If your education involved memorizing the periodic table of elements, you may have been convinced that science is boring. But the truth is that science opens the door to a deeper, richer understanding of our world—and with that understanding comes appreciation, gratitude, even love. So to fall in love with both science and the world around you, check out the eleven remarkable reads below.
Fascination of Science: 60 Encounters with Pioneering Researchers of Our Time
By Herlinde Koelbl
What makes a brilliant scientist? Who are the people behind the greatest discoveries of our time? Connecting art and science, a renowned photographer seeks the answers in this indelible collection of portraits of and interviews with 60 pioneering scientists of the 21st century. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Herlinde Koelbl, in the Next Big Idea App
The Deepest Map: The High-Stakes Race to Chart the World’s Oceans
By Laura Trethewey
The dramatic and action-packed story of the last mysterious place on earth—the world’s seafloor—and the deep-sea divers, ocean mappers, marine biologists, entrepreneurs, and adventurers involved in the historic push to chart it. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Laura Trethewey, in the Next Big Idea App
The Language of the Face: Stories of Its Uniquely Expressive Features
By Frank Gonzalez-Crussi
A broad and riveting cultural history of physiognomy, exploring how the desire to divine deeper meaning from our looks has compelled humans for millennia. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Frank Gonzalez-Crussi, in the Next Big Idea App
Beastly: The 40,000-Year Story of Animals and Us
By Keggie Carew
What does it mean when a gorilla tells a joke? Why does a wren sing? Beastly is a gorgeously written, deeply researched, and intensely felt journey into the splendor and genius of animals and the long, complicated story of our interactions with them as humans. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Keggie Carew, in the Next Big Idea App
The Science of Spin: How Rotational Forces Affect Everything from Your Body to Jet Engines to the Weather
By Roland Ennos
A clear and captivating work of popular science that explains rotational force—a basic driver of the universe affecting everything from the cosmos to our own bodies—from the masterful author of The Age of Wood. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Roland Ennos, in the Next Big Idea App
Eight Bears: Mythic Past and Imperiled Future
By Gloria Dickie
Just eight species of bears remain in our world. In Eight Bears, an acclaimed journalist embarks on a globe-trotting journey to explore their stories, whisking readers from the cloud forests of the Andes to the ice floes of the Arctic; from the jungles of India to the backwoods of the Rocky Mountain West. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Gloria Dickie, in the Next Big Idea App
Game of Edges: The Analytics Revolution and the Future of Professional Sports
By Bruce Schoenfeld
In the last two decades, innovation, data analysis, and technology have driven a tectonic shift in the sports business. Game of Edges is the story of how sports franchises evolved, on and off the field, from raggedly run small businesses into some of the most systematically productive companies around. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Bruce Schoenfeld, in the Next Big Idea App
Many Things Under a Rock: The Mysteries of Octopuses
By David Scheel
A behavioral ecologist’s riveting account of his decades-long obsession with octopuses: his discoveries, adventures, and new scientific understanding of their behaviors. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author David Scheel, in the Next Big Idea App
Ice: From Mixed Drinks to Skating Rinks—a Cool History of a Hot Commodity
By Amy Brady
The unexpected and unexplored ways that ice has transformed a nation—from the foods Americans eat, to the sports they play, to the way they live today—and what its future might look like on a swiftly warming planet. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Amy Brady, in the Next Big Idea App
Raw Dog: The Naked Truth About Hot Dogs
By Jamie Loftus
Part travelogue, part culinary history, all capitalist critique, Raw Dog will take you on a cross-country road trip in the summer of 2021, and reveal what the creation, culture, and class influence of hot dogs says about America now. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Jamie Loftus, in the Next Big Idea App
Into the Groove: The Story of Sound from Tin Foil to Vinyl
By Jonathan Scott
The story of recorded sound—the technological developments, the humans that made them happen, and their impact on society, from the phonograph to LPs, EPs, and the recent resurgence of vinyl. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Jonathan Scott, in the Next Big Idea App
The Key Ideas in 15 Minutes
“If you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books,” Roald Dahl once famously said. The only trouble is, reading even one book from cover to cover takes hours—and you may not have many hours to spare.
But imagine for a moment: What if you could read a groundbreaking new book every day? Or even better, what if you could invite a world-renowned thinker into your earbuds, where they personally describe the 5 key takeaways from their work in just 15 minutes?
With the Next Big Idea App, we’ve turned this fantasy into a reality. We partnered with hundreds of acclaimed authors to create “Book Bites,” short audio summaries of the latest nonfiction that are prepared and read aloud by the authors themselves. Discover cutting-edge leadership skills, productivity hacks, the science of happiness and well-being, and much more—all in the time it takes to drive to work or walk the dog.
Go Deeper with a Next Big Idea Club Membership
The Next Big Idea App is free for anyone to try—and if you love it, we invite you to become an official member of the Next Big Idea Club. Membership grants you unlimited access to Book Bites and unlocks early-release, ad-free episodes of our LinkedIn-partnered podcast. You also gain entry to our private online discussion group, where you can talk big ideas with fellow club members and join exclusive live Q&A sessions with featured authors.
For a more focused learning experience, we recommend a Hardcover or eBook Membership. Every few months, legendary authors and club curators Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink select two new nonfiction books as the must-reads of the season. We then send hardcover copies straight to your doorstep, or eBook versions to your favorite digital device. We also collaborate with the authors of selected books to produce original reading guides and premium video e-courses, 50-minute master classes that take you step by step through their most life-changing ideas. And yes, it’s all available through the Next Big Idea App.
Learn Faster, from the World’s Leading Thinkers
Whether you prefer to read, listen, or watch, the Next Big Idea is here to help you work smarter and live better. Wake up with an always-fresh Idea of the Day, the perfect shot of inspiration to go with your morning coffee. Then dive into one of our Challenges, hand-picked collections of Book Bites that form crash courses in subjects like communication, motivation, and career acceleration. Later, watch the playback of an interview with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Stanford psychologist Jennifer Eberhardt, or philosopher John Kaag. And be sure to check the “Events” tab in the app, so that you can join an upcoming live Q&A and personally chat with the next featured thought leader.
If you’re hoping to grow as a person or as a professional, we hope you’ll join us and tens of thousands of others who enjoy the Next Big Idea. Get started by downloading the app today!