Once our high school and college years are over, making new friends can feel especially challenging. Where are we supposed to meet our new BFF? Should we try a new hobby or join a new gym? Maybe we could ask a coworker on a friend date… But would that be weird?
If these questions are familiar to you, it may be time to do a little reading. So check out the five remarkable books below to discover the science of making—and keeping—good friends. (When you meet your next potential bestie, you’ll be glad you did.)
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
Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—and Keep—Friends
By Marisa G. Franco
A psychologist and University of Maryland professor provides a clear and actionable blueprint for forging strong, lasting connections with others—and for becoming our happiest, most fulfilled selves in the process. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Marisa Franco, in the Next Big Idea App
Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides
By Geoffrey Cohen
A Stanford University psychologist applies his and others’ groundbreaking research to the myriad problems of communal existence and offers concrete solutions for improving daily life at work, in school, in our homes, and in our communities. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Geoffrey Cohen, in the Next Big Idea App
Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends, and Colleagues
By David Bradford and Carole Robin
The instructors of the renowned Interpersonal Dynamics course at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business have collected their most powerful insights into a single transformative read. Whether you’re negotiating with a potential business partner or trying to reconnect with an old friend, Connect is an ideal guide to building better, stronger relationships. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by co-author Carole Robin, in the Next Big Idea App
Friendship in the Age of Loneliness: An Optimist’s Guide to Connection
By Adam Smiley Poswolsky
In this warm, inspiring guide, a millennial workplace expert proposes a new solution for the mounting pressures of modern life: focus on your friendships. He offers practical habits and playful reminders on how to create meaningful connections, make new friends, and deepen relationships. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Adam Smiley Poswolsky, 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!