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The 32 Best Nonfiction Books of 2021

Orignally published on 2021-12-08 22:45:15 by nextbigideaclub.com

What a year it’s been. Next Big Idea Club curators Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink reviewed literally hundreds of books in search of the absolute best. Each season they selected eight finalists—two of which became official Club selections—for a total of 32 top-tier reads for the year. Below, find out which ones made the cut as the best nonfiction books of 2021.

Download the Next Big Idea App for “Book Bite” summaries of hundreds of new nonfiction books like these.

AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future

By Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan

In this provocative, utterly original work, a former president of Google China and bestselling author of AI Superpowers teams up with celebrated novelist Chen Qiufan to imagine our world in 2041 and how it will be shaped by AI. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by co-author Kai-Fu Lee, in the Next Big Idea App

Beginners: The Transformative Joy of Lifelong Learning By Tom Vanderbilt

Beginners: The Transformative Joy of Lifelong Learning

By Tom Vanderbilt

The bestselling author of Traffic and You May Also Like now gives us a thought-provoking, playful journey into the transformative joys that come with starting something new, no matter your age. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Tom Vanderbilt, in the Next Big Idea App

Bravey

Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas

By Alexi Pappas

The Olympic runner, actress, and filmmaker shares what she’s learned about confidence, self-reliance, mental health, embracing pain, and achieving your dreams. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Alexi Pappas, in the Next Big Idea App

Chatter

By Ethan Kross

An award-winning psychologist reveals the hidden power of our inner voice, and shows how we can harness it to live a healthier, more satisfying, and more productive life. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Ethan Kross, in the Next Big Idea App

The Code Breaker

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race

By Walter Isaacson

A gripping account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Walter Isaacson, in the Next Big Idea App

Cultish

Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism

By Amanda Montell

The author of the widely praised Wordslut analyzes the social science of cult influence: how cultish groups from Jonestown and Scientology to SoulCycle and social media gurus use language as the ultimate form of power. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Amanda Montell, in the Next Big Idea App

The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics by Tim Harford

The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics

By Tim Harford

Aided by new research in science and psychology, Tim Harford proposes ten strategies for using statistics to erase our biases and replace them with the patience, curiosity, and good sense to better understand ourselves—and the world. View on Amazon

Dedicated Pete Davis

Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing

By Pete Davis

A profoundly inspiring and transformative argument that purposeful commitment can be a powerful force in our age of restlessness and indecision. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Pete Davis, in the Next Big Idea App

The Extended Mind Annie Murphy Paul

The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain

By Annie Murphy Paul

A bold new book reveals how we can tap the intelligence that exists beyond our brains—in our bodies, our surroundings, and our relationships. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Annie Murphy Paul, in the Next Big Idea App

Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer By Steven Johnson

Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer

By Steven Johnson

The surprising story of how humans gained what amounts to an extra life, from the bestselling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Steven Johnson, in the Next Big Idea App

Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age By Annalee Newitz

By Annalee Newitz

A quest to explore some of the most spectacular ancient cities in human history―and figure out why people abandoned them. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Annalee Newitz, in the Next Big Idea App

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals By Oliver Burkeman

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

By Oliver Burkeman

An acclaimed Guardian writer offers a lively, entertaining, philosophical guide to time and time management, setting aside superficial efficiency solutions in favor of reckoning with and finding joy in the finitude of human life. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Oliver Burkeman, in the Next Big Idea App

Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion By Wendy Suzuki

Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion

By Wendy Suzuki

The world-renowned neuroscientist and author of Healthy Brain, Happy Life explains how to harness the power of anxiety into unexpected gifts. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Wendy Suzuki, in the Next Big Idea App

High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out By Amanda Ripley

High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out

By Amanda Ripley

When we are baffled by the insanity of the “other side”—in our politics, at work, or at home—it’s because we aren’t seeing how the conflict itself has taken over. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Amanda Ripley, in the Next Big Idea App

How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be By Katy Milkman

How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

By Katy Milkman

An award-winning Wharton professor reveals a proven path to lasting, positive, meaningful behavior change. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Katy Milkman, in the Next Big Idea App

How God Works: The Science Behind the Benefits of Religion By David DeSteno

How God Works: The Science Behind the Benefits of Religion

By David DeSteno

A pioneering psychology professor demonstrates why religious practices and rituals are so beneficial to those who follow them—and to anyone, regardless of their faith (or lack thereof). Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author David DeSteno, in the Next Big Idea App

How to Talk to a Science Denier: Conversations with Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason By Lee McIntyre

