Magazine / 8 New Books That Will Make You the Smartest Person in the Room

8 New Books That Will Make You the Smartest Person in the Room

Politics & Economics Science

With the end of the coronavirus pandemic in sight, it seems that we’ll soon return to get-togethers, cocktail parties, and other social engagements. And inevitably, the conversation will turn to what everyone did with all that time at home. While we can—and should—proudly admit to binge watching those dozen seasons of Survivor, we may also want to join others in mentioning a book or two that we enjoyed.

So if you’re hoping to become a bit more well-read, we recommend checking out the eight new books below. They’re sure to make for fascinating conversation, and who knows? They might help you become the smartest person in the room.


2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything

By Mauro F. Guillén

Wharton professor Mauro F. Guillén offers a groundbreaking analysis on the global trends shaping the future, including an analysis on how COVID-19 will amplify and accelerate each of these dramatic, often surprising changes. View Our “Book Bite” Summary


The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race

By Walter Isaacson

The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a gripping account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies. View Our “Book Bite” Summary


The Delusion of Crowds: Why People Go Mad in Groups

By William J. Bernstein

Financial theorist William J. Bernstein shares stories of mass hysteria that are as revealing about human nature as they are historically significant. He observes that if we can absorb the history and biology of mass delusion, we can recognize it more readily in our own time, and avoid its frequently dire impact. View Our “Book Bite” Summary


The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred

By Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

One of the leading physicists of her generation, Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is also one of fewer than one hundred Black American women to earn a PhD from a department of physics. Her vision of the cosmos is vibrant, buoyantly non-traditional, and grounded in Black feminist traditions. View on Amazon


Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age

By Annalee Newitz

Acclaimed science journalist Annalee Newitz takes readers on a quest to explore some of the most spectacular ancient cities in human history—and figure out why people abandoned them. View Our “Book Bite” Summary


Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality

By Frank Wilczek

Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek shares a simple yet profound exploration of reality based on the deep revelations of modern science. With an infectious sense of joy, Wilczek investigates the ideas that form our understanding of the universe, such as time, space, matter, energy, complexity, and complementarity. View Our “Book Bite” Summary


Mine!: How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives

By Michael Heller and James Salzman

A hidden set of rules governs who owns what, explaining everything from whether you can recline your airplane seat to why HBO lets you borrow a password illegally. And in this lively and entertaining guide, two acclaimed law professors reveal how things become “mine.” View Our “Book Bite” Summary


The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

By Heather McGhee

One of today’s top experts on social and economic policy offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color. View Our “Book Bite” Summary


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