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

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

I’m pleased to share what I consider the most promising, must-read nonfiction titles scheduled for release in November of 2023. These titles make up our first group of nominees for Season 23 of the Next Big Idea Club.

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 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 November 2023 titles are…

The First Rule of Mastery: Stop Worrying about What People Think of You

By Michael Gervais with Kevin Lake
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

A guide for overcoming what may be the single greatest constrictor of human potential: our fear of people’s opinions (FOPO). View on Amazon

Data Baby: My Life in a Psychological Experiment

By Susannah Breslin
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

When Susannah Breslin is a toddler, her parents enroll her in an exclusive laboratory preschool at the University of California, Berkeley, where she becomes one of 128 children who are research subjects in an unprecedented 30-year psychological experiment that predicts who she and her cohort will grow up to be. Fearlessly vulnerable, unflinchingly raw, and lyrically written, this groundbreaking book is a remarkable account of a woman’s quest to reclaim her voice and an unblinking expose of why we turn out as we do. View on Amazon

Nuts and Bolts: Seven Small Inventions That Changed the World in a Big Way

By Roma Agrawal
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

A structural engineer examines the seven most basic building blocks of engineering that have shaped the modern world. View on Amazon

Same as Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes

By Morgan Housel
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Morgan Housel offers readers a world historical tour of the behaviors that have played a decisive role in history’s big moments, from the invention of the first nuclear weapons to the founding of Amazon, from T.E. Lawrence to Jack Welch. These stories on risk, opportunity, and living a good life teach us the timeless lessons for optimizing our decision-making. View on Amazon

Class: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hunger, and Higher Education

By Stephanie Land
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

From the New York Times bestselling author who inspired the hit Netflix series about a struggling mother barely making ends meet as a housecleaner—a gripping memoir about college, motherhood, poverty, and life after Maid. View on Amazon

The Future of Geography: How the Competition in Space Will Change Our World (Politics of Place)

By Tim Marshall
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

From the New York Times bestselling author of Prisoners of Geography and leading geopolitics expert comes a must-read book on today’s space race—including the increasingly tense power struggle between the US, China, and Russia and what it means for all of us here on Earth. View on Amazon

What the Taliban Told Me

By Ian Fritz
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Both proud of his service and in despair that he is instrumental in destroying the voices that he hears, What the Taliban Told Me is a brilliant, intimate coming-of-age memoir and a reckoning with our twenty years of war in Afghanistan. View on Amazon

Make Money Move: A Guide to Financial Wellness

By Lauren Simmons
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

The popular host of the Money Moves podcast and youngest person ever to trade on the New York Stock Exchange provides winning tips for women to help them shift their financial mindset, become confident about their money, set them on a path to financial security, and live their best lives. View on Amazon

Pandora’s Box: How Guts, Guile, and Greed Upended TV

By Peter Biskind
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Bestselling author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, and Down and Dirty Pictures, cultural critic Peter Biskind turns his eye toward the new golden age of television, sparked by the fall of play-it-safe network TV and the rise of boundary-busting cable, followed by streaming, which overturned both—based on exclusive, candid, and colorful interviews with executives, writers, showrunners, directors, and actors. View on Amazon

The Worlds I See: Curiosity, Exploration, and Discovery at the Dawn of AI

By Dr. Fei-Fei Li
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Known to the world as the creator of ImageNet, a key catalyst of modern artificial intelligence, Dr. Li spent more than two decades at the forefront of the field. But her career in science was improbable from the start. As immigrants, her family faced a difficult transition from China’s middle class to American poverty. View on Amazon

Correction: Parole, Prison, and the Possibility of Change

By Ben Austen
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Ben Austen’s powerful exploration offers a behind-the-scenes look at the process of parole. Told through the portraits of two men imprisoned for murder, and the parole board that holds their freedom in the balance, Austen’s unflinching storytelling forces us to reckon with some of the most profound questions underlying the country’s values around crime and punishment. View on Amazon

Putting Ourselves Back in the Equation: Why Physicists Are Studying Human Consciousness and AI to Unravel the Mysteries of the Universe

By George Musser
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

For centuries, physicists believed that observations yielded faithful representations of what is out there. But when they began to study the subatomic realm, they found that observation often interferes with what is being observed. Whether they’re studying subatomic particles or galaxies, physicists must first explain consciousness―and for that they must turn to neuroscientists and philosophers of mind. View on Amazon

The New Leviathans: Thoughts After Liberalism

By John Gray
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Filled with fascinating and challenging observations, The New Leviathans is a powerful meditation on historical and current folly. As a species we always seem to be struggling to face the reality of base and delusive human instincts. Might a more self-aware, realistic, and disabused ethics help us? View on Amazon

Breaking Twitter: Elon Musk and the Most Controversial Corporate Takeover in History

By Ben Mezrich
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

A rollicking, character-driven narrative by New York Times bestselling author Ben Mezrich, pulling back the curtain on the biggest business story of our time. View on Amazon

Apprentice Nation: How the “Earn and Learn” Alternative to Higher Education Will Create a Stronger and Fairer America

