Summer is now officially in full swing, and that means one thing: beach reads! We all want a fun book to enjoy while getting our tan on, but pure entertainment rarely does much for our personal growth.
That’s where the five books below come in. They’re all fun and perfect for the beach, but they’ll also make you smarter—and maybe guide you toward a more fulfilling life.
Download the Next Big Idea App for “Book Bite” summaries of hundreds of new nonfiction books like these—all prepared and read by the authors themselves.
Plays Well with Others: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Relationships Is (Mostly) Wrong
By Eric Barker
A smart, surprising, and thoroughly entertaining guide to help build better friendships, reignite love, and get closer to others, whether you’re an extrovert or introvert, socially adept or socially anxious. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Eric Barker, in the Next Big Idea App
Big Feelings: How to Be Okay When Things Are Not Okay
By Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy
Big Feelings helps us understand that difficult emotions are not abnormal, and that we can emerge from them with a deeper sense of meaning. We can’t stop emotions from bubbling up, but we can learn how to make peace with them. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by co-authors Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy, in the Next Big Idea App
Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism
By Amanda Montell
The author of the widely praised Wordslut analyzes the social science of cult influence: how cultish groups from Jonestown and Scientology to SoulCycle and social media gurus use language as the ultimate form of power. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Amanda Montell, in the Next Big Idea App
Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age
By Dennis Duncan
Charting its curious path from the monasteries and universities of 13th-century Europe to Silicon Valley in the 21st, a University College London lecturer uncovers how the humble index has saved heretics from the stake, kept politicians from high office, and made us all into the readers we are today. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Dennis Duncan, in the Next Big Idea App
Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence
By Amy B. Zegart
A fascinating and revealing account of espionage for the digital age, Spies, Lies, and Algorithms is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the reality of spying today. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Amy B. Zegart, in the Next Big Idea App
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