Magazine / You Don’t Have to Choose Between Science and Spirituality. These 7 Books Prove It

You Don’t Have to Choose Between Science and Spirituality. These 7 Books Prove It

Arts & Culture Happiness Science

At first, it seems the worlds of science and spirituality could not be more different. On the one hand, you have the concrete, empirical, data-driven outlook of science, where “if it can’t be measured, it doesn’t exist.” On the other hand, there’s the highly personal, often subjective realm of spirituality, where belief and experience define what truly matters.

If you value each perspective and can’t decide which to align with, we have good news: It’s possible—perhaps even preferable—to embrace both. To find out how this is possible, check out the seven eye-opening books below.

Learn something new every day with “Book Bites,” 15-minute audio summaries of the latest and greatest nonfiction. Get started by downloading the Next Big Idea App today!

Deeper Mindfulness: The New Way to Rediscover Calm in a Chaotic World

By Mark Williams and Danny Penman

From the authors of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World, this anticipated follow-up allows both new and seasoned practitioners of mindfulness and meditation to deepen their practice and alleviate anxiety, stress, depression, and improve overall quality of life. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by co-authors Mark Williams and Danny Penman, in the Next Big Idea App

Psych: The Story of the Human Mind

By Paul Bloom

Was Freud right that we are all plagued by forbidden sexual desires? What is the function of emotions such as disgust, gratitude, and shame? A renowned psychologist answers these questions and many more in this riveting new book about the science of the mind. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Paul Bloom, in the Next Big Idea App

Soul Shift: The Weary Human’s Guide to Getting Unstuck and Reclaiming Your Path to Joy

By Rachel Macy Stafford

An acclaimed blogger and special education teacher offers a practical, inclusive guide to navigating a culture of distraction and depletion to find our way back to what delights our heart, makes us feel alive, and brings us peace. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Rachel Macy Stafford, in the Next Big Idea App

Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day

By Jay Shetty

A social media superstar and host of the acclaimed On Purpose podcast distills the timeless wisdom he learned as a monk into practical steps anyone can take every day to live a less anxious, more meaningful life. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Jay Shetty, in the Next Big Idea App

Real Life: The Journey from Isolation to Openness and Freedom

By Sharon Salzberg

Merging the insights of inspiring voices with her own understanding of mindfulness, a world-renowned meditation pioneer shows us how we can recover from the emotional effects of crisis. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Sharon Salzberg, in the Next Big Idea App

Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life

By Dacher Keltner

From a foremost expert on the science of emotions and consultant to Pixar’s Inside Out comes a groundbreaking, essential exploration into the history, science, and greater understanding of awe. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Dacher Keltner, in the Next Big Idea App

The Wandering Mind: What Medieval Monks Tell Us About Distraction

By Jamie Kreiner

A revelatory account of how Christian monks identified distraction as a fundamental challenge―and how their efforts to defeat it can inform ours, more than a millennium later. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Jamie Kreiner, 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.

“I love this app! The Book Bites are brilliant, perfect to have in airports, waiting rooms, anywhere I need to not doomscroll… You guys are the best!” – Missy G.

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.

“My biggest Thank You is for the quality of book selections so far. I look on my shelf and see these great titles, and I find myself taking down one or two each month to reread an underlined passage. Full marks to all involved!” – Tim K.

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!

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