5 smart books that will make you the smartest in your group of friends

The fool. The party animal. The shoulder to lean on. Yes, each group of friends has its own cast of characters, but some of us feel stuck in a role or identity that doesn’t feel quite right for us.

So if you’re ready to reinvent yourself, become the “smart” one in your group of friends, you can wow them with the facts you’ll find in the five thought-provoking reads below.

Download the Next Big Idea app to get “Book Bite” summaries of hundreds of new non-fiction books like these, all curated and read by the authors themselves.

Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age

By Dennis Duncan

Tracing his curious path from the monasteries and universities of 13th-century Europe to 21st-century Silicon Valley, a University College London lecturer uncovers how the humble index saved heretics from the stake, prevented politicians from high functions and made us all the readers we are today. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Dennis Duncan, in the Next Big Idea app

A Molecule Away From Madness: Tales from the Hijacked Brain by Sara Manning Peskin

A molecule away from madness: Tales from the hijacked brain

By Sara Manning Beijing

Our brains are the most complex machines known to mankind, but they have an Achilles heel: the very molecules that allow us to exist can also sabotage our minds. Here are startling tales of unruly molecules and the diseases that form in their wake. Listen to our summary of Book Bite, read by author Sara Manning Peskin, in the Next Big Idea app

Price Wars: How Commodity Markets Made Our World Chaotic by Rupert Russell

Price Wars: How Commodity Markets Made Our World Chaotic

By Rupert Russel

A fascinating and groundbreaking expose of how commodity traders in New York and London have destabilized societies around the world, leaving the most vulnerable at the mercy of hunger, chaos and war. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Rupert Russell, in the Next Big Idea app

The Insect Crisis: The Fall of the Small Empires That Rule the World by Oliver Milman

The insect crisis: the fall of the small empires that rule the world

By Olivier Milman

Three out of four known animal species on our planet are insects. In The insect crisisan acclaimed journalist delves into the evidence that suggests this kaleidoscopic group of creatures is suffering from a great existential crisis – an emergency with profound consequences for us all. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Oliver Milman, in the Next Big Idea app

Language versus reality: why language is good for lawyers and bad for scientists by Nick Enfield

Language versus reality: why language is good for lawyers and bad for scientists

By NJ Enfield

A linguist from the University of Sydney argues that understanding how language works is key to addressing our most pressing challenges, including human cognitive biases, media rotation, the ‘post-truth’ problem, persuasion, role of words in our thinking, and much more. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author NJ Enfield, in the Next Big Idea app

To enjoy Book Bites on the go, download the Next Big Idea app today:

Hear key information in the next big idea app

About Marcia G. Hussain

Check Also

Top 5 children’s books on fashion accessories, chosen by Anthony Moss

Grandma wears it tight under her chin. Auntie pins hers with a beautiful brooch. Jenna …