Every stage in the circle of life is its own miracle. There’s the wonder of birth, and the question of how life itself first began. There’s the puzzle of how best to spend our precious, limited time on Earth. And then there’s the sobering premise of death, and the possibility of delaying it far longer than our ancestors ever could. To discover the latest science and philosophy of life, death, and everything in between, check out the five eye-opening books below.
Natality: Toward a Philosophy of Birth
By Jennifer Banks
In this ambitious, revelatory book, a Yale University Press senior executive editor begins with Hannah Arendt’s definition of natality as the “miracle that saves the world” to develop an expansive framework for birth’s philosophical, political, spiritual, and aesthetic significance. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Jennifer Banks, in the Next Big Idea App
What Remains?: Life, Death and the Human Art of Undertaking
By Rupert Callender
What Remains? is the brilliant, unforgettable story of the life and work of the world’s ﬁrst punk undertaker―but it is also a book about ordinary, everyday humanity and our capacity to face death with courage and compassion. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Rupert Callender, in the Next Big Idea App
Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
By Oliver Burkeman
An acclaimed Guardian writer offers a lively, entertaining, philosophical guide to time and time management, setting aside superficial efficiency solutions in favor of reckoning with and finding joy in the finitude of human life. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Oliver Burkeman, in the Next Big Idea App
Transformer: The Deep Chemistry of Life and Death
By Nick Lane
From the renowned biochemist and author of The Vital Question comes an illuminating inquiry into the Krebs cycle and the origins of life. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Nick Lane, in the Next Big Idea App
Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer
By Steven Johnson
Extra Life celebrates the heroes of health and medicine too often ignored in popular history, exploring a revolution with immense public and personal consequences: the doubling of the human life span. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Steven Johnson, 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!