many bad questions? And how can we ask the kinds of great questions that make us better at leading, deciding, connecting, and creating? This isn’t just a thought-provoking book on questions — it’s also full of instantly useful answers.”

Adam Grant, bestselling author of Think Again

“Profound and eye-opening … Berger writes about how questioning can help us solve problems and work through difficult challenges in our daily lives.”

The Daily Beast

“We know that the art of asking questions is at the heart of discovery in science, philosophy, medicine—so why don’t we extend that power to all areas of our lives? The questions Warren Berger raises in A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION are thoughtful, provocative, odd, serious, and silly, but in every case they are indeed the kind of ‘beautiful questions’ that can help us identify the right problems and generate creative solutions.”

—Daniel Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“The desire to ask bigger and better questions is on the rise … Warren Berger has been tracking a movement toward questioning that is running very strong in Silicon Valley, but also seems to be spreading throughout the business, nonprofit and education sectors.”

“Berger champions the humble question as among the most effective tools in business … he curates a selection of the best, culled from a variety of leaders, academics, entrepreneurs.”

The Books of Beautiful QuestionsThe Book of Beautiful Questions

The Powerful Questions That Will Help You Decide, Create, Connect, and Lead (Bloomsbury, 2018)

Written as the follow-up to A More Beautiful Question, this book has a highly practical bent. As I traveled around and spoke to people about AMBQ and the subject of questioning, I learned that many people were interested in using questioning in a specific area of their work or lives. Four particular areas of interest stood out: creativity, decision-making, leadership, and strengthening personal relationships. People wanted to know how they could use questioning in one or more of these areas to be more productive and effective. And they requested specific questions—lists of, say, 4 or 5 best questions—that could be used in particular situations.

All of that guided me as I created The Book of Beautiful Questions. It is divided into 4 main sections—Creativity, Decision-making, Leadership, and Connecting with Others—and each section explains the importance and the role of questioning in those particular areas. Within each section, there are lists of practical, actionable questions—adding up to hundreds of questions throughout the book.

These lists of questions are designed to guide you through the various stages and challenges associated with creating, deciding, leading, and connecting—in other words, improving your life through questioning.

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“In this book, Warren Berger delves further into ‘beautiful questions,’ which are powerful tools that can transform people’s thinking … After laying the framework of the right questions to ask, he rounds out the book with a discussion of how to create an inquiring life; the process of questioning instead of reacting; and probing to find solutions to problems. VERDICT: This practical work is designed to prompt action and get results.”

—Library Journal

“Guides professionals to think deeply about how they can use questions to improve decision making and to inspire creativity, connect with others, and cultivate leadership skills . . . Introspective readers, or readers who feel like they can’t get off the hamster wheel, will find this helpful.”

Publishers Weekly

“Use Warren Berger and his new book as a guide for asking not only more beautiful questions but also more important ones. It may well make the difference between a busy life and a life that really matters.”

—Greg McKeown,  bestselling author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

“Warren Berger raises questioning to an art form. The Book of Beautiful Questions is a vital read for anyone who wants to excel at creativity, leadership, decision-making and interpersonal skills. Berger offers a symphony of questions that will inspire you to become your own maestro of inquiry.”

—Frank Sesno, former CNN anchor and author of Ask More

“Why don’t we ask enough questions? Why do we ask so many bad questions? And how can we ask the kinds of great questions that make us better at leading, deciding, connecting and creating? The Book of Beautiful Questions isn’t just a thought-provoking book on questions—it’s also full of instantly useful answers.”

—Adam Grant, bestselling author of Hidden Potential and Think Again

“In The Book of Beautiful Questions Warren Berger shows us the incredible power that inquiry has to approach problems differently and to unearth powerful, innovative solutions. In an increasingly complicated world, knowing how to ask provocative questions is a must-have skill for success.”

—Lisa Bodell, bestselling author of Why Simple Wins, and CEO of FutureThink

Beautiful Questions in the Classroom

Transforming Classrooms Into Cultures of Curiosity and Inquiry (Corwin, 2020)

Since publishing A More Beautiful Question in 2014, I have become increasingly interested in the role of questioning—particularly student questioning—in education.

  • Why aren’t kids (who are so naturally inquisitive in the preschool and kindergarten years) asking more questions as they advance through grade school and high school?
  • What discourages student questioning?
  • What might inspire or encourage it?

I was already thinking about these questions, and discussing them with teachers around the world, when an editor at Corwin Press invited me to adapt A More Beautiful Question as a new book for educators. I jumped at the opportunity.

Beautiful Questions in the Classroom is intended to be both inspirational and practical: The book rallies educators around a mission of transforming classrooms into cultures of curiosity and inquiry, and is filled with real-world examples and case studies that illustrate simple, proven ways to bring more questioning into classrooms.

To buy Beautiful Questions in the Classroom, visit the book’s page at Corwin Press.


“What does it mean to learn? Most of us eventually realize that genuine learning is less about delivering the right answers and more about asking the right questions. That’s why BEAUTIFUL QUESTIONS IN THE CLASSROOM is so important. Inquiry develops self-direction and deepens curiosity. And in an age of automation, questioning is a uniquely human skill, one we should foster in school and in life. This book is an essential read for educators at every level.”

