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

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

I’m pleased to share what I consider the most promising, must-read nonfiction titles scheduled for release in September of 2023. These titles are included in the longlist of nominees for Season 22 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 September 2023 titles are…

The Mindful Body: Thinking Our Way to Chronic Health

By Ellen Langer
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

Learn how adjusting your thoughts can change your health—from the “mother of mindfulness” and first female tenured professor of psychology at Harvard. View on Amazon

The Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well

By Amy Edmondson
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

Outlining the three archetypes of failure—basic, complex, and intelligent—Edmondson showcases how to minimize unproductive failure while maximizing what we gain from flubs of all stripes. View on Amazon

Fast Forward: 5 Power Principles to Create the Life You Want in Just One Year

By Wendy Leshgold & Lisa McCarthy
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

Discover how leaders from the world’s most successful companies are dealing with stress, pressure, and constant change—and still thriving. View on Amazon

The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-first Century’s Greatest Dilemma

By Mustafa Suleyman
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

An urgent warning of the unprecedented risks that AI and other fast-developing technologies pose to global order, and how we might contain them while we have the chance—from a co-founder of the pioneering artificial intelligence company DeepMind. View on Amazon

Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership

By Kirstin Ferguson
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

Leadership is simply a series of moments, and this book gives you the tools to turn each moment into an opportunity to leave a positive legacy for those you lead. View on Amazon

The Performance Paradox: Turning the Power of Mindset into Action

By Eduardo Briceno
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

As CEO of Mindset Works and in his work with Fortune 500 companies, Briceno discovered that mastering growth—personal, organizational, and financial—hinges on navigating the crucial balance between learning and performing. View on Amazon

Master of Change: How to Excel When Everything Is Changing – Including You

By Brad Stulberg
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

A revelatory book on rethinking change and creating a rugged and flexible mindset amidst life’s intensifying flux, from expert on sustainable excellence, coach, and bestselling author of The Practice of Groundedness. View on Amazon

Everyday Dharma: 8 Essential Practices for Finding Success and Joy in Everything You Do

By Suneel Gupta
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

Find your dharma—your inner calling—and learn to integrate ambition, work, and wellbeing to create a balanced, joyous life with this guide from the bestselling author and co-founder of the Gross National Happiness Center. View on Amazon

Writing for Busy Readers: Communicate More Effectively in the Real World

By Todd Rogers & Jessica Lasky-Fink
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

When the influential guides to writing prose were written, the internet hadn’t been invented. Now, the average American adult is inundated with digital messages each day. With all this correspondence, capturing a busy reader’s attention is more challenging than ever. This is how to do it. View on Amazon

The End of Reality: How Four Billionaires are Selling a Fantasy Future of the Metaverse, Mars, and Crypto

By Jonathan Taplin
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

A brilliant takedown and exposé of the great con job of the twenty-first century—the metaverse, crypto, space travel, transhumanism—being sold by four billionaires (Peter Thiel, Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Andreesen, Elon Musk), leading to the degeneration and bankruptcy of our society. View on Amazon

While You Were Out: An Intimate Family Portrait of Mental Illness in an Era of Silence

By Meg Kissinger
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

Kissinger details how childhood tragedy catalyzed a journalism career focused on exposing our country’s flawed mental health care. Combining the intimacy of memoir with the rigor of investigative reporting, the book explores the consequences of shame, the havoc of botched public policy, and the hope offered by new treatment strategies. View on Amazon

The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy: and the Path to a Shared American Future

By Robert Jones
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

Taking the story of white supremacy in America back to 1493, and examining contemporary communities in Mississippi, Minnesota, and Oklahoma for models of racial repair, The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy helps chart a new course toward a genuinely pluralistic democracy. View on Amazon

Flip Thinking: The Life-Changing Art of Turning Problems into Opportunities

By Berthold Gunster
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

Change your mindset from problem-focused (“yes, but”) to opportunistic (“yes, and”) using omdenken, the Dutch art of flip thinking—from the bestselling author and founder of the omdenken philosophy. View on Amazon

The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation

By Cory Doctorow
Publication Date: September 5, 2023

When the tech platforms promised a future of “connection,” they were lying. They said their “walled gardens” would keep us safe, but those were prison walls. View on Amazon

Seeing Others: How Recognition Works―and How It Can Heal a Divided World

By Michele Lamont
Publication Date: September 12, 2023

Acclaimed Harvard sociologist makes the case for reexamining what we value to prioritize recognition—the quest for respect—in an age that has been defined by growing inequality and the obsolescence of the American dream. View on Amazon

Grow Up: Becoming the Parent Your Kids Deserve

By Gary John Bishop
Publication Date: September 12, 2023

The New York Times bestselling author of Unfu*k Yourself now helps us cut through our anxieties about being a “good parent” so we can take charge of our lives and show our kids how to take charge of their own start. View on Amazon

The Myth That Made Us: How False Beliefs about Racism and Meritocracy Broke Our Economy (and How to Fix It)

