The Next Big Idea Club’s June 2023 Must-Read Books
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The Next Big Idea Club’s June 2023 Must-Read Books

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The Next Big Idea Club’s June 2023 Must-Read Books

I’m pleased to share what I consider the most promising, must-read nonfiction titles scheduled for release in June of 2023. These titles make up our second group of nominees for Season 22 of the Next Big Idea Club (the May group was announced here).

All nominated books will be shared with our Next Big Idea Club curators—Susan Cain, Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink—who 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 5 key insights from their book. Imagine chatting with a stranger at a party—only that person just happened to write a fascinating nonfiction book!

And now, the June 2023 titles are…

The Power of Saying No: The New Science of How to Say No that Puts You in Charge of Your Life

By Vanessa Patrick
Publication Date: June 1, 2023

Award-winning professor and researcher Vanessa Patrick delves into the new science of saying no. She introduces the ground-breaking concept of “empowered refusal”―a proven framework for saying no that puts you in charge of your life―and reveals some surprising secrets about the power of the word no. View on Amazon

Just Action: How to Challenge Segregation Enacted Under the Color of Law

By Leah Rothstein & Richard Rothstein
Publication Date: June 1, 2023

This book describes dozens of activities that readers and supporters can undertake in their own communities to produce victories that might finally challenge residential segregation and help remedy America’s profoundly unconstitutional past. View on Amazon

All the Gold Stars: Reimagining Ambition and the Ways We Strive

By Rainesford Stauffer
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

From journalist and author of An Ordinary Age, an examination, dismantling, and reconstruction of ambition, where burnout is the symptom of our holiest sin: the lonely way we strive. View on Amazon

The Overlooked Americans: The Resilience of Our Rural Towns and What It Means for Our Country

By Elizabeth Currid-Halkett
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

How small-town America’s surprising success reshapes our understanding of the nation’s urban-rural divide. View on Amazon

Your Future Self: How to Make Tomorrow Better Today

By Hal Hershfield
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

People who are able to connect with their future selves are better able to balance living for today and planning for tomorrow. Your Future Self presents the science, describes the mental mistakes we make in thinking about the future, and gives us practical advice for imagining our best future so we can make that vision a reality. View on Amazon

Will to Wild: Adventures Great and Small to Change Your Life

By Shelby Stanger
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

Stanger has been teaching folks how to leap into the unknown since she taught her first surf class over twenty years ago. Over the years, she watched many of her students quit their jobs, end dysfunctional relationships, and move across the country for a healthier work-life-balance—all after spending a bit of time in nature. This is her instruction manual to adventure. View on Amazon

The Right Call: What Sports Teach Us About Work and Life

By Sally Jenkins
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

The Washington Post sportswriter and New York Times bestselling author of The Real All Americans presents a love letter to the extraordinary coaches and athletes she has covered over the years and the actionable principles of excellence they embody. View on Amazon

The Case for Good Jobs How Great Companies Bring Dignity, Pay, and Meaning to Everyone’s Work

By Zeynep Ton
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

From a professor at MIT Sloan School of Management comes a leadership guide for choosing excellence and providing good jobs that offer a living wage, dignity, and opportunities for growth. View on Amazon

The Big Break: The Gamblers, Party Animals, and True Believers Trying to Win in Washington While America Loses Its Mind

By Ben Terris
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

With reporting from exclusive parties, poker nights, fundraisers, secluded farms outside town and the halls of Congress, Terris investigates how Washington works and how different kinds of people (from oddballs to opportunists to true believers) try to make it work for them. View on Amazon

Game of Edges: The Analytics Revolution and the Future of Professional Sports

By Bruce Schoenfeld
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

The story of how a new generation of tech-savvy franchise owners is reshaping every aspect of professional sports. View on Amazon

Chaos Kings: How Wall Street Traders Make Billions in the New Age of Crisis

By Scott Patterson
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

Written by a veteran Wall Street Journal reporter, this book is a deep dive into the world of billion-dollar traders and high-stakes crisis predictors who strive to turn extreme events into financial windfalls. View on Amazon

The Experience Mindset: Changing the Way You Think About Growth

By Tiffani Bova
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

Based on exclusive research from two Salesforce-sponsored studies of thousands of employees and C-suite executives, The Experience Mindset details exactly how to have an intentional, balanced approach to company strategy that involves all stakeholders – IT, Marketing, Sales, Operations, and HR – with KPIs and ownership over outcomes. View on Amazon

