Magazine / The Next Big Idea Club’s August 2024 Must-Read Books

The Next Big Idea Club’s August 2024 Must-Read Books

Arts & Culture Entrepreneurship Science

I’m pleased to share what I consider the most promising, must-read nonfiction titles scheduled for release in August 2024. These titles make up our third group of nominees for Season 25 of the Next Big Idea Club (the first group was announced here, and second here).

Our Next Big Idea Club curators—Susan Cain, Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink—will narrow the list down to a handful of finalists and, ultimately, two official season selections.

Authors will also be invited to create a “Book Bite”, a 15-minute audio self-recording that features five key insights from their book. Imagine chatting with a stranger on an airplane—only that person just happened to write a fascinating nonfiction book!

And now, the August 2024 titles are…

On a Move: Philadelphia’s Notorious Bombing and a Native Son’s Lifelong Battle for Justice

By Mike Africa Jr.
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

The incredible story of MOVE, the revolutionary Black civil liberties group that Philadelphia police bombed in 1985, killing 11 civilians—by one of the few people born into the organization, raised during the bombing’s tumultuous aftermath, and entrusted with repairing what was left of his family. View on Amazon

Sex, God, and the Brain: How Sexual Pleasure Gave Birth to Religion and a Whole Lot More

By Andrew Newberg
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

For the modern world, it seems as if sexuality and spirituality have always been at odds. But what if the two are actually deeply connected? And what if science could prove this connection? View on Amazon

Antidemocratic: Inside the Far Right’s 50-Year Plot to Control American Elections

By David Daley
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

A riveting yet disturbing history of the fifty-year Republican plot to hijack voting rights in America, its profound implications for the 2024 presidential election, and the crucial role that Chief Justice John Roberts has played in determining how we vote. View on Amazon

10 to 25: A Groundbreaking Approach to Leading the Next Generation―And Making Your Own Life Easier

By David Yeager
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

Acclaimed developmental psychologist David Yeager reveals the new science of motivating young people ages ten through twenty-five in an illuminating and practical book that is a must-read for managers, parents, educators, coaches, and mentors everywhere. View on Amazon

Dinosaurs at the Dinner Party: How an Eccentric Group of Victorians Discovered Prehistoric Creatures and Accidentally Upended the World

By Edward Dolnick
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

A historical adventure story about the eccentric Victorians who discovered dinosaur bones, leading to a whole new understanding of human history. View on Amazon

Take Care of Them Like My Own: Faith, Fortitude, and a Surgeon’s Fight for Health Justice

By Ala Stanford
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

The founder of the Black Doctors Consortium highlights the devastating racial injustices in our healthcare system in this inspirational memoir and empowering call to action. View on Amazon

Midnight in Moscow: A Memoir from the Front Lines of Russia’s War Against the West

By John Sullivan
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

A memoir of service by the American ambassador who was on the diplomatic front lines when Putin invaded Ukraine, Midnight in Moscow is the first behind-the-scenes account of how U.S.-Russia relations hit their nadir—and a playbook for our unfolding confrontation. View on Amazon

McMillions: The Absolutely True Story of How an Unlikely Pair of FBI Agents Brought Down the Most Supersized Fraud in Fast Food History

By James Lee Hernandez & Brian Lazarte
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

A book that expands upon the HBO docuseries, McMillion$, with new, exclusive interviews and stories that couldn’t make it into the series. View on Amazon

Math Mind: The Simple Path to Loving Math

By Shalinee Sharma
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

Bust the math myths that are holding you and your kids back and learn the joys of numeracy with this one-of-a-kind resource for parents, educators, and policymakers. View on Amazon

The Mind’s Mirror: Risk and Reward in the Age of AI

By Daniela Rus & Gregory Mone
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

An exciting introduction to the true potential of AI from the director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. View on Amazon

Circle of Hope: A Reckoning with Love, Power, and Justice in an American Church

By Eliza Griswold
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

A Pulitzer Prize winner’s intimate portrait of a church, its radical mission, and its riveting crisis. View on Amazon

Should We Go Extinct?: A Philosophical Dilemma for Our Unbearable Times

By Todd May
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

Should we bring new humans into the world? Or would it be better off without us? View on Amazon

Pixel Flesh: How Toxic Beauty Culture Harms Women

By Ellen Atlanta
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

A generation-defining exposé of toxic beauty culture―from Botox and Instagram filters to lip flips and editing apps―and the realities of coming of age online. View on Amazon

Making Sense of Chaos: A Better Economics for a Better World

By J. Doyne Farmer
Publication Date: August 6, 2024

From a pioneer in the field of complexity science and chaos theory, a plan for solving the world’s most pressing problems. View on Amazon

Bite: An Incisive History of Teeth, from Hagfish to Humans

By Bill Schutt
Publication Date: August 13, 2024

A longtime research associate in zoology at the American Museum of Natural History, Bill Schutt turns his expertise to teeth, taking readers on a fascinating and sometimes creepy journey through their natural, scientific, and cultural history, arguing that tooth evolution has been the most important factor to vertebrate species’ success. View on Amazon

