Contrary to what your high school classes may have taught you, science isn’t just about photosynthesis and memorizing the periodic table of elements; it’s a wacky world of creative, often mind-blowing ideas. So if you’re ready to explore the imaginative science taking place just off the beaten path, start by checking out the five remarkable reads below.
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
Starstruck: A Memoir of Astrophysics and Finding Light in the Dark
By Sarafina El-Badry Nance
An Egyptian-American astrophysicist shares how she boldly carved out a place in the field of astrophysics, grounding herself in a lifelong love of the stars to face life’s inevitable challenges and embrace the unknown. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Sarafina El-Badry Nance, in the Next Big Idea App
Notes on Complexity: A Scientific Theory of Connection, Consciousness, and Being
By Neil Theise
An electrifying introduction to complexity theory, the science of how complex systems behave, which explores the interconnectedness of all things and could change the way you see yourself—and the universe. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Neil Theise, 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
The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination, and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos
By Jaime Green
A spellbinding exploration of alien life and the cosmos, examining how the possibility of life on other planets shapes our understanding of humanity. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Jaime Green, 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!