— Daniel H. Pink, author of WhenDrive, and A Whole New Mind

“Warren Berger and Elise Foster maintain that the more questions children ask, the better questioners (and ultimately innovators) they become. This inspirational and highly practical book focuses on the why and how of creating “cultures of curiosity and inquiry” in our classrooms, where students (not teachers!) are the ones asking the questions, living the learning, making a difference for themselves, each other and the world.”

— Debbie Miller, author of What’s the Best That Could Happen? New Possibilities for Teachers & Readers 

“In this book, the “questionologist” Warren Berger and co-author Elise Foster show us why it’s so critical to encourage more student questions in class, particularly in today’s world. But they also show how to do that, with practical examples, exercises, and activities. The result is an inspirational call to action for educators everywhere.”

—Trevor Mackenzie, author of Inquiry Mindset

“Warren Berger and Elise Foster’s new book is a vibrant restorative effort, seeking to help us all recover the flood of questions typical of our 4 year-old neighbors. They ask us to think about the debilitating effects on our civic affairs and worklives of the mere trickle of questions asked by those same once curious explorers when they reach high school. The book documents and lays out in crisp, clear prose hopeful interventions that give us confidence that a revolutionary embrace of questioning is within our reach.”

— Neil Browne, author of Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking

“I celebrate the teacher who keeps the spark of curiosity alive in their classroom. And to be the change you want to see? No easy thing. Berger is a master “questionologist” and this book is an essential tool.”

— Michael Bungay Stanier, author of The Coaching Habit and The Advice Trap

“Warren Berger has already shown us brilliantly how questions can indeed ‘change the world’. In this book, Berger and Elise Foster provide schools and educators concrete ways to make questions and questioning an essential part of the learning experiences we design every day. In doing so, they offer us simple and elegant ways to change what we do as teachers, administrators, and students thereby improving our schools in fundamental ways.”

— Dominic A.A. Randolph, Head of School, Riverdale Country School

“Applying the compelling principles and practices in this book will profoundly transform how we show up as educators –– and leaders. Crucial reading for anyone committed to building the next generation of creative innovators at school or work.”

—Hal Gregersen, author of Questions are the Answer and senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“With engaging prose and compelling insights, Berger and Foster unravel the vexing puzzle of why our kids, who are born curious, grow less curious with each passing year they sit in our classrooms and schools. We know, of course, that curiosity drives all learning—and that at the heart of curiosity is questions. Yet as Berger and Foster demonstrate, the most important questions in the classroom aren’t teachers’ questions, but rather, students’ questions. With its many practical classroom examples and go-to strategies, I’d recommend all teachers have this book on their shelves—so they can return to it time and again to unleash their own curiosity and that of their students.”

—Bryan Goodwin, president and CEO, McREL International, author of Building a Curious School: Restore the Joy that Brought You to School

Who better than a journalist to guide us on the power of asking questions? Berger and Foster pull in expert testimony from various fields to share concrete ways we can help students of all ages lean into their curiosity through inquiry. This book is not only brimming with evidence-based practices but is beautifully-written and thoughtfully designed for the busy educator. This is my new ‘go to’ book for guiding students as questioners!

—Kimberly L. Mitchell, Founder, Inquiry Partners, author of Experience Inquiry: 5 Powerful Strategies, 50 Practical Experiences

The title of this brilliant book says it all. By the time you’ve finished, it you will understand why questioning is so critical in unleashing curiosity and inquiry – and you will have a rich toolkit to help you get there! This is a must read for those seeking to help young minds make sense of an increasingly complex world—by encouraging—and teaching them to question.

—Peter Gamwell, author of The Wonder Wall

“This book, this work, found me at a critical time in my career. I have long sought better ways to engage my kids in their learning. And I believe, now, I have found my next better in this book, a beautiful better that will transform me, my classroom, and ultimately my kids as they pursue their questions, their answers, their learning.”

—Monte Syrie, Teacher, Cheney High School

“Warren Berger’s book A More Beautiful Question is one of those books that I regularly pull off the shelf and dive into. It is lovingly marked up with post-its and several of my own questions scribbled in the margins. As an educator passionate about inquiry learning, it was thrilling to read the words of a journalist outside the field of education extolling the virtues of curiosity and wonder and to learn more about the way questions lead to innovation. Berger’s work certainly added fuel to my own fire. So it was with great delight to learn of his new offering: Beautiful Questions in the Classroom. This book is a rich and thorough contribution to the field. I am sure this will be another book by Warren Berger to which I will return over and over. It’s beautiful.”

— Kath Murdoch, Education Consultant and author of The Power of Inquiry

“The difference between a good teacher and a great teacher is the questions they ask. Beautiful Questions in the Classroom is a timely reminder that, beyond any content we might teach, the art of question posing is a gift that will serve students for the rest of their lives. This easy to read book provides useful, efficient strategies to cultivate curiosity in our classrooms and beyond”.

— Erik Burmeister, Superintendent, Menlo Park City Schools

“I want to read this over and over again! This is a book that EVERY teacher, regardless of their grade level or content area, should read if they want to see student learning transformed in their classrooms with JOY and EXCITEMENT! Questions matter!!”

— Karen Vogelsang, Tennessee Teacher of the Year

More on Books

» To see my previous books on innovation, visit my speaker’s website page

» See my recommended list of innovation, creativity, and critical-thinking books by other writers.

» Browse through a curated library of children’s books (all ages) put together for by librarian Tracy Sanders.

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