By Ryan Craig
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

College isn’t for everyone. It’s time to challenge the status quo and embrace the potential of apprenticeships: a more inclusive, affordable, and sustainable pathway to economic opportunity. View on Amazon

Strategic: The Skill to Set Direction, Create Advantage, and Achieve Executive Excellence

By Rich Horwath
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Rich Horwath delivers an incisive roadmap to help leaders at all levels think, plan, and act strategically to navigate every business challenge they face. The book offers business leaders a proven framework―the Strategic Fitness System. View on Amazon

The Leader’s Guide to Managing Risk: A Proven Method to Build Resilience and Reliability

By K. Scott Griffith
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Be prepared for the dangerous and largely unknown risks that threaten your business and learn how to survive and thrive when uncertainty hits. View on Amazon

Touching the Art

By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

A mixture of memoir, biography, criticism, and social history, Touching the Art is queer icon and activist Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s interrogation of the possibilities of artistic striving, the limits of the middle-class mindset, the legacy of familial abandonment, and what art can and cannot do. View on Amazon

Humanize: A Maker’s Guide to Designing Our Cities

By Thomas Heatherwick
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

From one of the world’s most innovative designers comes a fiercely passionate manifesto on why so many places have become miserable and boring and how we can make them better for everyone—featuring hundreds of photographs and illustrations that will change how you see the world around you. View on Amazon

Founding Partisans: Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson, Adams and the Brawling Birth of American Politics

By H.W. Brands
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

From bestselling historian and Pulitzer Prize finalist H.W. Brands, a revelatory history of the shocking emergence of vicious political division at the birth of the United States. View on Amazon

Around the World in Eighty Games: From Tarot to Tic-Tac-Toe, Catan to Chutes and Ladders, a Mathematician Unlocks the Secrets of the World’s Greatest Games

By Marcus du Sautoy
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

An award-winning mathematician explores the math behind the games we love and why we love to play them. View on Amazon

Eat, Poop, Die: How Animals Make Our World

By Joe Roman
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Joe Roman reveals how ecosystems are sculpted and sustained by animals eating, pooping, and dying—and how these fundamental functions could help save us from climate catastrophe. View on Amazon

Teddy and Booker T.: How Two American Icons Blazed a Path for Racial Equality

By Brian Kilmeade
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Brian Kilmeade has transformed this nearly forgotten slice of history into a dramatic story that will keep you turning the pages to find out how these two heroes, through their principles and courage, not only changed each other, but helped lay the groundwork for true equality. View on Amazon

Invisible Generals: Rediscovering Family Legacy, and a Quest to Honor America’s First Black Generals

By Doug Melville
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

The amazing true story of America’s first Black generals, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. and Jr., a father and son who helped integrate the American military and created the Tuskegee Airmen. View on Amazon

How to Be Multiple: The Philosophy of Twins

By Helena de Bres
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Philosopher Helena de Bres uses the curious experience of being a twin as a lens for reconsidering our place in the world, with illustrations by her identical twin Julia. View on Amazon

A City on Mars: Can we settle space, should we settle space, and have we really thought this through?

By Kelly & Zach Weinersmith
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Space technologies and space business are progressing fast, but we lack the knowledge needed to have space kids, build space farms, and create space nations in a way that doesn’t spark conflict back home. In a world hurtling toward human expansion into space, A City on Mars investigates whether the dream of new worlds won’t create nightmares, both for settlers and the people they leave behind. View on Amazon

Among the Braves: Hope, Struggle, and Exile in the Battle for Hong Kong and the Future of Global Democracy

By Shibani Mahtani & Timothy McLaughlin
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Through the eyes of two frontline journalists comes a gripping narrative history of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement centered around a cast of core activists, culminating in the 2019 mass protests and Beijing’s brutal crackdown. View on Amazon

To Free the Captives: A Plea for the American Soul

By Tracy K. Smith
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Smith blends archival history and personal experience to reflect on the distinction America makes between those who are free and those who have been freed. View on Amazon

Uncertain: The Wisdom and Wonder of Being Unsure

By Maggie Jackson
Publication Date: November 7, 2023

This paradigm-shifting book by award-winning author Maggie Jackson shows us how to skillfully confront the unexpected and the unknown, and how to harness not-knowing in the service of wisdom, invention, mutual understanding, and even resilience. Long neglected as a topic of study, the newly discovered gifts of uncertainty now fascinate the greatest cognitive scientists – and offer a remarkable antidote to the narrow-mindedness of our day. View on Amazon

The Geek Way: The Radical Mindset that Drives Extraordinary Results

By Andrew McAfee
Publication Date: November 14, 2023

New York Times bestselling author Andrew McAfee’s The Geek Way tackles a fundamental question: why do some organizations perform so well in uncertain, fast-changing environments? View on Amazon

Seek: How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life and Change the World

By Scott Shigeoka
Publication Date: November 14, 2023

In this practical manifesto, Shigeoka takes readers on a four-phase journey to deep curiosity, showing us how to strengthen this fundamental human skill through his DIVE model—Detach, Intend, Value, Embrace—and build the courage to be transformed by the people, places, and experiences we encounter. View on Amazon

