Our shortlist of this season’s most groundbreaking reads.

Breaking news from the Next Big Idea Club: Curators Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink have combed through our list of newly nominated books, and have hand-picked the most exciting nonfiction titles of the season. We’re proud to announce that the six finalists for the fall of 2020 are…

Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live

By Nicholas A. Christakis
Publication Date: October 27, 2020

Featuring new, provocative arguments and vivid examples ranging across medicine, history, sociology, epidemiology, data science, and genetics, Apollo’s Arrow envisions what happens when the great force of a deadly germ meets the enduring reality of our evolved social nature. View on Amazon

The Knowledge Machine: How Irrationality Created Modern Science

By Michael Strevens
Publication Date: October 13, 2020

Like Yuval Harari’s Sapiens or Thomas Kuhn’s 1962 classic, The Structure of Scientific RevolutionsThe Knowledge Machine overturns much of what we thought we knew about the origins of the modern world. View on Amazon

Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain

By Lisa Feldman Barrett
Publication Date: November 17, 2020

In seven short essays (plus a bite-sized story about how brains evolved), this slim, entertaining, and accessible collection reveals mind-expanding lessons from the front lines of neuroscience research. View on Amazon

The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers

By Eric Weiner
Publication Date: August 25, 2020

The New York Times bestselling author of The Geography of Bliss embarks on a rollicking intellectual journey, following in the footsteps of history’s greatest thinkers and showing us how each—from Epicurus to Gandhi, Thoreau to Beauvoir—offers practical and spiritual lessons for today’s unsettled times. View on Amazon

Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms

By Shellye Archambeau
Publication Date: October 6, 2020

Full of empowering wisdom from one of Silicon Valley’s first female African-American CEOs, this inspiring leadership book offers a blueprint for how to achieve your personal and professional goals. View on Amazon

When More Is Not Better: Overcoming America’s Obsession with Economic Efficiency

By Roger L. Martin
Publication Date: September 29, 2020

With lucid analysis and engaging anecdotes, Martin argues that we must stop treating the economy as a perfectible machine and shift toward viewing it as a complex adaptive system in which we seek a fundamental balance of efficiency with resilience. View on Amazon