Swipe Up for More!: Inside the Unfiltered Lives of Influencers

By Stephanie McNeal
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

An unfiltered, colorful romp through the IRL world of influencers that spills the tea on the multibillion-dollar industry of content creation. View on Amazon

Ice: From Mixed Drinks to Skating Rinks—a Cool History of a Hot Commodity

By Amy Brady
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

The unexpected and unexplored ways that ice has transformed a nation—from the foods Americans eat, to the sports they play, to the way they live today—and what its future might look like on a swiftly warming planet. View on Amazon

The Ghost Forest: Racists, Radicals, and Real Estate in the California Redwoods

By Greg King
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

The definitive story of the California redwoods, their discovery and their exploitation, as told by an activist who fought to protect their existence against those determined to cut them down. View on Amazon

Starstruck: A Memoir of Astrophysics and Finding Light in the Dark

By Sarafina El-Badry Nance
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

In a beautifully written, science-packed, and inspirational memoir, Egyptian-American astrophysicist Sarafina El-Badry Nance shares how she boldly carved out a place in the field of astrophysics, grounding herself in a lifelong love of the stars to face life’s inevitable challenges and embrace the unknown. View on Amazon

Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World

By John Vaillant
Publication Date: June 6, 2023

From the award-winning, best-selling author of The Tiger and The Golden Spruce comes a stunning account of a colossal wildfire and a panoramic exploration of the rapidly changing relationship between fire and humankind. View on Amazon

The Datapreneurs: The Promise of AI and the Creators Building Our Future

By Bob Muglia & Steve Hamm
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

A leader in the data economy explains how we arrived at AI—and how we can navigate its future. View on Amazon

To Name the Bigger Lie: A Memoir in Two Stories

By Sarah Viren
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

Part coming-of-age story, part psychological thriller, part philosophical investigation, this unforgettable memoir traces the ramifications of a series of lies that threaten to derail the author’s life—exploring the line between truth and deception, fact and fiction, and reality and conspiracy. View on Amazon

The Power of One: How I Found the Strength to Tell the Truth and Why I Blew the Whistle on Facebook

By Frances Haugen
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

The inside story of one woman’s quest to bring transparency and accountability to Big Tech, by the Facebook whistleblower who is determined to help us all retake control of our lives. View on Amazon

Thinking with Your Hands: The Surprising Science Behind How Gestures Shape Our Thoughts

By Susan Goldin-Meadow
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

Esteemed cognitive psychologist Susan Goldin-Meadow argues that gesture is vital to how we think, learn, and communicate. She compels us to rethink everything from how we set child development milestones, to what’s admissible in a court of law, to whether Zoom is an adequate substitute for in-person conversation. View on Amazon

Hands of Time: A Watchmaker’s History

By Rebecca Struthers
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

An award-winning watchmaker—one of the few practicing the art in the world today—chronicles the invention of time through the centuries-long story of one of mankind’s most profound technological achievements: the watch. View on Amazon

The Power Code: More Joy. Less Ego. Maximum Impact for Women (and Everyone).

By Katty Kay & Claire Shipman
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

Power is not working for women, for men, or for the world. This book is about how we don’t need to remake women—we need to remake power. View on Amazon

Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World

By Christian Cooper
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

Central Park birder Christian Cooper takes us beyond the viral video that shocked a nation and into a world of avian adventures, global excursions, and the unexpected lessons you can learn from a life spent looking up. View on Amazon

Recoding America: Why Government Is Failing in the Digital Age and How We Can Do Better

By Jennifer Pahlka
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

A bold call to reexamine how our government operates―and sometimes fails to―from President Obama’s former deputy chief technology officer and the founder of Code for America. View on Amazon

Surf When You Can: Lessons in Life, Loyalty, and Leadership from a Maverick Navy Captain

By Brett Crozier & Michael Vlessides
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

Inspiring lessons learned from a lifetime of honor, service, and leadership from Captain Brett Crozier, the former commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and renowned Navy officer. View on Amazon

End Times: Elites, Counter-Elites, and the Path of Political Disintegration

By Peter Turchin
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

From the pioneering co-founder of cliodynamics, the groundbreaking new interdisciplinary science of history, a big-picture explanation for America’s civil strife and its possible endgames. View on Amazon

Many Things Under a Rock: The Mysteries of Octopuses

By David Scheel
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

A behavioral ecologist’s riveting account of his decades-long obsession with octopuses: his discoveries, adventures, and new scientific understanding of their behaviors. View on Amazon