On the Edge: How Successful Gamblers and Risk-Takers Think

By Nate Silver
Publication Date: August 13, 2024

Taking us behind-the-scenes from casinos to venture capital firms to the FTX inner sanctum to meetings of the effective altruism movement, On the Edge is a deeply-reported, all-access journey into a hidden world of powerbrokers and risk takers. View on Amazon

Billionaire, Nerd, Savior, King: Bill Gates and His Quest to Shape Our World

By Anupreeta Das
Publication Date: August 13, 2024

From the finance editor of The New York Times, an examination of Bill Gates—one of the most powerful, fascinating, and contradictory figures of the past four decades—and an eye-opening exploration of our national fixation on billionaires. View on Amazon

The Secret Life of the Universe: An Astrobiologist’s Search for the Origins and Frontiers of Life

By Nathalie Cabrol
Publication Date: August 13, 2024

One of the world’s leading astrobiologists takes us on an awe-inspiring journey across the cosmos to investigate some of humanity’s most profound questions: Are we alone in the universe? And, how did life on Earth begin? View on Amazon

Smart Rivals: How Innovative Companies Play Games That Tech Giants Can’t Win

By Feng Zhu & Bonnie Yining Cao
Publication Date: August 20, 2024

A new, research-based look at how traditional or smaller companies can better compete with Big Tech on their own terms—from a Harvard Business School professor and a former Bloomberg journalist. View on Amazon

Love Triangle: How Trigonometry Shapes the World

By Matt Parker
Publication Date: August 20, 2024

An ode to trigonometry, the most important idea in mathematics and the key concept that enables our modern world, from the internationally bestselling author of Humble Pi. View on Amazon

No Democracy Lasts Forever: How the Constitution Threatens the United States

By Erwin Chemerinsky
Publication Date: August 20, 2024

No Democracy Lasts Forever argues that the Constitution has become a threat to American democracy and must be dramatically changed or replaced if secession is to be avoided. View on Amazon

How to Think Like an Economist: The Great Economists Who Shaped the World and What We Can Learn From Them Today

By Robbie Mochrie
Publication Date: August 20, 2024

An entertaining collection of biographical portraits of history’s most influential and inspiring economists – from Aristotle to Keynes, and Karl Marx to Friedrich Hayek – and what they can teach us about the world today. View on Amazon

A Measure of Intelligence: One Mother’s Reckoning with the IQ Test

By Pepper Stetler
Publication Date: August 20, 2024

In a quest to advocate for her daughter, Pepper Stetler uncovers the dark history of the IQ that leads her to question what exactly we are measuring when we measure intelligence. View on Amazon

The Stadium: An American History of Politics, Protest, and Play

By Frank Andre Guridy
Publication Date: August 20, 2024

The sweeping story of the American stadium—from the first wooden ballparks to today’s glass and steel mega-arenas—revealing how it has made, and remade, American life. View on Amazon

Merchants of Mayhem: How to Shut Down the Business of Hate

By Claire Atkin & Nandini Jammi
Publication Date: August 20, 2024

A unique playbook for fighting the flood of disinformation—not by correcting lies but by targeting the businesses that fund them.

A Survivor’s Education: Women, Violence, and the Stories We Don’t Tell

By Joy Neumeyer
Publication Date: August 20, 2024

A moving, timely and riveting memoir of intimate abuse, campus politics, and the narratives we choose to believe. View on Amazon

When the Ice Is Gone: What a Greenland Ice Core Reveals About Earth’s Tumultuous History and Perilous Future

By Paul Bierman
Publication Date: August 20, 2024

Paul Bierman’s realization that Greenland’s ice sheet melted when Earth was no warmer than today sounds an alarm for our planet. View on Amazon

To Do: 41 Tools to Start, Stick With, and Finish Things

By Mikael Krogerus &Roman Tschäppeler
Publication Date: August 20, 2024

The techniques you need to stop procrastinating and start getting things done. View on Amazon

The Collaboration Book: A Guide to Achieving Great Things Together

By  Mikael Krogerus &Roman Tschäppeler
Publication Date: August 20, 2024

A pocket-sized guide to teamwork and group decision-making. View on Amazon

Sell Like A Spy: The Art of Persuasion from the World of Espionage

By Jeremy Hurewitz
Publication Date: August 27, 2024

An expert in sales and corporate espionage taps into the history of intelligence-gathering and his own working relationships with former agents of the CIA, FBI, and counterterrorism in this handbook of field-tested spycraft strategies and government agency tactics to build relationships, persuade, and sell anything. View on Amazon


The Five Talents That Really Matter: How Great Leaders Drive Extraordinary Performance

By Barry Conchie & Sarah Dalton
Publication Date: August 27, 2024

A former Gallup Global Leadership Research and Development leader and the New York Times bestselling coauthor of Strengths-Based Leadership draws from original research comprising interviews with high-performing global leaders to present a new model that demystifies the aura and complexity surrounding high performing leaders. View on Amazon

Four Ways of Thinking: A Journey into Human Complexity

By David Sumpter
Publication Date: August 27, 2024

Acclaimed mathematician David Sumpter shares practical and insightful solutions for navigating the chaos and complexity of our lives. View on Amazon

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