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

Entrepreneurship Habits & Productivity Technology
The Next Big Idea Club’s March 2023 Must-Read Books

I’m pleased to share what I consider the most promising, must-read nonfiction titles scheduled for release in March of 2023. These titles make up our second group of nominees for Season 21 of the Next Big Idea Club (the February 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 March 2023 titles are…

The Future Normal: How We Will Live, Work and Thrive in the Next Decade

By Rohit Bhargava & Henry Coutinho-Mason
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

For the past decade, Rohit Bhargava and Henry Coutinho-Mason have been on the front lines of exploring the global forces shaping our future normal through their work independently leading two of the most successful trend consultancies in the world: TrendWatching and the Non-Obvious Company. View on Amazon

Crash Landing: The Inside Story of How the World’s Biggest Companies Survived an Economy on the Brink

By Liz Hoffman
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

A kaleidoscopic account of the financial carnage of the pandemic, revealing the fear, grit, and gambles that drove the economy’s winners and losers—from a leading business reporter. View on Amazon

Womb: The Inside Story of Where We All Began

By Leah Hazard
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

With a midwife’s warmth and humor, Hazard tackles pressing questions: Is the womb connected to the brain? Can cervical crypts store sperm? Do hysterectomies affect sexual pleasure? How can smart tampons help health care? Why does endometriosis take so long to be diagnosed? Will external gestation be possible in our lifetime? View on Amazon


Without a Doubt: How to Go from Underrated to Unbeatable

By Surbhi Sarna
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

An inspiring take on how to turn other’s—and your own—doubt into rocket fuel to achieve your dreams. The very qualities that make you an outlier are, in fact, your strengths. View on Amazon

Magic Words: What to Say to Get Your Way

By Jonah Berger
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

A world-renowned marketing expert and number-one New York Times bestselling author reveals how mastering a few words can change your life. An inside look at the new science of language and how you can use it to motivate, engage, and persuade. Technological advances in machine learning, computational linguistics, and natural language processing, combined with the digitization of everything from cover letters to conversations, have yielded unprecedented insights. View on Amazon

Good Power: Leading Positive Change in Our Lives, Work, and World

By Ginni Rometty
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

Former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty delivers a powerful combination of memoir, leadership lessons, and big ideas on how we can all drive meaningful change. View on Amazon

STFU: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in a World That Won’t Stop Talking

By Dan Lyons
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

A desperately needed wake-up call for a world that demands we keep tweeting, posting, and podcasting that proves the most important thing might be to shut the f*ck up! View on Amazon

The Wonder Paradox: Embracing the Weirdness of Existence and the Poetry of Our Lives

By Jennifer Michael Hecht
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

Hecht offers ways to excavate the useful aspects of tradition and to replace what no longer feels true. Through cultures and poetic wisdom from around the world―Sappho, Rumi, Shakespeare, Issa, Tagore, Frost, Szymborska, Angelou, and others―she blends literary criticism with spiritual guidance rooted in the everyday. Linking our needs to particular poems, she helps us better understand those needs, ourselves, and poetry. View on Amazon

The Four Workarounds: Strategies from the World’s Scrappiest Organizations for Tackling Complex Problems

By Paulo Savaget
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

For ages, global corporations have been lecturing small organizations and not-for-profits on how to get things done. As it turns out, it should have been the other way around. In this groundbreaking book, scholar Paulo Savaget shows how the most valuable lessons about problem-solving can be learned from the scrappiest groups. View on Amazon

What’s Eating Us: Women, Food, and the Epidemic of Body Anxiety

By Cole Kazdin
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

Blending personal narrative and investigative reporting, Emmy Award-winning journalist Cole Kazdin reveals that disordered eating is an epidemic crisis killing millions of women. View on Amazon

Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock

By Jenny Odell
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

A radical argument that we are living on the wrong clock—one that tells us time is money—and that there are other ways of experiencing time that offer bold, hopeful possibilities for ourselves and the planet. View on Amazon

Off-Earth: Ethical Questions and Quandaries for Living in Outer Space

By Erika Nesvold
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

Explores the all-too-human issues raised by the prospect of settling in outer space. It’s worth remembering, Erika Nesvold suggests, that in making new worlds, we don’t necessarily leave our earthly problems behind. Accordingly, her work highlights the complex ethical challenges that accompany any other-worldly venture. View on Amazon