Young and Restless: The Girls Who Sparked America’s Revolutions

By Mattie Kahn
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

The untold story of the people who have helped spark America’s most transformative social movements throughout history: teenage girls. View on Amazon

The Three Ages of Water: Prehistoric Past, Imperiled Present, and a Hope for the Future

By Peter Gleick
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

A revelatory account of how water has shaped the course of human life and history, and a positive vision of what the future can hold—if we act now. View on Amazon

Henry at Work: Thoreau on Making a Living

By John Kaag & Jonathan Van Belle
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

What Thoreau can teach us about working―why we do it, what it does to us, and how we can make it more meaningful. View on Amazon

The Culture Climb: How to Build a Work Culture that Maximizes Your Impact

By Jamie Taets & Chelsey Paulson
Publication Date: June 19, 2023

For over a decade, Jaime Taets, chief vision officer and founder of Keystone Group International, has been the go-to consultant for executive teams hoping to untangle their issues and improve their businesses along the way. Throughout that time, Jaime has learned that to get at the root cause, leaders must go deeper than the business layer with questions that are rooted in culture and people. View on Amazon

The Choice Point: The Scientifically Proven Method to Push Past Mental Walls and Achieve Your Goals

By Joanna Grover & Jonathan Rhodes
Publication Date: June 20, 2023

Discover a scientifically proven method to overcome obstacles and make choices that lead us closer to our goals. View on Amazon

Rewired: The McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI

By Kate Smaje & Eric Lamarre & Rodney Zemmel
Publication Date: June 20, 2023

The world’s most influential management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, delivers a road-tested, how-to manual their own consultants use to help companies build the capabilities to outcompete in the age of digital and AI. View on Amazon

In Light-Years There’s No Hurry: Cosmic Perspectives on Everyday Life

By Marjolijn van Heemstra
Publication Date: June 20, 2023

Poet and journalist Marjolijn van Heemstra learns of a phenomenon known as the overview effect. Experienced by many astronauts when beholding our planet from the remoteness of space, it’s a permanent shift in consciousness―an overwhelming sense of wholeness and connection with humanity and the planet. A lyrical, searching meditation on what it is to be human amidst the vastness of the universe. View on Amazon

Winner Sells All: Amazon, Walmart, and the Battle for Our Wallets

By Jason Del Rey
Publication Date: June 20, 2023

A riveting journalistic investigation of the no-holds-barred battle between Amazon and Walmart to become the king of commerce. View on Amazon

Hidden Genius: The secret ways of thinking that power the world’s most successful people

By Polina Marinova Pompliano
Publication Date: June 20, 2023

After five years of writing The Profile, Polina Marinova Pompliano has studied thousands of the most successful and interesting people in the world and examined how they reason their way through problems, unleash their creativity, and perform under extreme pressure. View on Amazon

Money, Power, Respect: How Women in Sports Are Shaping the Future of Feminism

By Macaela MacKenzie
Publication Date: June 27, 2023

As women athletes push for the same things all women want in their careers—money, power, and respect—their wins are showing the rest of us what’s possible in the fight for equality. View on Amazon

Self-Made: Creating Our Identities from Da Vinci to the Kardashians

By Tara Isabella Burton
Publication Date: June 27, 2023

Burton examines the theories and forces behind our never-ending need to curate ourselves. Through a vivid cast of characters and an engaging mix of cultural and historical commentary, we learn how the personal brand has come to be. View on Amazon

The Theory of Everything Else: A Voyage Into the World of the Weird

By Dan Schreiber
Publication Date: June 27, 2023

From the Silicon Valley tech billionaires currently trying to work out whether or not the universe is one giant video game simulation to the self-proclaimed community of Italian time-travelers who are trying to save the world from destruction; The Theory of Everything Else will act as a handbook for those who want to think differently. View on Amazon

Ultra-Processed People: The Science Behind the Food That Isn’t Food

By Chris van Tulleken
Publication Date: June 27, 2023

A manifesto to change how you eat and how you think about the human body. View on Amazon

To Dye For: How Toxic Fashion Is Making Us Sick—and How We Can Fight Back

By Alden Wicker
Publication Date: June 27, 2023

A jolting exposé that reveals the true cost of the toxic, largely unregulated chemicals found on most clothing today. View on Amazon

American Whitelash: A Changing Nation and the Cost of Progress

By Wesley Lowery
Publication Date: June 27, 2023

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wesley Lowery confronts the sickness at the heart of American society: the cyclical pattern of violence that has marred every moment of racial progress in this country, and whose bloodshed began anew following Obama’s 2008 election. View on Amazon

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