Over the past few months, I’ve been reading a slew of nonfiction books that will debut in 2016. From technology and psychology to business and life, here are the new releases that I found especially thought-provoking:
1. TED Talks by Chris Anderson (May 3)
The curator of TED has written the most insightful book I’ve ever read on public speaking, but it’s more than that. It’s a brilliant, profound look at how to communicate. If you ever plan to utter a sound, I highly recommend reading it. It gives me hope that words can actually change the world.
2. Grit by Angela Duckworth (May 3)
The pioneering psychologist who put grit on the map reveals how focused persistence can beat talent. This insightful, engaging read is brimming with actionable advice for managers, coaches, teachers, and parents. Tiger Moms and Lombardi Dads, stay away: the book is about cultivating sustained passion, not torturing your children so they’ll bring home trophies.
3. The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington (April 5)
The Huffington Post chief marries the latest science with her moving personal journey to explain the transformative effect of sleep on every aspect of our lives, and how we can doze more and better. If you’re currently working on an invention to eliminate the need for sleep, please contact me immediately.
4. The Third Wave by Steve Case (April 5)
The entrepreneur who cofounded AOL, brought the internet into our homes, and led the biggest business merger peers into his crystal ball and shares his vision for how technology is going to change our lives—and how to get ahead of the curve. Hint: “Welcome. You’ve got mail!” might give way to “Welcome. You’ve got the flu!”
5. Under New Management by David Burkus (March 15)
A professor makes a provocative, data-driven case that leaders should put customers second, close open offices, and ditch performance appraisals. While you’re at it, he suggests that instead of learning from tales of one lucky company, you might just take a look at the evidence.
6. What Works by Iris Bohnet (March 8)
We know a lot about the barriers to gender equality, but far less about how organizations can overcome them. A behavioral economist draws from a deep well of research to explain how we can design workplaces that give equal opportunities to men and women. Aging robots like R2-D2, on the other hand, will continue to face discrimination.
7. The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross (February 2)
The senior innovation advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton predicts how the world is going to look different in the next decade. Expect young robots to take care of elderly humans, extinct animals to make a comeback, and cyberattacks that don’t bother with your computer because they’re busy targeting your house. George Jetson was onto something…
8. The Confidence Game by Maria Konnikova (January 12)
A gifted science writer explains why we’re all vulnerable to deception. This book will shake your confidence in your ability to detect fraud—and then show you how to improve those skills. If only Enron’s investors had Maria’s expertise.
9. The Geography of Genius by Eric Weiner (January 5)
If I went back in time, I’d want this witty explorer as my tour guide. He traces what made history’s most creative civilizations so great and offers guidance on how we can all become more inventive. I laughed as much as I learned… no small feat.
10. Originals by Adam Grant (February 2)
This book is about how individuals can champion new ideas, leaders can fight conformity, and parents and teachers can encourage children to think differently. There are three reasons why you shouldn’t read it. First, I wrote it. Second, it might lead you to adopt some questionable habits, like procrastinating (it’s a vice for productivity, but a virtue for creativity) and hanging out with your enemies (they’re better advocates than frenemies). Third, I followed my own advice and procrastinated on this post, so I ran out of time for another reason.
Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.
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Author: Adam Grant is a Wharton professor and a contributor writer for the New York Times on work and psychology. Find out more at www.adamgrant.net
Image: A woman reads a book at her open air book store in Skopje. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski.