Next Big Idea Club Nominees Winter 2021
Magazine / Next Big Idea Club Nominees Winter 2021

Next Big Idea Club Nominees Winter 2021

Career Habits & Productivity Health
Next Big Idea Club Nominees Winter 2021

Every season, the Next Big Idea Club editorial staff review dozens of upcoming books to identify the most exciting, must-read nonfiction titles. We start with a broad pool of nominees, and then share them with our curators—Adam Grant, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink, and Malcolm Gladwell—to select six finalists and, ultimately, two official season selections.

This season, we’re inviting our members to help with the discovery process—if you’re passionate about a nonfiction book coming out in November 2020, December 2020, or January 2021, we invite you to nominate it for inclusion in the Next Big Idea Club!

The books currently under consideration for Winter 2021 are listed below, and to send in your own recommendation, simply fill out this form by November 30, 2020. Books that receive five or more recommendations will become official nominees and will be added to the list on this page. Thank you so much for your input—we can’t wait to see which new books you’ll send our way!”

Next Big Idea Club curators review dozens and dozens of upcoming books to identify the new must-read nonfiction titles. And this season, we’re inviting our members to help with the discovery process—if you’re passionate about a nonfiction book coming out in November 2020, December 2020, January 2021, or February 2021, we invite you to nominate it for inclusion in the Next Big Idea Club!

Winter 2021 Nominees

The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer by Steven Kotler

The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer

By Steven Kotler
Publication Date: January 19, 2021

Bestselling author Steven Kotler decodes the secrets of those elite performers—athletes, artists, scientists, CEOs, and more—who have changed our definition of the possible, teaching us how we, too, can stretch far beyond our capabilities. View on Amazon

The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance By Rich Diviney

The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance

By Rich Diviney
Publication Date: January 26, 2021

Do you have what it takes to succeed in any situation? According to a retired commander who ran training for Navy SEALs, true optimal performance goes beyond just skill—it’s all about the attributes. View on Amazon

Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You By Suneel Gupta

Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You

By Suneel Gupta
Publication Date: February 23, 2021

A groundbreaking book that boldly claims the key to success in business is not talent, connections, or ideas, but the ability to persuade people to take a chance on potential. View on Amazon

BE 2.0 (Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0): Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company By Jim Collins and Bill Lazier

BE 2.0 (Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0): Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company

By Jim Collins and Bill Lazier
Publication Date: December 1, 2020

From Jim Collins, the most influential business thinker of our era, comes an ambitious upgrade of his classic, Beyond Entrepreneurship, that includes all-new findings and world-changing insights. View on Amazon

Beginners: The Transformative Joy of Lifelong Learning By Tom Vanderbilt

Beginners: The Transformative Joy of Lifelong Learning

By Tom Vanderbilt
Publication Date: January 5, 2021

The bestselling author of Traffic and You May Also Like now gives us a thought-provoking, playful journey into the transformative joys that come with starting something new, no matter your age. View on Amazon

Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are: The Science of a Better You

By Jim Davies
Publication Date: February 2, 2021

A crisp and sparkling blend of cognitive science and human behavior that offers meaningful and attainable pathways towards becoming our best selves. View on Amazon

Better Boys, Better Men: The New Masculinity That Creates Greater Courage and Emotional Resiliency

By Andrew Reiner
Publication Date: December 1, 2021

A thought-provoking and much-needed look at how modern masculinity is harming and holding back men―and all of society―and what we can do to promote a new masculinity that allows men of all ages to thrive. View on Amazon

Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad

Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted

By Suleika Jaouad
Publication Date: February 9, 2021

A searing, deeply moving memoir of illness and recovery that traces one young woman’s journey from diagnosis to remission and, ultimately, a road trip of healing and self-discovery. View on Amazon

Black-and-White Thinking: The Burden of a Binary Brain in a Complex World

By Kevin Dutton
Publication Date: January 5, 2021

A groundbreaking and timely book about how evolutionary biology can explain our black-and-white brains, and a lesson in how we can escape the pitfalls of binary thinking. View on Amazon

