8 new books to help you spark a meaningful conversation this summer

woman reading book
if you’re looking to become a bit more well-read, these 8 books are a great place to start.

  • As in-person socializing returns, sharing a recent read can help cut through awkward small talk.
  • The following article by The Next Big Idea Club, republished here with permission, shares eight books to get started.
  • From what trends might exist in 2030 to the history of mass hysteria, these books will spark a conversation.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

With the end of the coronavirus pandemic in sight, it seems that we’ll soon return to get-togethers, cocktail parties, and other social engagements. And inevitably, the conversation will turn to what everyone did with all that time at home. While we can – and should – proudly admit to binge watching those dozen seasons of “Survivor,” we may also want to join others in mentioning a book or two that we enjoyed.

So if you’re hoping to become a bit more well-read, we recommend checking out the eight new books below. They’re sure to make for fascinating conversation, and who knows? They might help you become the smartest person in the room.

1. “2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything” by Mauro F. Guillén

Wharton professor Mauro F. Guillén offers a groundbreaking analysis on the global trends shaping the future, including an analysis on how COVID-19 will amplify and accelerate each of these dramatic, often surprising changes.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

2. “The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race” by Walter Isaacson

The bestselling author of “Leonardo da Vinci” and “Steve Jobs” returns with 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.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

3. “The Delusion of Crowds: Why People Go Mad in Groups” by William J. Bernstein

Financial theorist William J. Bernstein shares stories of mass hysteria that are as revealing about human nature as they are historically significant. He observes that if we can absorb the history and biology of mass delusion, we can recognize it more readily in our own time, and avoid its frequently dire impact.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

4. “The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred” by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

One of the leading physicists of her generation, Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is also one of fewer than one hundred Black American women to earn a PhD from a department of physics. Her vision of the cosmos is vibrant, buoyantly nontraditional, and grounded in Black feminist traditions.

View on Amazon

5. “Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age” by Annalee Newitz

Acclaimed science journalist Annalee Newitz takes readers on a quest to explore some of the most spectacular ancient cities in human history – and figure out why people abandoned them.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

6. “Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality” by Frank Wilczek

Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek shares a simple yet profound exploration of reality based on the deep revelations of modern science. With an infectious sense of joy, Wilczek investigates the ideas that form our understanding of the universe, such as time, space, matter, energy, complexity, and complementarity.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

7. “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. And in this lively and entertaining guide, two acclaimed law professors reveal how things become “mine.”

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

8. “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee

One of today’s top experts on social and economic policy offers 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.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

A version of this article was published by The Next Big Idea Club, which delivers key insights from all the best new books via the Next Big Idea App, website, and podcast. To hear the audio version of this post, narrated by the author, and to enjoy more Book Bites, download the Next Big Idea App today.

Read the original article on Business Insider

7 books that can supercharge your personal growth this summer

woman reading book bed
Feeling burned out and jaded? Invest some time and energy into your personal growth.

  • The following article was first published by The Next Big Idea Club and has been republished here with permission.
  • Diving into an impactful book is a great way to kick off a journey of personal growth.
  • if you’d like to invest some time and energy into personal growth, these 7 books are an excellent place to start.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Over the last year, many of us have felt the world spin out of control. The global pandemic has forced us to abandon familiar routines and adopt new habits for everything, from working to socializing.

But no matter what the pandemic puts us through, there’s one thing we can always control: ourselves. So if you’d like to invest some time and energy into personal growth, the seven books below are an excellent place to start.

1. “The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices” by Casper ter Kuile

In America and around the world, it’s no secret that many people are struggling to find fulfillment in traditional organized religion. But Harvard Divinity School Fellow Casper ter Kuile believes that whether you’re religious or not, you can design personal rituals for your life, rituals that add joy and meaning to everyday experiences.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

2. “In Awe: Rediscover Your Childlike Wonder to Unleash Inspiration, Meaning, and Joy” by John O’Leary

With so much bad news showing up everywhere from TV to Twitter, we may find ourselves feeling burned out and jaded more often than we’d like. But internationally renowned speaker John O’Leary believes that we can adopt a different, healthier, more joyful mindset – if only we’re ready to try a new perspective.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

3. “Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day” by Jay Shetty

When business and media influencer Jay Shetty encourages us to “think like a monk,” he’s not referencing something he read about, or researched for a doctorate degree. He’s talking about something he lived, as he spent years in India as a monk himself. This remarkable book lays bare the most ancient, most valuable wisdom he learned along the way.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

4. “Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas” by Alexi Pappas

Olympic athlete, actress, and filmmaker Alexi Pappas may seem to have it all figured out. But when she was just four years old, her mother died by suicide – and over the years, she’s had to battle demons of her own. In this candid and moving memoir, Pappas shares what she’s learned about overcoming adversity and living the life you’ve always wanted.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

5. “Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are: The Science of a Better You” by Jim Davies

Your dog thinks you’re probably the best person in the world. After all, enduring your absence for even half an hour seems to stress her out. So if you want to become every bit as kind, generous, and wise as she thinks you are, you’ll want to crack open this book by cognitive scientist Jim Davies.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

6. “The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers” by Eric Weiner

Wondering about how to attain true happiness, or how to become a more ethical person, or what the meaning of life could be? If so, there’s no need to start answering those questions from scratch – in fact, history’s greatest minds have already done the heavy lifting. Let Eric Weiner be your guide through their greatest insights.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

7. “Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning” by Tom Vanderbilt

When we’re kids, we constantly try new hobbies, sports, and activities. And although we’re not always successful, these forays help us become stronger, more well-rounded individuals. So why do we stop trying new things in adulthood? In “Beginners,” acclaimed journalist Tom Vanderbilt contends that you’re never too old to learn something new.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

Read more:

Dream First, Details Later: How to Quit Overthinking & Make It Happen!
How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing

A version of this article was published by The Next Big Idea Club, which delivers key insights from all the best new books via the Next Big Idea App, website, and podcast. To hear the audio version of this post, narrated by the author, and to enjoy more Book Bites, download the Next Big Idea App today.

