It’s the new year, and that means the Next Big Idea Club winter finalists are here! Curators Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink have hand-picked the six must-read nonfiction books of winter 2020. Of these, they will soon select the two books that Next Big Idea Club members will enjoy throughout the season. Without further ado, the finalists are…
Immortality, Inc.: Renegade Science, Silicon Valley Billions, and the Quest to Live Forever
We live in an age when billionaires are betting their fortunes on laboratory advances to prove aging unnecessary and death a disease that can be cured. Researchers are delving into the mysteries of stem cells and the human genome, discovering what it means to grow old and how to keep those processes from happening. This isn’t science fiction; it’s real, it’s serious, and it’s on track to revolutionize our definitions of life and mortality. In Immortality, Inc., veteran science journalist Chip Walter delivers a gripping narrative that takes the reader into the Silicon Valley labs at the forefront of the quest to live forever.
You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters
In this illuminating and often humorous deep dive, New York Times contributor Kate Murphy explains why we’re not listening, what it’s doing to us, and how we can reverse the trend. Murphy makes accessible the psychology, neuroscience, and sociology of listening while also introducing us to some of the best listeners out there—including a CIA agent, focus group moderator, bartender, radio producer, and top furniture salesman.
Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond
The phenomenon of friendship is universal and elemental—friends, after all, are the family we choose. But what makes these bonds not just pleasant but essential, and how do they affect our bodies and minds? In Friendship, science journalist Lydia Denworth takes us in search of friendship’s biological, psychological, and evolutionary foundations, offering a revelatory investigation of friendship, with profound implications for our understanding of what humans and animals alike need to thrive throughout a lifetime.
Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope
The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the acclaimed, bestselling Half the Sky now issue a plea—deeply personal and told through the lives of real Americans—to address the crisis in working-class America, while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure. With stark poignancy and political dispassion, Tightrope draws us deep into an “other America.” The authors tell this story, in part, through the lives of some of the children with whom Kristof grew up, in rural Yamhill, Oregon, an area that prospered for much of the twentieth century but has been devastated in the last few decades as blue-collar jobs disappeared. With superb, nuanced reportage, Kristof and WuDunn have given us a book that is both riveting and impossible to ignore.
Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives
Author of the iconic bestsellers This Is Your Brain on Music and The Organized Mind, Daniel Levitin turns his keen insights to what happens in our brains as we age, why we should think about health span, not life span, and, based on a rigorous analysis of neuroscientific evidence, what you can do to make the most of your life right now—no matter how old you are.
The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage
The bestselling author of The Willpower Instinct introduces a surprising science-based book that doesn’t tell us why we should exercise but instead shows us how to fall in love with movement. Through her trademark blend of science and storytelling, Stanford University lecturer, research psychologist, and science writer Kelly McGonigal draws on insights from neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, and evolutionary biology—as well as memoirs, ethnographies, and philosophers—to illustrate why movement is integral to both our happiness and our humanity.