Technology’s Child: Digital Media’s Role in the Ages and Stages of Growing Up

By Katie Davis
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

Children’s experiences with technology—their “screen time” and digital social relationships—have become an inescapable aspect of growing up. This book, for the first time, identifies the qualitative distinctions between different ages and stages of this engagement, and offers invaluable guidance for parents and teachers navigating the digital landscape, and for technology designers charting the way. View on Amazon

The Language of the Face: Stories of Its Uniquely Expressive Features

By Frank Gonzalez-Crussi
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

A broad and riveting cultural history of physiognomy, exploring how the desire to divine deeper meaning from our looks has compelled humans for millennia. View on Amazon

The Big Con: How the Consulting Industry Weakens Our Businesses, Infantilizes Our Governments, and Warps Our Economies

By Mariana Mazzucato & Rosie Collington
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

The “Big Con” describes the confidence trick the consulting industry performs in contracts with hollowed-out and risk-averse governments and shareholder value-maximizing firms. It grew from the 1980s and 1990s in the wake of reforms by the neoliberal right and Third Way progressives, and it thrives on the ills of modern capitalism, from financialization and privatization to the climate crisis. It is possible because of the unique power that big consultancies wield through extensive contracts and networks—as advisors, legitimators, and outsourcers—and the illusion that they are objective sources of expertise and capacity. In the end, the Big Con weakens our businesses, infantilizes our governments, and warps our economies. View on Amazon

Untold Power: The Fascinating Rise and Complex Legacy of First Lady Edith Wilson

By Rebecca Boggs Roberts
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

A nuanced portrait of the first acting woman president. While this nation has yet to elect its first woman president—and though history has downplayed her role—just over a century ago a woman became the nation’s first acting president. A richly overdue examination of one of American history’s most influential, complicated women as well as the surprising and often absurd realities of American politics. View on Amazon

Elevate Your Team: Empower Your Team To Reach Their Full Potential and Build A Business That Builds Leaders

By Robert Glazer
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

The ability to elevate―to exceed and outperform expectations―is directly related to your ability to build capacity in yourself and others. Elevate your Team will show that making time to not just tackle everything you place on your plate (personally and professionally) but to CRUSH each and every accomplishment is the way to successful professional and personal growth. View on Amazon

Scaling People: Tactics for Management and Company Building

By Claire Hughes Johnson
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

From a Stripe and Google executive, a practical guide to company building and scaling the most important resource it has: its people. View on Amazon

The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance

By Dan Egan
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

In this major work of explanatory science and environmental journalism, Pulitzer Prize finalist Dan Egan investigates the past, present, and future of what has been called “the oil of our time.” Our overreliance on this vital crop nutrient is today causing toxic algae blooms and “dead zones” in waterways from the coasts of Florida to the Mississippi River basin to the Great Lakes and beyond. Egan also explores the alarming reality that diminishing access to phosphorus poses a threat to the food system worldwide―which risks rising conflict and even war. View on Amazon

More: Life on the Edge of Adventure and Motherhood

By Majka Burhardt
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

An intense and emotional epistolary memoir by one of the world’s top ice climbers, born at the confluence of motherhood, adventure, career, and marriage. View on Amazon

The Empathy Advantage: Leading the Empowered Workforce

By Heather McGowan & Chris Shipley
Publication Date: March 7, 2023

The Empathy Advantage offers advice on how to lead a complex, diverse, and multi-generational workforce to out-perform your competition. View on Amazon

The Everyday Feminist: The Key to Sustainable Social Impact Driving Movements We Need Now More than Ever

By Latanya Mapp Frett
Publication Date: March 8, 2023

Accomplished feminist activist and executive Latanya Mapp Frett delivers a powerful and practical exploration of the factors that make a feminist social movement impactful in its place and time. In the book, you’ll discover popular and not-so-popular social movements and the leaders, art, research, and narratives that drove them. View on Amazon

What Is ChatGPT Doing … and Why Does It Work?