The Next Big Idea Club is a subscription book club curated by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink, and Adam Grant. Get smarter faster with the Next Big Idea app, which offers the key insights from the best new books every day, created and narrated by bestselling authors, ad-free episodes of our popular podcast, and live zoom conversations with leading thinkers.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The hardest question about the Florida condo collapse: Is it worth rebuilding in a city that could be underwater in 30 years?

Two luxury condominium buildings under construction on Fisher Island in Miami, Florida.
Developers continue to build in places like Fisher Island, located south of Surfside and Miami Beach, despite the growing risks posed by climate change.

  • The cause of the Florida condo collapse is still unknown, but climate change is among early theories.
  • Experts say rising sea levels will pose major risks for other coastal residents in the near future.
  • Yet Miami real estate prices are soaring, even as some experts warn against new development.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A week after the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, near Miami, Florida, collapsed, 22 are dead and more than 100 are still missing.

While speculation is already swirling about what caused the collapse, with observers blaming everything from inaction by the condo board to lax building regulations to rising sea levels, investigators are likely still months from a definitive answer.

One thing is certain, however: Climate change is already threatening to leave substantial parts of coastal areas like Miami underwater in the coming decades, meaning more buildings and infrastructure could be wiped out.

Despite the ominous signs, Miami real estate prices continue to soar and new development projects move forward, in what some experts say is a detachment from the environmental – and economic – reality.

In Florida alone, $26.3 billion worth of coastal property, housing more than 90,000 people, is at risk of becoming “chronically inundated” – that is, flooding at least 26 times per year – by 2045, according to Insider’s analysis of a 2018 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

By those estimates, homebuyers taking out a 30-year mortgage today would likely see their homes flooding every two weeks by the time their loan term expires.

“Florida is ground zero for sea level rise in the United States,” Kristy Dahl, a senior climate scientist at UCS, told Insider.

That rise is causing more of the state to experience flooding, not just during so-called “king tides,” but also during normal high tides, Dahl said, adding that “seawater that’s flooding communities is incredibly corrosive.”

“Regular high-tide flooding will affect all kinds of infrastructure in the coming decades,” she said, pointing out a UCS study that showed how flooding could derail Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor route by 2050.

“A way to drive our economy”

After Hurricane Andrew devastated the state in 1992, Florida passed a wave of new building codes to mitigate future storm damage. The Palm Beach Post reported Friday that the collapse in Surfside could similarly push lawmakers to abandon the state’s historically hands-off approach to regulation in favor of more stringent rules for aging condo buildings.

Following decades of denialism, more Florida Republicans have also begun to acknowledge the reality of climate change and the risks it poses for their coastal communities, paving the way for more aggressive, bipartisan efforts.

Florida’s state legislature recently authorized $640 million for climate resiliency initiatives, while the mayors of Miami, Miami Beach, and Miami-Dade County have rolled out a strategic plan outlining steps to prepare the region.

Some developers are also beginning to see a business case for investing in climate resilience.

“We need to understand about how much it’s going to cost, but ultimately… we found that the return on investment is significant and it will create thousands of jobs,” Alec Bogdanoff, CEO of Brizaga, a Florida-based civil and coastal engineering firm, told Insider.

“We’re not only investing in adaptation and resilience because we have to, but it’s actually a way to drive our economy and grow our economy,” he said.

But some experts worry that trying to adapt to the climate – through evolving construction techniques, pump systems, and raised buildings and sidewalks, for example – may still not be enough to save cities like Miami.

“Why the heck are we letting people build?”

“We know seawater is going to arrive,” Harold Wanless, a professor and chair of the department of geological science at the University of Miami, told Insider. “What we should be doing is saying: ‘Why the heck are we letting people build in an area that’s going to be flooded by rising sea levels?”

Wanless said that a 2-3 foot rise in sea level, which estimates predict could happen in Miami by 2060, would also cause 100 to 200 feet of beach erosion, a rate that would make it too expensive to combat by simply adding more sand.

“At that point, you don’t fight it, and we should be realizing that’s where we’re headed,” Wanless said.

But many still don’t, partly because various financial incentives keep pushing developers to build in high-risk areas, including their outsize influence over local politics and wealthy buyers’ ability to withstand losses, according to a report last year in Yale’s Environment360.

That report argues that the “narrow path for survival” for Florida’s coastal counties involves, among other strategies, “orderly retreats from most vulnerable coastal neighborhoods.”

But withdrawing from coastal properties, despite the science, would run up against another obstacle, according to Dahl: human nature.

“We’re still drawn to the water just as we always have been, and I think that’s going to be a really difficult cultural shift to make,” she said, especially given the lack of disclosure about climate risks in real estate listings.

In 2019, journalist Sarah Miller pretended to be interested in buying a luxury home in Miami Beach so she could ask realtors about climate-related risks, detailing the “cognitive dissonance” she witnessed in an article for Popula.

In response to a friend’s skepticism about whether cities could become climate-proof through resilience alone, Miller wrote: “This is the neoliberal notion, that the reasonable and mature way to think about this stuff is: Get more efficient and find the right incentives to encourage the right kinds of enterprise. But my friend wondered, what if the mature thing to do is to mourn – and then retreat?”

Read the original article on Business Insider