If you’re a human being, you probably use words to navigate your world. You deliver verbal reports to your boss, send text messages to your loved ones, and read interesting articles online—like this one!
But reading, writing, and speaking have become so second nature that we forget a simple fact: language is pretty amazing. So to gain a new appreciation for it, crack open one of the seven remarkable reads below.
Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature
By Sarah Hart
In her clear, insightful, laugh-out-loud funny debut, the first woman to hold England’s oldest mathematical chair shows us the myriad connections between math and literature, and how understanding those connections can enhance our enjoyment of both. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Sarah Hart, in the Next Big Idea App
Like, Literally, Dude: Arguing for the Good in Bad English
By Valerie Fridland
Paranoid about the “ums” and “uhs” that pepper your presentations? Bewildered by “hella” or the meteoric rise of “so”? A renowned linguist reveals that these features of speech are actually some of the most dynamic and revolutionary tools at our disposal. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Valerie Fridland, in the Next Big Idea App
The Power of Language: How the Codes We Use to Think, Speak, and Live Transform Our Minds
By Viorica Marian
A Northwestern University psychologist reveals how to harness the power of language to develop our critical reasoning skills, improve decision-making under pressure, and much more. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Viorica Marian, in the Next Big Idea App
Writing with Pleasure
By Helen Sword
An acclaimed international writing expert invites you to step into your “WriteSPACE”―a space of pleasurable writing that is socially balanced, physically engaged, aesthetically nourishing, creatively challenging, and emotionally uplifting. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Helen Sword, 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
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
By Anne Lamott
For a quarter-century, more than a million readers—scribes and scribblers of all abilities—have been inspired by Guggenheim Fellow Anne Lamott’s hilarious, big-hearted, homespun advice. In short, this is an essential volume for generations of writers young and old. Listen to our professionally-read Book Bite summary in the Next Big Idea App
The Language Game: How Improvisation Created Language and Changed the World
By Morten H. Christiansen and Nick Chater
Two cognitive scientists find compelling solutions to major mysteries like the origins of languages and how language learning is possible, and to long-running debates such as whether having two words for “blue” changes what we see. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by co-authors Morten H. Christiansen and Nick Chater, 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!