When we sit down to start a new book, chances are it’s on a topic that we already know we’re interested in. After all, our free time is limited, so why roll the dice with a book that could be profoundly uninteresting?
It’s a sensible approach, but one that shrinks the world of books and big ideas to a narrow corridor—one with no room for growth or serendipity. So to widen that corridor and try reading about something completely new, we recommend the five fascinating books below.
The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Tiny Empires That Run the World
By Oliver Milman
Three out of every four of our planet’s known animal species are insects. In The Insect Crisis, an acclaimed journalist dives into the evidence that suggests this kaleidoscopic group of creatures is suffering a great existential crisis—an emergency with profound consequences for us all. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Oliver Milman, in the Next Big Idea App
Speaking in Thumbs: A Psychiatrist Decodes Your Relationship Texts So You Don’t Have To
By Mimi Winsberg
From a Harvard- and Stanford-trained psychiatrist comes an essential look at the love language of texts, helping you decipher the personalities of online daters, the subtle signals from your romantic partner, and the red flags hiding in plain sight. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Mimi Winsberg, in the Next Big Idea App
Where Is My Flying Car?
By J. Storrs Hall
From an engineer and futurist comes an impassioned account of technological stagnation since the 1970s, and an imaginative blueprint for a richer, more abundant future. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author J. Storrs Hall, 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
Seven Games: A Human History
By Oliver Roeder
Checkers, backgammon, chess, Go, poker, Scrabble, and bridge. An economist charts the origins and historical importance of these seven games, the delightful arcana of their rules, and the ways their design makes them pleasurable. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Oliver Roeder, in the Next Big Idea App
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