By Stephen Wolfram
Publication Date: March 9, 2023

Find out how the success of ChatGPT brings together the latest neural net technology with foundational questions about language and human thought posed by Aristotle more than two thousand years ago. View on Amazon

The Transcendent Brain: Spirituality in the Age of Science

By Alan Lightman
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

From the acclaimed author of Einstein’s Dreams comes a fascinating investigation of “spiritual materialism”—transcendent experiences for the scientifically inclined. View on Amazon

Flight Paths: How a Passionate and Quirky Group of Pioneering Scientists Solved the Mystery of Bird Migration

By Rebecca Heisman
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

Flight Paths is the never-before-told story of how a group of migration-obsessed scientists in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries engaged nearly every branch of science to understand bird migration. Heisman demonstrates that the real power of science happens when people work together, focusing their minds and knowledge on a common goal. While the world looks to tackle massive challenges involving conservation and climate, the story of migration research offers a beacon of hope that we can find solutions to difficult and complex problems. View on Amazon

Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream

By Alissa Quart
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

An unsparing, incisive, yet ultimately hopeful look at how we can shed an American obsession with self-reliance that has made us less equal, less healthy, less productive, and less fulfilled. View on Amazon

More Numbers Every Day : How Data, Stats, and Figures Control Our Lives and How to Set Ourselves Free

By Micael Damien & Helge Thorbjornsen
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

With groundbreaking, empowering, sometimes frightening, and sometimes funny research, they help us see how numbers creep into our heads and bodies, affecting how we think and feel. When do numbers make us stronger and when do they make us weaker? When do they mislead us? And when do they turn us into narcissistic idiots? Look at the book as your numerical vaccination, for a happier and more numerically healthy life. View on Amazon

Meganets : How Digital Forces Beyond Our Control Commandeer Our Daily Lives and Inner Realities

By David Auerbach
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

How the autonomous digital forces jolting our lives–as uncontrollable as the weather and plate tectonics–are transforming life, society, culture, and politics. View on Amazon

What Looks Like Bravery: An Epic Journey Through Loss to Love

By Laurel Braitman
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

A revelatory, insightful look at how unexamined grief can persist over decades. It’s a soaring and universal coming-of-age story about the importance of untangling what our parents want for us from the things we want for ourselves. View on Amazon

Closing the Equity Gap : Creating Wealth and Fostering Justice in Startup Investing

By Freada Kapor Klein & Mitch Kapor
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

An entrepreneur and a social activist remake the future of investing and business, offering a groundbreaking “win-win” roadmap for creating wealth and addressing inequalities by investing in groundbreaking tech companies that defy assumptions from Silicon Valley to Wall Street. View on Amazon

The Real Work: On the Mystery of Mastery

By Adam Gopnik
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

Mastering a skill is a process of methodically breaking down and building up, piece by piece―and that true mastery, in any field, requires mastering other people’s minds. Exuberant and profound, The Real Work is ultimately about why we relentlessly seek to better ourselves in the first place. View on Amazon

The Battle for Your Brain : Defending the Right to Think Freely in the Age of Neurotechnology

By Nita Farahany
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

A rock star academic explores the final frontier of personal privacy: your mind. Our brains can be changed with performance-boosting drugs, electrical stimulation, and even surgical interventions. Soon neuro-cinema, neuro-monitoring, and even cognitive warfare will be commonplace―the brain is the next battleground for humanity. View on Amazon

More than a Glitch: Confronting Race, Gender, and Ability Bias in Tech

By Meredith Broussard
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

When technology reinforces inequality, it’s not just a glitch—it’s a signal that we need to redesign our systems to create a more equitable world. View on Amazon

Sentience: The Invention of Consciousness

By Nicholas Humphrey
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

Humphrey presents here in full a new, plausible solution that phenomenal consciousness, far from being primitive, is a relatively late and sophisticated evolutionary development. The implications for the existence of sentience in nonhuman animals are startling and provocative. View on Amazon

Real Self-Care: A Transformative Program for Redefining Wellness (Crystals, Cleanses, and Bubble Baths Not Included)

By Pooja Lakshmin
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

A long-overdue reckoning with the contradictions of the wellness industry and a paradigm-shifting program for practicing real self-care that will empower, uplift, and maybe even start a revolution. View on Amazon

The Teachers: A Year Inside America’s Most Vulnerable, Important Profession

By Alexandra Robbins
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

A riveting, year-in-the-life account of three teachers, combined with reporting that reveals what’s really going on behind school doors, by New York Times bestselling author and education expert Alexandra Robbins. View on Amazon

Finding the Words : Working Through Profound Loss with Hope and Purpose

By Colin Campbell
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

Full of practical advice on how to survive in the aftermath of loss, Finding the Words teaches readers how to actively reach out to their community, perform mourning rituals, and find ways to express their grief, so they can live more fully while also holding their loved ones close. View on Amazon

Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller

By Oliver Darkshire
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

By turns unhinged and earnest, Once Upon a Tome is the colorful story of life in one of the world’s oldest bookshops and a love letter to the benign, unruly world of antiquarian bookselling, where to be uncommon or strange is the best possible compliment. View on Amazon

Planta Sapiens: The New Science of Plant Intelligence

By Paco Calvo
Publication Date: March 14, 2023

Calvo shows for the first time how we can use tools developed in animal cognition studies in a quest to deeply understand plant intelligence. He illuminates how plants inspire technological advancements: from robotics and AI to tackling the ecological crisis. Most importantly, he demonstrates that plants are neither objects nor resources; they are agents in themselves, and for themselves. View on Amazon

Impromptu: Amplifying Our Humanity Through AI

By Reid Hoffman
Publication Date: March 15, 2023

Impromptu explores how we might address risk as we continue to develop AI technologies that can boost human progress at a time when the need for rapid solutions at scale has never been greater. View on Amazon

The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War

By Jeff Sharlet
Publication Date: March 21, 2023

One of America’s finest reporters and essayists explores the powerful currents beneath the roiled waters of a nation coming apart. View on Amazon

Armageddon: What the Bible Really Says about the End

By Bart Ehrman
Publication Date: March 21, 2023

By turns hilarious, moving, troubling, and provocative, Armageddon presents inspiring insights into how to live our lives in the face of an uncertain future and reveals what the Bible really says about the end. View on Amazon

Fool Me Once: Scams, Stories, and Secrets from the Trillion-Dollar Fraud Industry

By Kelly Richmond Pope
Publication Date: March 21, 2023

A riveting look at the perpetrators, victims, and whistleblowers behind financial crimes from acclaimed professor and documentarian Kelly Richmond Pope. View on Amazon

Walk the Walk: How Three Police Chiefs Defied the Odds and Changed Cop Culture

By Neil Gross
Publication Date: March 21, 2023

From one of the most interesting sociologists of his generation and a former cop, the story of three departments and their struggle to change aggressive police culture and achieve what Americans want: fair, humane, and effective policing. View on Amazon

Poverty, by America

By Matthew Desmond
Publication Date: March 21, 2023

Acclaimed sociologist Matthew Desmond draws on history, research, and original reporting to show how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor. View on Amazon

Mixed Signals: How Incentives Really Work

By Uri Gneezy
Publication Date: March 21, 2023

An informative and entertaining account of how actions send signals that shape behaviors and how to design better incentives for better results in our life, our work, and our world. View on Amazon

Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us

By Susan Magsamen & Ivy Ross
Publication Date: March 21, 2023

A life-altering journey through the science of neuroaesthetics, which offers proof for how our brains and bodies transform when we participate in the arts—and how this knowledge can improve our health, enable us to flourish, and build stronger communities. View on Amazon

Foolproof: Why Misinformation Infects Our Minds and How to Build Immunity

By Sander van der Linden
Publication Date: March 21, 2023

We can cultivate immunity through the innovative science of “prebunking”: inoculating people against false information by preemptively exposing them to a weakened dose, thus empowering them to identify and fend off its manipulative tactics. Deconstructing the characteristic techniques of conspiracies and misinformation, van der Linden gives readers practical tools to defend themselves and others against nefarious persuasion―whether at scale or around their own dinner table. View on Amazon

What Remains?: Life, Death and the Human Art of Undertaking

By Rupert Callender
Publication Date: March 23, 2023

What Remains? is the unforgettable story of the life and work of the world’s first punk undertaker―but it is also a book about ordinary, everyday humanity and our capacity to face death with courage and compassion. To say goodbye to the people we love in our own way. View on Amazon

Humanly Possible: Seven Hundred Years of Humanist Freethinking, Inquiry, and Hope

By Sarah Bakewell
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

The bestselling author of How to Live and At the Existentialist Café explores seven hundred years of writers, thinkers, scientists, and artists, all trying to understand what it means to be truly human. View on Amazon

Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity

By Peter Attia
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

A groundbreaking manifesto on living better and longer that challenges the conventional medical thinking on aging and reveals a new approach to preventing chronic disease and extending long-term health, from a visionary physician and leading longevity expert. View on Amazon