The Purest Bond: Understanding the Human–Canine Connection

By Jen Golbeck & Stacey Colino
Publication Date: November 14, 2023

Weaving together groundbreaking research and touching real-life stories, The Purest Bond explores not just the social benefits of owning a dog but the science of how dogs improve our emotional and physical health, mental acuity, and our ability to focus and absorb information. Most importantly, they remind us of what’s right in the world—love, trust, affection, playtime, fresh air, and sunshine—even when so much feels wrong. View on Amazon

Why Flying Is Miserable: And How to Fix It

By Ganesh Sitaraman
Publication Date: November 14, 2023

Everyone has a horror story about air travel—cancellations, delays, lost baggage, tiny seats, poor service. In this day and age, there is no reason that flying should be this bad. In Why Flying Is Miserable, Ganesh Sitaraman, a law professor and policy expert, explains the reasons behind how and why this happened, as well as how to fix it. View on Amazon

After Eden: A Short History of the World

By John Charles Chasteen
Publication Date: November 14, 2023

To solve the problems of the twenty-first century, historian John Charles Chasteen argues that we must first know our shared human story. View on Amazon

The Handover: How We Gave Control of Our Lives to Corporations, States and AIs

By David Runciman
Publication Date: November 14, 2023

An eminent political thinker uses our history with states and corporations―“artificial agents” to which we have granted immense power―to predict how AI will remake society. View on Amazon

Broken Code: Inside Facebook and the Fight to Expose Its Harmful Secrets

By Jeff Horwitz
Publication Date: November 14, 2023

By an award-winning technology reporter for The Wall Street Journal, a behind-the-scenes look at the manipulative tactics Facebook used to grow its business, how it distorted the way we connect online, and the company insiders who found the courage to speak out. View on Amazon

Art Monsters: Unruly Bodies in Feminist Art

By Lauren Elkin
Publication Date: November 14, 2023

From Kara Walker’s silhouettes to Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s trilingual masterpiece Dictee, Art Monsters daringly weaves links between disparate artists and writers, and shows that their work offers a potent defense of beauty and excess, sentiment and touch, ambiguity and opacity. View on Amazon

Flight of the WASP: The Rise, Fall, and Future of America’s Original Ruling Class

By Michael Gross
Publication Date: November 14, 2023

Fifteen families. Four hundred years. The complex saga of the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant elite in America’s history. View on Amazon

America’s Black Capital: How African Americans Remade Atlanta in the Shadow of the Confederacy

By Jeffrey Ogbar
Publication Date: November 14, 2023

The remarkable story of how African Americans transformed Atlanta, the former heart of the Confederacy, into today’s Black mecca. View on Amazon

The Money Kings: The Epic Story of the Jewish Immigrants Who Transformed Wall Street and Shaped Modern America

By Daniel Schulman
Publication Date: November 14, 2023

The incredible saga of the German-Jewish immigrants—with now familiar names like Goldman and Sachs, Kuhn and Loeb, Warburg and Schiff, Lehman and Seligman—who profoundly influenced the rise of modern finance (and so much more), from the New York Times best-selling author of Sons of Wichita. View on Amazon

The Bill Gates Problem: Reckoning with the Myth of the Good Billionaire

By Tim Schwab
Publication Date: November 14, 2023

A powerful investigation of Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation, showing how he uses philanthropy to exercise enormous political power without accountability. View on Amazon

Network of Lies: The Epic Saga of Fox News, Donald Trump, and the Battle for American Democracy

By Brian Stelter
Publication Date: November 14, 2023

Featuring Brian Stelter’s signature “thorough and damning” (The New York Times) investigative prowess and filled with outrageous behind-the-scenes details, Network of Lies is a page-turning, urgent examination of the insidious ways the media is damaging our democracy—and what we must do to preserve it. View on Amazon

Made Whole: The Practical Guide to Reaching Your Financial Goals

By Tiffany Aliche
Publication Date: November 21, 2023

The ultimate hands-on workbook for anyone looking to get their finances in order—from budgeting to investing and everything in between—by Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, the New York Times bestselling author of Get Good with Money. View on Amazon

The Living City: Why Cities Don’t Need to Be Green to Be Great

By Des Fitzgerald
Publication Date: November 21, 2023

A sociologist explores why “green cities” won’t fix everything—and urges us to celebrate urban life as it is. View on Amazon

The Path to Paradise: A Francis Ford Coppola Story

By Sam Wasson
Publication Date: November 28, 2023

The New York Times bestselling author of Fifth Avenue, Five A.M., and The Big Goodbye returns with the definitive account of Academy Award-winning director Francis Ford Coppola’s decades-long dream to reinvent American filmmaking, if not the entire world, through his production company American Zoetrope. View on Amazon

Tech For Good: Imagine Solving the World’s Greatest Challenges

By Marga Hoek
Publication Date: November 29, 2023

The purpose of this book is to imagine the unprecedented possibilities advanced technologies offer business to drive sustainable growth. Tech for Good will be vital for realizing our Global Goals. View on Amazon

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