The Book of Moods: How I Turned My Worst Emotions Into My Best Life

By Lauren Martin
Publication Date: December 8, 2020

Blending cutting-edge science, timeless philosophy, witty anecdotes, and effective forms of self-care, Martin has written a powerful, intimate, and incredibly relatable chronicle of transformation, proving that you really can turn your worst moods into your best life. View on Amazon

Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas

By Alexi Pappas
Publication Date: January 12, 2021

The Olympic runner, actress, filmmaker, and writer Alexi Pappas shares what she’s learned about confidence, self-reliance, mental health, embracing pain, and achieving your dreams. View on Amazon

Breath Taking: The Power, Fragility, and Future of Our Extraordinary Lungs

By Michael J. Stephen
Publication Date: January 19, 2021

From an expert in pulmonary medicine, the story of our extraordinary lungs, the organ that both explains our origins and holds the keys to our future as a species. View on Amazon

Change: How to Make Big Things Happen

By Damon Centola
Publication Date: January 19, 2021

A paradigm-busting new theory about the complex way innovative ideas, movements, and behaviors spread from the edges of society to impact everyone, and how to use these ideas to effect the change you want to see in the world. View on Amazon

Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It

By Ethan Kross
Publication Date: January 26, 2021

An award-winning psychologist reveals the hidden power of our inner voice, and shows how we can harness it to live a healthier, more satisfying, and more productive life. View on Amazon

The Child In You: The Breakthrough Method for Bringing Out Your Authentic Self

By Stefanie Stahl
Publication Date: December 29, 2020

Psychologist Stefanie Stahl helps you discover your shadow child and sun child, identify which of the shadow child’s dozen self-protection strategies are at work in you, and put into practice the array of proven self-reflection strategies to overcome negative influences and beliefs. View on Amazon

Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear

By Carl L. Hart
Publication Date: January 12, 2021

From one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject, a powerful argument that the greatest damage from drugs flows from their being illegal—and a hopeful reckoning with the possibility of their use as part of a responsible and happy life. View on Amazon

The Empire of Depression: A New History

By Jonathan Sadowsky
Publication Date: December 21, 2020

Revealing the continuity of human distress across time and place, award-winning historian Jonathan Sadowsky shows us how different cultures have experienced intense mental anguish, and how they have tried to alleviate it. View on Amazon

Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age

By Annalee Newitz
Publication Date: February 2, 2021

A quest to explore some of the most spectacular ancient cities in human history―and figure out why people abandoned them. View on Amazon

Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality

By Frank Wilczek
Publication Date: January 12, 2021

One of our great contemporary scientists reveals the ten profound insights that illuminate what everyone should know about the physical world. View on Amazon

Heartwarming: How Our Inner Thermostat Made Us Human

By Hans Rocha IJzerman
Publication Date: February 2, 2021

An illuminating investigation of core body temperature regulation and its powerful effect on human civilization. View on Amazon

Hello, Habits: A Minimalist’s Guide to a Better Life

By Fumio Sasaki
Publication Date: January 5, 2021

The internationally bestselling author of Goodbye, Things shares insights and practices to help us embrace habits and become the best versions of ourselves. View on Amazon

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need

By Bill Gates
Publication Date: February 16, 2021

In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical—and accessible—plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe. View on Amazon

How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos by David Pogue

How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos

By David Pogue
Publication Date: January 26, 2021

A practical and comprehensive guide to surviving the greatest disaster of our time, from New York Times bestselling self-help author and beloved CBS Sunday Morning science and technology correspondent David Pogue. View on Amazon

Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (And how anyone can harness it. Even you.)

By Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas
Publication Date: February 2, 2021

Two Stanford instructors draw on findings by behavioral scientists, world-class comedians, and inspiring business leaders to reveal how humor works and—more importantly—how you can use more of it, more effectively. View on Amazon

Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World

By Simon Winchester
Publication Date: January 19, 2021

The author of The Professor and the Madman and The Perfectionists explores the notion of property—our proprietary relationship with the land—through human history, how it has shaped us, and what it will mean for our future. View on Amazon

Laziness Does Not Exist

By Devon Price
Publication Date: January 5, 2021

From social psychologist Dr. Devon Price, a fascinating and thorough examination of what they call the “laziness lie”—which falsely tells us we are not working or learning hard enough—filled with practical and accessible advice for overcoming society’s pressure to “do more.” View on Amazon