By Jeff Fuhrer
Publication Date: September 12, 2023

How our false narratives about post-racism and meritocracy have been used to condone egregious economic outcomes—and what we can do to fix the system. View on Amazon

Wealth Supremacy: How the Extractive Economy and the Biased Rules of Capitalism Drive Today’s Crises

By Marjorie Kelly
Publication Date: September 12, 2023

A powerful analysis of how the bias towards wealth that is woven into the very fabric of American capitalism is damaging people, the economy, and the planet, and what the foundations of a new economy could be. View on Amazon

Optimal Illusions: The False Promise of Optimization

By Coco Krumme
Publication Date: September 12, 2023

How optimization took over the world and the urgent case for a new approach. View on Amazon

Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal

By Bettina Love
Publication Date: September 12, 2023

In the tradition of Michelle Alexander, an unflinching reckoning with the impact of 40 years of racist public school policy on generations of Black lives. View on Amazon

Elon Musk

By Walter Isaacson
Publication Date: September 12, 2023

From the author of Steve Jobs and other bestselling biographies, this is the astonishingly intimate story of the most fascinating and controversial innovator of our era. View on Amazon

Crossings: How Road Ecology Is Shaping the Future of Our Planet

By Ben Goldfarb
Publication Date: September 12, 2023

An eye-opening account of the global ecological transformations wrought by roads, from the award-winning author of Eager. View on Amazon

Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier

By Arthur C. Brooks & Oprah Winfrey
Publication Date: September 12, 2023

Drawing on cutting-edge science and their years of helping people translate ideas into action, Brooks and Winfrey show you how to improve your life right now instead of waiting for the outside world to change. View on Amazon

Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World

By Naomi Klein
Publication Date: September 12, 2023

Klein turns her gaze inward to our psychic landscapes, and outward to the possibilities for building hope amid intersecting economic, medical, and political crises. She uses wry humor and a keen sense of the ridiculous to face the strange doubles that haunt us―and that have come to feel as intimate and proximate as a warped reflection in the mirror. View on Amazon

Underground Empire: How America Weaponized the World Economy

By Henry Farrell & Abraham Newman
Publication Date: September 12, 2023

A deeply researched investigation that reveals how the United States is like a spider at the heart of an international web of surveillance and control, which it weaves in the form of globe-spanning networks such as fiber optic cables and obscure payment systems. View on Amazon

The Six: The Untold Story of America’s First Women Astronauts

By Loren Grush
Publication Date: September 12, 2023

Acclaimed journalist Loren Grush shows six brilliant and courageous women enduring claustrophobic—and sometimes deeply sexist—media attention, undergoing rigorous survival training, and preparing for years to take multi-million-dollar payloads into orbit. View on Amazon

The Last Island: Discovery, Defiance, and the Most Elusive Tribe on Earth

By Adam Goodheart
Publication Date: September 12, 2023

A journey to the coast of North Sentinel Island, home to a tribe believed to be the most isolated human community on earth. The Sentinelese people want to be left alone and will shoot deadly arrows at anyone who tries to come ashore. As the web of modernity draws ever closer, the island represents the last chapter in the Age of Discovery—the final holdout in a completely connected world. View on Amazon

The Four Tests: What It Will Take to Keep America Strong and Good

By Daniel Baer
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

An authoritative, illuminating look at America’s future and the “tests” the United States must meet to maintain leadership and power in the 21st century—from the former US Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. View on Amazon

Foreign Bodies: Pandemics, Vaccines, and the Health of Nations

By Simon Schama
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

Foreign Bodies crosses borders between east and west, Asia and Europe, the worlds of rich and poor, politics and science. Schama explains, as we face the challenges of our times together, “there are no foreigners, only familiars.” View on Amazon

Misbelief: What Makes Rational People Believe Irrational Things

By Dan Ariely
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

The renowned social scientist, professor, and bestselling author of Predictably Irrational delivers an eye-opening exploration of the human side of the misinformation crisis. View on Amazon 

Of Time and Turtles: Mending the World, Shell by Shattered Shell

By Sy Montgomery
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

Elegantly blending science, memoir, philosophy, and drawing on cultures from across the globe, this compassionate portrait of injured turtles and their determined rescuers invites us all to slow down and slip into turtle time. View on Amazon

Bartleby and Me: Reflections of an Old Scrivener

By Gay Talese
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

Talese revisits his pioneering career profiling the many “nobodies” who make New York so fascinating, culminating with the strange and riveting story of Dr. Nicholas Bartha, who blew up his Upper East Side brownstone—and himself—rather than give up his beloved patch of NYC real estate. View on Amazon

Your Face Belongs to Us: A Secretive Startup’s Quest to End Privacy as We Know It

By Kashmir Hill
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

The story of a small AI company that gave facial recognition to law enforcement, billionaires, and businesses, threatening to end privacy as we know it. View on Amazon

Wild Girls: How the Outdoors Shaped the Women Who Challenged a Nation

By Tiya Miles
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

An award-winning historian shows how girls who found self-understanding in the natural world became women who changed America. View on Amazon