How to Talk to a Science Denier: Conversations with Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason

By Lee McIntyre

A philosopher of science explores how we can most effectively get through to those who distrust science, while avoiding the conversational traps of fact-flinging and condescension. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Lee McIntyre, in the Next Big Idea App

Just Work: Get Sh*t Done, Fast & Fair By Kim Scott

Just Work: Get Sh*t Done, Fast & Fair

By Kim Scott

From the author of the revolutionary bestseller Radical Candor comes Just Work, all about how we can recognize, attack, and eliminate workplace injustice―and transform our careers and organizations in the process. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Kim Scott, in the Next Big Idea App

Mine!: How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives By Michael Heller and James Salzman

Mine!: How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives

By Michael Heller and James Salzman

A hidden set of rules governs who owns what—explaining everything from whether you can recline your airplane seat to why HBO lets you borrow a password illegally. In this lively and entertaining guide, two acclaimed law professors reveal how things become “mine.” Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by co-author Michael Heller, in the Next Big Idea App

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement By Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass Sunstein

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement

By Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass Sunstein

From the Nobel Prize-winning author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, an Oxford professor, and a Harvard professor comes a revolutionary exploration of why people make bad judgments—and how to make better ones. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by co-authors Olivier Sibony and Cass Sunstein, in the Next Big Idea App

The Premonition: A Pandemic Story by Michael Lewis

The Premonition: A Pandemic Story

By Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis’s taut and brilliant nonfiction thriller pits a band of medical visionaries against the wall of ignorance that was the official response of the Trump administration to the outbreak of COVID-19. View on Amazon

Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters by Steven Pinker

Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters

By Steven Pinker

A primer in logical thinking and an entertaining expedition through all the trapdoors we can tumble through when we try to parse reality or bend it to our will. Listen to our podcast episode featuring author Steven Pinker

Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere By Tsedal Neeley

Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere

By Tsedal Neeley

A Harvard Business School professor and leading expert in virtual and global work provides remote workers and leaders with the best practices necessary to perform at the highest levels in their organizations. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Tsedal Neeley, in the Next Big Idea App

The Sea We Swim In: How Stories Work in a Data-Driven World By Frank Rose

The Sea We Swim In: How Stories Work in a Data-Driven World

By Frank Rose

Building on insights from cognitive psychology and neuroscience, a Columbia University instructor shows us how to see the world in narrative terms, not as a thesis to be argued or a pitch to be made but as a story to be told. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Frank Rose, in the Next Big Idea App

The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning By Paul Bloom

The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning

By Paul Bloom

Drawing on groundbreaking findings from psychology and brain science, a University of Toronto professor shows how the right kind of suffering sets the stage for enhanced pleasure. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Paul Bloom, in the Next Big Idea App

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together By Heather McGhee

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

By Heather McGhee

A powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Heather McGhee, in the Next Big Idea App

Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement by Tarana Burke

Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement

By Tarana Burke

From the founder and activist behind one of the largest movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the “me too” movement, Tarana Burke debuts a powerful memoir about her own journey to saying those two simple yet infinitely powerful words. View on Amazon

Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain By Shankar Vedantam and Bill Mesler

Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain

By Shankar Vedantam and Bill Mesler

From the New York Times bestselling author and host of Hidden Brain comes a thought-provoking look at the role of self-deception in human flourishing. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Shankar Vedantam, in the Next Big Idea App

What Is Life?: Five Great Ideas in Biology by Paul Nurse

By Paul Nurse

A Nobel Prize-winning scientist’s elegant explanation of the fundamental ideas in biology, and their uses today. View on Amazon

Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good By Dilip Jeste, with Scott LaFee

Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good

By Dilip Jeste, with Scott LaFee

From the field’s pioneer, an exploration of the neurobiology and psychology of wisdom: what science says it is, and how to nurture it within yourself―at any stage of life. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Dilip Jeste, in the Next Big Idea App

Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots By James Suzman

Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots

By James Suzman

An acclaimed anthropologist shows that while we have evolved to find joy and purpose in work, for most of human history our ancestors worked far less and thought very differently about work than we do now. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author James Suzman, in the Next Big Idea App

Your Turn: How to Be an Adult By Julie Lythcott-Haims

Your Turn: How to Be an Adult

By Julie Lythcott-Haims

A New York Times bestselling author shares her groundbreakingly frank guide to being a grown-up. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Julie Lythcott-Haims, in the Next Big Idea App

 

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Orignally published on 2021-12-08 22:45:15 by nextbigideaclub.com

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