The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science

By Seb Falk
Publication Date: November 17, 2020

An illuminating guide to the scientific and technological achievements of the Middle Ages, as told through the life of a crusading astronomer-monk. View on Amazon

The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World That's Pulling Apart by Noreena Hertz

The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World That’s Pulling Apart

By Noreena Hertz
Publication Date: February 2, 2021

Offering bold solutions ranging from compassionate AI to innovative models for urban living to new ways of reinvigorating our neighborhoods and reconciling our differences, The Lonely Century offers a hopeful and empowering vision for how to heal our fractured communities and restore connection in our lives. View on Amazon

The Long-Distance Teammate: Stay Engaged and Connected While Working Anywhere

By Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel
Publication Date: January 19, 2021

What does it mean to “go to work” when you don’t actually leave the house? This is the ultimate guide for remote workers who want to stay engaged as team members, maintain robust work relationships, and keep an eye on their long-term career goals. View on Amazon

Making Conversation: Seven Essential Elements of Meaningful Communication

By Fred Dust
Publication Date: December 1, 2020

A former Senior Partner and Global Managing Director at the legendary design firm IDEO shows how to design conversations and meetings that are creative and impactful. View on Amazon

The Ministry of Common Sense: How to Eliminate Bureaucratic Red Tape, Bad Excuses, and Corporate BS

By Martin Lindstrom
Publication Date: January 19, 2021

A humorous yet practical five-step guide to ridding ourselves—and our companies—of the bureaucratic bottlenecks and red tape that plague every office. View on Amazon

Missing Each Other: How to Cultivate Meaningful Connections

By Edward Brodkin and Ashley Pallathra
Publication Date: January 26, 2021

The ability to connect with another person and truly be in tune with their physical and emotional state is one of the most elusive interpersonal skills to develop. This book shows you how. View on Amazon

Mistrust: Why Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them

By Ethan Zuckerman
Publication Date: January 19, 2021

The rise of mistrust is provoking a crisis for representative democracy—but solutions lie in the endless creativity of social movements. View on Amazon

Nobody’s Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness

By Roy Richard Grinker
Publication Date: January 26, 2021

A compassionate and captivating examination of evolving attitudes toward mental illness throughout history and the fight to end the stigma. View on Amazon

Once a Warrior: How One Veteran Found a New Mission Closer to Home

By Jake Wood
Publication Date: November 10, 2020

Once a Warrior provides a gut-wrenching account of the true cost of our Forever Wars—and more importantly, a glimpse of what might become of America’s next greatest generation. View on Amazon

The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention by Simon Baron-Cohen

The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention

By Simon Baron-Cohen
Publication Date: November 10, 2020

Cambridge University psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen makes a case that autism is as crucial to our creative and cultural history as the mastery of fire. View on Amazon

The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease

By Charles Kenny
Publication Date: January 19, 2021

A vivid, sweeping history of mankind’s battles with infectious disease, for readers of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Yuval Harari’s Sapiens and John Barry’s The Great Influenza. View on Amazon

Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity

By Scott Galloway
Publication Date: November 24, 2020

From bestselling author and NYU Business School professor Scott Galloway comes a keenly insightful, urgent analysis of who stands to win and who’s at risk to lose in a post-pandemic world. View on Amazon

The Power of Ethics: How to Make Good Choices in a Complicated World by Susan Liautaud

The Power of Ethics: How to Make Good Choices in a Complicated World

By Susan Liautaud
Publication Date: January 5, 2021

Susan Liautaud shows how ethics can be used to create a sea change of positive decisions that can ripple outward to our families, communities, workplaces, and the wider world—offering unprecedented opportunity for good. View on Amazon

The Power of Writing It Down: A Simple Habit to Unlock Your Brain and Reimagine Your Life

By Allison Fallon
Publication Date: January 12, 2021

Discover the power of (finally) getting unstuck, claiming your clarity, and becoming the person whose life you want to live—all through a simple self-care practice you can build into your daily routine. View on Amazon

The Puzzle Solver: A Scientist’s Desperate Quest to Cure the Illness that Stole His Son