Web3: Charting the Internet’s Next Economic and Cultural Frontier

By Alex Tapscott
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

An essential introduction and guide to navigating the next Internet revolution—everything from the metaverse and NFTs to DAOs, decentralized finance, and self-sovereign identity—from the co-author of the international bestseller Blockchain Revolution. View on Amazon

Flee North: A Forgotten Hero and the Fight for Freedom in Slavery’s Borderland

By Scott Shane
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

A riveting account of the extraordinary abolitionist, liberator, and writer Thomas Smallwood, who bought his own freedom, led hundreds out of slavery, and named the underground railroad, from Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, Scott Shane. View on Amazon

The Trade Trap: How To Stop Doing Business with Dictators

By Mathias Dopfner
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

One of the world’s most powerful business leaders traces the rise and costs of Western dependency on China and Russia. And he suggests a radical new approach to free trade: The establishment of a new values-based alliance of democracies. View on Amazon

Walk Through Fire: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Triumph

By Sheila Johnson
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

The cofounder of BET and first African American woman billionaire shares her deeply personal journey of overcoming toxic influences, discovering her true self, and at last finding happiness in her work and life. View on Amazon

The End of Eden: Wild Nature in the Age of Climate Breakdown

By Adam Welz
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

An exquisitely written and deeply researched exploration of wild species reacting to climate breakdown, The End of Eden offers a radical new kind of environmental journalism. View on Amazon

Against Technoableism: Rethinking Who Needs Improvement

By Ashley Shew
Publication Date: Septebember 19, 2023

A manifesto exploding what we think we know about disability, and arguing that disabled people are the real experts when it comes to technology and disability. View on Amazon

The Lost Supper: Searching for the Future of Food in the Flavors of the Past

By Taras Grescoe
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

In the tradition of Michael Pollan, Anthony Bourdain, and Mark Bittman, an exciting and globe-trotting account of ancient cuisines—from Neolithic bread to ancient Roman fish sauce—and why reviving the foods of the past is the key to saving the future. View on Amazon

Turning Pages: The Adventures and Misadventures of a Publisher

By John Sargent
Publication Date: September 19, 2023

Take a peak behind the curtain of some of the biggest publishing moments in the past several decades with forty-year industry veteran John Sargent. View on Amazon

Blood in the Machine: The Origins of the Rebellion Against Big Tech

By Brian Merchant
Publication Date: September 26, 2023

The true story of what happened the first time machines came for human jobs, when an underground network of 19th century rebels, the Luddites, took up arms against the industrialists that were automating their work—and how it explains the power, threat, and toll of big tech today. View on Amazon

Think Faster, Talk Smarter: How to Speak Successfully When You’re Put on the Spot

By Matt Abrahams
Publication Date: September 26, 2023

Develop the life-changing ability to excel in spontaneous communication situations—from public speaking to interviewing to networking—with these essential strategies from a Stanford lecturer, coach, and host of the popular Think Fast, Talk Smart The Podcast. View on Amazon

This Working Life: How to Navigate Your Career in Uncertain Times

By Lisa Leong & Monique Ross
Publication Date: September 26, 2023

This Working Life empowers you to experiment in the lab of life. You’ll reflect on your highs and lows, harness your superpowers and pinpoint your guiding values. You’ll learn the importance of empathy as you craft a job or curate a portfolio career that can grow with you. You’ll unlock the power of rituals, community and self-care, and build resilience that will help you face life’s inevitable curveballs. View on Amazon

Evolutionary Intelligence: How Technology Will Make Us Smarter

By Russell Neuman
Publication Date: September 26, 2023

A surprising vision of how human intelligence will coevolve with digital technology and revolutionize how we think and behave. View on Amazon

What About Men?: A Feminist Answers the Question

By Caitlin Moran
Publication Date: September 26, 2023

The statistics on male misery are grim: boys are falling behind in school, are at greater risk of depression, greater risk of suicide, and increasingly at risk for online misogynist radicalization. Compelled to investigate further, Moran began interviewing men across generations and was deeply moved by the vulnerable and honest responses she received. View on Amazon

Marketing Built by Love: A Human-Centered Foundation to Delight Your Customers, Increase Your Revenue, and Grow Your Business

By Daniel Bussius
Publication Date:  September 26, 2023

A revolutionary approach to marketing, based on neuroscience and psychology, that will transform your business forever. View on Amazon

American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15

By Cameron McWhirter & Zusha Elinson
Publication Date: September 26, 2023

McWhirter and Elinson explore America’s gun culture, revealing the deep appeal of the AR-15, the awful havoc it wreaks, and the politics of reducing its toll. The result is a moral history of contemporary America’s love affair with technology, freedom, and weaponry. View on Amazon

Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America

By Heather Cox Richardson
Publication Date: September 26, 2023

A vital narrative that explains how America, once a beacon of democracy, now teeters on the brink of autocracy–and how we can turn back. View on Amazon

The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time

By Yascha Mounk
Publication Date: September 26, 2023

One of our leading public intellectuals traces the origin of a set of ideas about identity and social justice that is rapidly transforming America—and explains why it will fail to accomplish its noble goals. View on Amazon

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