Weathering: The Extraordinary Stress of Ordinary Life in an Unjust Society

By Arline Geronimus
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

Geronimus argues that health and aging have more to do with how society treats us than how well we take care of ourselves. She explains what happens to human bodies, down to the cellular level, as they attempt to withstand and overcome the challenges and insults that society leverages at them, and details how this process ravages their health. And she proposes solutions. View on Amazon

Where We Meet the World: The Story of the Senses

By Ashley Ward
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

Our senses are what make life worth living. They allow us to appreciate a sip of an ice-cold drink, the sound of laughter, the touch of a lover. But only recently have incredible advances in sensory biology given us the ability to understand how and why our senses evolved as they have. View on Amazon

Selfless: The Social Creation of “You”

By Brian Lowery
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

Despite what many may think, we aren’t islands unto ourselves; we are the creation of the many hands that touch us. We don’t just exist in communities, we are created and shaped by them. By recognizing that we are products of relationship— from fleeting transactions to deep connections—we shatter the myth of individualism and free ourselves to make our lives and the world accordingly. View on Amazon

Breaking Through: Communicating to Open Minds, Move Hearts, and Change the World

By Sally Susman
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

Pfizer’s celebrated communications leader, Sally Susman, reveals how we can break through all the noise and conventional thinking to get our message across and make positive change. View on Amazon

Emotional Labor: The Invisible Work Shaping Our Lives and How to Claim Our Power

By Rose Hackman
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

Traces the history of the term and exposes common manifestations of the phenomenon. She describes the many ways women and girls are forced to edit the expressions of their emotions to accommodate and elevate the emotions of others. But Hackman doesn’t simply diagnose a problem―she empowers us to combat patriarchy and forge pathways for radical evolution, justice, and change. View on Amazon

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

By Rachel Macy Stafford
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

New York Times bestselling author and celebrated motivational speaker Rachel Macy Stafford guides us on a journey to remember and reconnect with what truly delights and fulfills our hearts. Throughout this shame-free, hope-filled guide, you’ll follow the guidance of your soul through eight key areas of discovery. View on Amazon

Women Without Kids : The Revolutionary Rise of an Unsung Sisterhood

By Ruby Warrington
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

A timely and radical reframing of everything it means not to be a mom, set against the backdrop of an unprecedented drop-off in the birth rate globally. Taking in themes from intergenerational healing to feminism to environmentalism, Women Without Kids is both a personal look and anthropological dig into a stubbornly taboo topic, and at a crucial point in our human story. View on Amazon

Life Worth Living: A Guide to What Matters Most

By Miroslav Volf, Matthew Croasmun & Ryan McAnnally-Linz
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

In Life Worth Living, named after its authors’ highly sought-after undergraduate course, Volf, Croasmun, and McAnnally-Linz chart out this question, providing readers with jumping-off points, road maps, and habits of reflection for figuring out where their lives hold meaning and where things need to change. View on Amazon

Unwired: Gaining Control over Addictive Technologies

By Gaia Bernstein
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

Rather than blaming users, this book shatters the illusion that we autonomously choose how to spend our time online. It shifts the moral responsibility and accountability for solutions to corporations. Drawing lessons from the tobacco and food industries, Bernstein demonstrates why government regulation is necessary to curb technology addiction and describes a grassroots movement already in action across courts and legislative halls. View on Amazon

Egg: A Dozen Ovatures

By Lizzie Stark
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

The egg is a paradox―both alive and not alive―and a symbol as old as culture itself. In this wide-ranging and delightful journey through its natural and cultural history, Lizzie Stark explores the egg’s deep meanings, innumerable uses, and metabolic importance through a dozen dazzling specimens. Filled with colorful characters and fascinating morsels, Egg is playful, informative, and guarantees that you’ll never take this delicate ovoid for granted again. View on Amazon

Skinfolk: A Memoir

By Matthew Pratt Guterl
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

Guterl narrates his family saga of astonishing originality, in which even the best intentions would prove woefully inadequate. He takes us inside the clapboard house where his parents, Bob and Sheryl, raised their makeshift brood in a nation riven then as now by virulent racism and xenophobia. Chronicling both the humor and pathos of this experiment, he opens a door to our dreams of what the idea of family might make possible. View on Amazon

Carmageddon: How Cars Make Life Worse and What to Do About It

By Daniel Knowles
Publication Date: March 28, 2023

A high-octane polemic against cars—which are ruining the world, while making us unhappy and unhealthy—from a talented young writer at the Economist. View on Amazon

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