By Tracie White, with Ronald W. Davis
Publication Date: January 5, 2021

Based on a viral article, the gripping medical mystery story of Ron Davis, a world-class Stanford geneticist who has put his career on the line to find the cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, the disease killing his son. View on Amazon

Religion and the Rise of Capitalism

By Benjamin M. Friedman
Publication Date: January 26, 2021

From one of the nation’s preeminent experts on economic policy, a major reassessment of the foundations of modern economic thinking that explores the profound influence of an until-now unrecognized force—religion. View on Amazon

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution

By Carl R. Trueman
Publication Date: November 24, 2020

In this timely book, Carl Trueman analyzes the development of the sexual revolution as a symptom—rather than the cause—of the human search for identity. View on Amazon

Rituals Roadmap: The Human Way to Transform Everyday Routines Into Workplace Magic

By Erica Keswin
Publication Date: January 26, 2021

From the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Bring Your Human to Work comes an indispensable guide to taking your employee engagement to the next level. View on Amazon

The Six New Rules of Business: Creating Real Value in a Changing World

By Judy Samuelson
Publication Date: January 12, 2021

The rules of business are changing dramatically. The Aspen Institute’s Judy Samuelson describes the profound shifts in attitudes and mindsets that are redefining our notions of what constitutes business success. View on Amazon

Social Chemistry: Decoding the Patterns of Human Connection by Marissa King

Social Chemistry: Decoding the Patterns of Human Connection

By Marissa King
Publication Date: January 5, 2020

Yale professor Marissa King shows how anyone can build more meaningful and productive relationships based on insights from neuroscience, psychology, and network analytics. View on Amazon

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

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

By Heather McGhee
Publication Date: February 16, 2021

A powerful new exploration about the self-destructive bargain of white supremacy and its rising cost to all of us—including white people—from one of today’s most insightful and influential thinkers. View on Amazon

This Is the Voice by John Colapinto

This Is the Voice

By John Colapinto
Publication Date: January 26, 2021

New York Times bestselling writer explores what our unique sonic signature reveals about our species, our culture, and each one of us. View on Amazon

Troubled: The Failed Promise of America’s Behavioral Treatment Programs

By Kenneth R. Rosen
Publication Date: January 12, 2021

An award-winning journalist’s breathtaking mosaic of the tough-love industry and the young adults it inevitably fails. View on Amazon

What Is Life?: Five Great Ideas in Biology

By Paul Nurse
Publication Date: February 2, 2021

A Nobel Prize-winning scientist’s elegant explanation of the fundamental ideas in biology, and their uses today. View on Amazon

When Brains Dream: Exploring the Science and Mystery of Sleep

By Antonio Zadra and Robert Stickgold
Publication Date: January 12, 2021

A comprehensive, eye-opening exploration of what dreams are, where they come from, what they mean, and why we have them. View on Amazon

White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind

By Koa Beck
Publication Date: January 5, 2021

A timely and impassioned exploration of how our society has commodified feminism and continues to systemically shut out women of color—perfect for fans of White Fragility and Good and Mad. View on Amazon

Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good

By Dilip Jeste, with Scott LaFee
Publication Date: November 3, 2020

From the field’s pioneer, an exploration of the neurobiology and psychology of wisdom: what science says it is, and how to nurture it within yourself―at any stage of your life. View on Amazon

Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots

By James Suzman
Publication Date: January 19, 2021

Leading anthropologist James Suzman charts a grand history of “work,” from the origins of life on Earth to our ever more automated present, challenging some of our deepest assumptions about who we are. View on Amazon

Work Disrupted: Opportunity, Resilience, and Growth in the Accelerated Future of Work

By Jeff Schwartz, with Suzanne Riss
Publication Date: January 7, 2021

Written in a conversational style by Schwartz, with Suzanne Riss, an award-winning journalist and book author, Work Disrupted offers a welcome alternative to books on the topic that lack a broad perspective or dwell on the problems rather than offer solutions. View on Amazon

Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone

By Sarah Jaffe
Publication Date: January 26, 2021

A deeply-reported examination of why “doing what you love” is a recipe for exploitation, creating a new tyranny of work in which we cheerily acquiesce to doing jobs that take over our lives. View on Amazon

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